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The Story Recap Ch 1-4

The Story for Teens  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Cold open

WHAT’S UP Dublin-Powell youth happy Lord’s day to all of you! It is Sunday, May 17th and we are diving back into our study of the Story with a recap of the first 4 chapters. We’re going to recap the story of creation and watch God build His nation and deliver them from bondage. SOMETHING CATCHY HERE?

Play Intro Video

Intro

So we’re going to go chapter by chapter over the next several weeks to catch up on where we stand in the Story. Remember before Coronacation why we were studying the Story. There’s lots of ways to study the Bible and probably the most common way we see in the church today is to dive deep into a small collection of verses either from one book or relating to one topic. That is a perfectly valid and fruitful way to study the Bible! However, it is possible that if we dive into individual topics or parts of the Bible without an understanding of the whole of Scripture, we can end up drawing some incorrect conclusions because we don’t see the big picture that these stories take part in! We don’t want to miss the forest of God’s word for the sake of the tree.
So in the spirit of getting that wide-angle understanding of the overall story, let’s remember what the Bible is about: it’s about how humans fell away from communion with God because of our sin, and how He has worked throughout history to bring us back to Him again.
So with that in mind, lets dive into our first of 3 recaps of what we’ve covered so far.

Chapter 1: Creation

Genesis 1:1–2 NIV
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
The first 2 verses in the Bible make it clear WHY we as humans should submit to God. He created the heavens and the earth, everything that we see, everything that sustains us, gives us joy, allows us to live and grow and thrive, He is the source!
But humans quickly mess things up, Adam and Eve, the first two people, are placed in paradise by God, the Garden of Eden. They are given the whole garden to enjoy but God gives them one rule, one tree that they cannot eat from, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So of course, that’s exactly what they do! Both Adam and Eve eat from the tree, and bring sin into the world for the first time.
God casts them out of the garden, and from then on they had to work hard in order to eat and survive, instead of the life of comfort they had in the garden. Sin continues to abound in the world, from Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother out of jealousy, to the time of Noah.
We are told that Noah is the only righteous man in the whole world, and the rest of the world has turned to debauchery and sin, so God saves Noah and his family, while wiping out the rest of the evil humans with a great flood.
Of course, Noah, the righteous man, gets drunk as soon as he can grow some grapes for wine again and is found naked by his son, which really bodes well for the new lineage of people who will populate the earth.
This chapter is all about God’s dominion over His creation, and how sin has entered and really fouled things up. We start the chapter in paradise and end it in a barren world where survival itself is difficult and sin is the pandemic of the day. But God continually shows mercy to those who are His. He could have given up on us after Noah, but He doesn’t, He starts looking for the next person He will use in the Story, a person He will use to bless the entire world.

Chapter 2: God Builds a Nation

Abram is a faithful man, who has been unable to have children with his wife, Sarai. God calls them to leave home and follow Him. They go and God promises Abram that he will have descendants as numerous as the stars, and that through his offspring the whole world would be blessed! God even gave them new names, Abraham and Sarah.
Abraham and Sarah had their doubts about God’s promises, so Abraham laid with Sarah’s servant Hagar and had a son, Ishmael. But God told Him that He would have another son, with Sarah, just as God promised. And Issac was soon born.
Isaac grows up to have 2 sons of his own, Esau and Jacob, Jacob steals the inheritance of Easu and runs away. Eventually, the two brothers meet again and reconcile, mostly due to the great grace that Easu shows to Jacob.
Jacob has 12 sons, and because he learned so much about sibling rivalry and how important fairness and mutual respect is from his own failures with his brother, blatantly favors his youngest son Joseph and gets him a beautiful multicolored cloak just to remind his brothers how much he loves Joseph.
This chapter is about God setting His plan in motion to bring us back to Him. We get one of the earliest promises of Christ, when Abraham tells us that through him the whole world will be blessed! We begin following the descendants of Abraham and we see how even as these flawed, petty, imperfect people make all kinds of mistakes God continues to fulfill His promises through them because He is faithful when we are flaky!

