Faithlife Sermons

January 24, 2021 - Old Testament - Recap

20 weeks ago we started our journey thru the OT, finishing up 2 weeks ago.
I hope it was as beneficial to you as it was for me in putting it together.
One of the themes I see run through the OT is this: Though our sins are many, His mercy is more!
Today we'll be walking thru a survey of...the survey of the OT......a recap...So basically, the OT in one sermon
(college - last class)
If you recall in that initial sermon I actually read thru the entire 1st chapter of Genesis.
We won't do that today, but what you need to remember is that creation:
spoke about God....pointed to God.
It spoke of His eternal power and divine nature
It spoke of His authority
It spoke of His glory and majesty
It spoke of His love and faithfulness
His power
His wisdom
and His unchanging constency
WHY? Why did God create everything that was created to speak about Him?
Because God does all that He does, to display His glory for the full and everlasting enjoyment of all who embrace Jesus Christ as their highest treasure.
And this fact reveals to us why WE were created.
If God does ALL things for His glory...then YES, we were created to glorify God (worship God).
Ephesians 1:11–12 ESV
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
He works ALL things to the praise of His glory!
This is what was being set up in environment that magnified God!
God created all things to magnify God.
All things were created by God, for God.
God is at the center!
But yes, God created man, and man found himself in perfect communion with God.
Creation was all about the Worship of God...enjoyment of God.
BUT, it didn't take long for man to mess this thing up right?
What happened?
The Fall.
• Disobedience in the Garden.
• Satan attacked the command of God (placing doubt in Eve's mind)
• Satan attacked the result of disobedience (saying "you shall not surely die")
• Satan elevated man ("you will become like God")
• Hook, line, sinker.
• She took the bait...and sin entered the world.
• She took the bait, but who did God first question about the sin?
• Adam...why?
• Because men, we're supposed to lead.
• And yet, from most pulpits across this country can come - Men, where are you?!
• Sin entered the world...and shattered creation.
• ...Shattered the unhindered worship of God...
• AND NOW, man was separated from God.
• Physical death and Spiritual death now came into the world...
• From this point is NO LONGER ABLE to please God.
• NO LONGER able to worship Him
• NO LONGER able to believe in Him
• NO LONGER able to come to Him
• ...see Him
• ...pursue Him
• Him
• have FAITH in Him.
• place our trust in Him.
The very moment that sin entered the world, total depravity saturated mankind...
...and hopelessness before God became reality.
It's from here that we begin to see God setting in motion His plan of redemption...
• To get us back to where it all started.
• He wants us back to the place where there is no longer a worship problem...
• why?
Because it's for our joy and His glorification that we find our satisfaction (delight) in the Him.
Listen to Spurgeon:
All that Jesus spoke in the past, and all that He speaks today through His word is meant to produce joy in His people. Jesus talks to us so that we might know truth, but His objective is that in knowing the truth, we may have joy in it. Christ wants His people to be happy.
• This is what God is getting us back to.
• And HE has to do this thing...why?
• Because now man is unable.
Evil begins revealing itself in mankind.
Cain kills Abel.
Cain being the 'man' figure......and Abel being the 'Christ' figure...
Evil kills good.
man kills Christ.
And it doesn't get any better.
Man is permanently damaged...apart from God.
Genesis 6:5 ESV
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
For nearly 1600 years, sin reigns on the earth.
This now is the state of mankind.
So what does God do?
He sends judgment in the form of....a flood.
God blots out all that He created...except for Noah and 7 members of his family.
Noah and his family survive the flood, and then begin populating the planet.
BUT there's still a problem...what?


• This sin lead to another of God's judgments at the Tower of Babel.
• God had told the people to scatter across the earth and multiply...
• ...Instead they gather together, build a tower, and try to make a name for themselves.
• What does God do?
• Scatters them across the earth...
• Scrambles their language.
• Sin has infiltrated every part of man.
• BUT God has a plan! - -
• 292 years after the flood, a man named Abram was born.
• It was through Abram that God would reveal His plan of salvation.
• God establishes a Covenant with Abraham
• 3 promises that are apart of this Covenant:
• Land
• Descendants
• Blessing (God promises that out of Abraham's line, a deliverer will come...blessing every family on the earth.
• Abraham is asked to he goes.
• He heads out, not knowing where he is going.
• What does this call require of Abraham:
• Possessions: lay them down
• Security: lay it down
• Familiarity: lay it down
• Comfort: lay it down
• His own future plans: lay them down
• His time: lay it down
• Have I laid these things down?
• OR, am I playing both sides of the fence?
• Do I worship God...and money?
• Bible says that's impossible....Bible says if I worship money, then I'm not worshipping God, regardless of how many times I go to church.
• You know God has called you right?
• You know God is calling you right?
• He's calling you to do cannot do.
• You say "No way---he wouldn't do that"....
• ...ok, go talk to Moses see how that goes.
• Who in here is interested in growing in their faith?
• Hands????
• Listen...God is going to call you to do something you can't do.
• Why would he do that?
• Because it's not about the's not about what you're good at or what you're not good at...
•'s about relying on God. (my life – door-to-door)
• So God makes a Covenant with Abraham, and as part of this covenant, God puts Himself on the line.
• God calls Abraham to go and kill certain animals, cut them in half, and lay them down on the ground to create a path..
• ...a blood path
• Whoever walked this blood path was saying - I will take on the curse of the covenant if this oath is not kept. May I be killed if the oath is not kept.
• What happens?
Genesis 15:17 ESV
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces.
• So God walks the blood path....and then the ceremony ends.
• God was saying - whether I fail in this oath or you (Abraham) fail in this oath, the blessings I promised will be given...unconditionally.
• So Abraham answers the call of God.
• He believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.
• Abraham's faith continued to grow.
• We look at Abraham and his son Isaac...putting him on the alter.
• And Abraham’s faith continued to grow.
• Abraham would have believed John 3:16.
• But he also would have believed John 14:12...
• ...what does John 14:12 say?
John 14:12 ESV
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
• Do we see evidence of John 14:12 in our lives?
• See, just like Abraham, we're called to grow in our faith...
• So are we?
• Are you doing things for Jesus today that you would have never done 5 years ago, 3 years ago, a year ago?
• When Abraham was 100 years old, Isaac was born
• Isaac would come to have 2 sons - - Esau and Jacob
• Now Esau was the firstborn, but right off the bat, Jacob was after Esau's birthright.
• Esau ends up selling his birthright to Jacob, for some stew
• and years later, Jacob and his mom Rebekah conspire to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob rather than Esau.
• Their plan works.
• Jacob receives the blessing.
• And God extends His covenant thru Jacob....
• ...and changes his name to Israel.
• In time, Jacob ended up having 12 sons.
• These 12 sons would become the 12 tribes of Israel...
• and it was thru the nation of Israel that God planned to fulfill the promises to Abraham that his descendants would be a blessing to all peoples.
• At this point we can see a pattern that's been established so far in the Old Testament:
• People Sin
• People face the consequences
• God redeems
AND EVERY TIME - we see the same thing...
• And, we're going to continue to see this.
• As i said, Jacob had 12 sons.
• His favorite was Joseph.
• Some of Joseph's brothers end up selling him into slavery...
• ...but God restores him and makes him a great ruler in Egypt.
• Years later, as Jacob lay dying, he calls his sons together to bless them.
• His blessing to his son Judah shows that the tribe of Judah would have the right to rule.
• Fast forward now to long after the death of Joseph and his brothers, and a new king ruled in Egypt.
• Afraid of the increasing number of Israelites, this new king oppressed them into - forced labor.
• That didn't stop the Israelites from multiplying so the Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn Hebrew boys.
• God heard His people crying out for help...
• what does God do?
• He saved one of these Hebrew boys from perishing....Moses.
• 80 years after saving him from the river, God calls Moses out by faith.
• Was Moses interested?
• No.
• What was Moses thinking thru this?
Moses approached the situation with himself as the focus!
Here's how:
• Moses heard what God wanted him to do.
• Instead of Moses thinking - Ok, (You're) God, (You've) called me to do this, (You're) worthy of trust, (You) can be relied on.
• MOSES thinks - (I) can't do this thing, (I'm) not good enough, (I'm) not smart enough, (I'm) not skilled enough...AND he ends it there.
• It [begins] and [ends] with him.
It's never about the "difficulty" of the deed with God.
• He'll call you to do "whatever", and it's never about the "whatever"'s about relying on Him, because when you do...
•'re living by faith.