Chapter 3: Joseph: From slave to deputy Pharoah

Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers, and odd form of grace since they initially planned to murder him, and they told their father Jacob he had died. Joseph was sold to one of Pharaoh’s generals in Egypt, but Joseph was slandered by the general’s wife and thrown into jail. But while in jail, he got a reputation for being able to interpret dreams, and it just so happened that Pharaoh was having a troubling dream that none of his advisors could interpret. Eventually, Joseph was brought before Pharaoh, and told him it meant that Egypt would face 7 years of great prosperity followed by 7 years of crippling famine. Pharaoh then set Joseph in charge of preparing Egypt to face this catastrophe, making him second only to Pharaoh himself.
Joseph led Egypt wisely and prepared well in the prosperous years to survive the years of famine. His brothers eventually came to Egypt in search of food, since they were not as prepared. Joseph recognized them at once and, after some world class trolling where he makes them think several times they will all be held as spies and possibly executed, Joseph reveals himself to them and invites his whole family to come stay in Egypt.
So Jacob and his family move to Egypt, and the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob, do well in the land and grow greatly in numbers.
In this chapter we see God using the very worst of human behavior, the attempted murder of a brother, slavery, slander, totalitarian rule, to place Joseph in a position to sustain his family, the family of Jacob who is called Israel, who are the descendants of Abraham. God will not allow anything to stop His promises from coming true, not fratricide or famine or anything else. God does not cause the bad things that happen to us, but He absolutely uses them in His great plan, in His story.

Chapter 4: Deliverence

After Joseph and his brothers died, the Israelite population in Egypt exploded, and they grew to outnumber the Egyptians. There was a new Pharaoh, who feared the Israelites, and thought they would try to overthrow the Egyptians. So Pharaoh made the Israelites perform back-breaking labor, hoping to keep them too worn out and run down to even think about rebellion.
Soon, Pharaoh’s fear of God’s people grew even stronger, and he ordered that all male Israelite offspring be killed. A boy was born called Moses, who’s mother had hidden him from the Egyptians. Eventually, he was placed in a basket in a river and was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, who raised him as her own.
Moses lived a privileged life in Egypt, but one day he say and Egyptian beating and Israelite so brutally that Moses was enraged and killed the Egyptian, burying him in the sand, Moses fled from Egypt for fear of being killed.
The Lord, however, had other plans, and when He heard the cries of His people in bondage He took pity on them, and He appeared to Moses, telling him to go back to Egypt and ask Pharaoh to let His people go.
For Pharaoh, this request was his nightmare come true, Israel was finally rising up against him, and he treated the Israelites even more harshly in response to Moses’ request. So God instructed Moses to go back to Pharaoh ten times, each time adding another horrible plague to afflict the Egyptians until finally, the last plague took the life of every firstborn male in all of Egypt, except for the houses of the Israelites where the blood of a passover lamb protected those within.
Pharaoh finally gave in and let the Israelites go, but soon changed his mind and pursued them with his military. When the people of Israel reached the Red Sea, God parted the waters so they could cross. When the armies of Pharaoh tried to follow, they were crushed as God let the waters crash down over them.
Moses leads the people of Israel into the desert, where they will soon lose faith over and over in the God who has just delivered them and was leading them to the Promised Land.
The deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt reminds us that not only is God faithful, he is powerful. If you were a person living in the Nile river valley in the times of the Exodus, and you were asked what two forces could never be overpowered, you would likely at least consider the Egyptian military and the might of the sea. Yet, for God, these things were barely an obstacle in leading His people to freedom.

Wrap-up

God is our creator and is worthy of our praise and obedience. He loves us greatly, so much that He continued to show us grace and faithfulness when we continually rebel against Him. He works His plan through flawed people, people who are nonetheless called into God’s story of redemption for His people. Finally, He is powerful enough to follow through on His promises, always.

Announcements

Next week we will continue with our refresher in the Story, trying to dive back in to the story of God and follow it all the way to us, the church today!
I do have a new resource this week, Pepperdine University is hosting a Next Gen Voices night on May 27th, and it should be a fun and encouraging night for everyone! It will be a Zoom webcast and you can get more information and register at the link in the description.
Thanks for joining me this week, I’m so excited to be walking through the Story with y’all once again! Let me pray for us before we go.
Lord, thank you for the amazing story that you have been crafting for us, from our rebellion in the garden to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, you have been and still are working to bring us back to you. Thank you for loving us enough to make all of this possible. Be with us this week Lord and remind us daily that you are at work in our own story, and that you would use us imperfect people in your great story. Thank you for Jesus, Lord. We pray in His name, amen.
Thanks again for joining everyone, I wish you all the grace and peace of our Lord.
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