• With every inadequacy that Moses laid out before God, what did God do? How did God respond?
• God constantly kept reminding Moses of who HE HIMSELF is. (This isn't about you and your ability, this is about Me and My power).
• So Moses complies...
• Moses begins to see that, YES, his inadequacy is where obedience begins...
• That our inadequacies don't DISQUALIFY us from service, they actually QUALIFY us for service.
• ...and goes before the Pharaoh.
• 10 plagues later, God rescues His people from bondage...
• So that His people might....worship Him.
• Remember...God's getting us back to what we were meant for....worshipping God.
• Within days of God freeing His people...they begin what?
• Doubting God.
• What happens when we doubt God?
• We fear man, and we will NOT live by faith.
• But God continues to rescue His people...from themselves...(Red Sea, etc.)
• They doubted God with spears in their faces.
• They doubted God with no food on the table.
• We doubt God as we "eat our fill of the loaves"
• We doubt God as we lay on our beds of ease
• They were a stiff-necked people...
• We are a ridiculous people.
• These people continue, over and over again, to turn from God.
• God supplies, they turn from Him.
• God supplies, they turn from Him.
• God keeps bringing them back...bringing them back...
He brings them back to this truth!!
• And He eventually brings them to Mt. Sinai.
• On Mt. Sinai we see God give the Mosaic Covenant
• Mt. Sinai and the Mosaic Covenant are about god revealing to His people, who He is...
• AND, about Him revealing to His people who THEY are before Him.
• And He starts out by saying - You saw what I had done...
• How I brought you to myself.
• You did NOTHING but put your faith in the blood of a lamb...
• A Lamb that saved you from the angel of death in Egypt.
• I brought you out.
• I drew you to Myself...
• the passover...
• the exodus...
• the red sea...
• At Mt. Sinai now...God is saying - Ok, if you're going to be My people, you need to know who I am...
• ...and you need to know who you are before Me.
• Now what's the desired result of God here?
• See God's laying out the plan here for Moses...but what's the desired result?
• verses 5-6:
Exodus 19:5–6 ESV
5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
• So..."My treasured possession, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
• So this is where God's taking this thing...
• A kingdom of priests and a holy nation
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
• So Peter here describes the Christian church as a royal priesthood...a holy nation.
• Every saved soul in this room is a "priest"...part of a holy nation...
• And so at Mt. Sinai, when God reveals His plan to Moses...
• ....when He lays out the Law to him, it has in it's view...the Christian church…and even further than that…the Glory of God.
• So the Law, has in it's view…the Glorification of God.
• But how are they connected?
• So the Law is basically a Holy Mirror that God holds up to us and says - "OK, do you see yourselves now? Do you see who you are before Me? -- YOU'RE ALL CURSED!
• The Law reveals our sin, and in doing so, curses all those who are under it....pursuing it.
• So we might ask - God gave us the Law to curse us?
• No - He gave the Law to show us we ARE cursed!!
• ...TO SHOW US WE ARE CURSED, that we might now by FAITH, experience the blessing of Galatians 3:13:
Galatians 3:13 ESV
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
• The Law damns us, and at the same time, points to Jesus Christ as our only way.
• WHY?
• Because Christ fulfilled the Law.
• The Law points to the glorification of Jesus Christ.
• ...the Worship of Jesus Christ.
• So God gives His people the Law, and then the wilderness journey eventually leads to God telling Moses:
Numbers 13:1–2 ESV
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.”
• So these men go and spy out the land that God said He was giving to the people of Israel.
• They're gone for forty days, and then come back and give a report on what they saw.
• They basically say, that they cannot take the land because the inhabitants are too big, too strong, and the cities are fortified too heavily.
• Are they walking by faith here?
• No - they're doubting God again!
• ...they're walking by sight.
• The interesting thing is that due to this bad report, the Israelites rebel and begin to complain again.
• So they have the [promises of God], and they have the [wisdom of these men].
• Which do they lean on?
Those who walk by sight will always lean on the wisdom of man.
The Pharisees walked by sight...not by faith.
The Rich Young Ruler walked by sight...not by faith
Sell all I have and give it to the poor?? That's a dumb idea...why would I do that...that makes no sense.
How would I live?
How would I eat?
Where would I sleep?
• The Israelites, doubting the promises of God...Lean on the wisdom of these men.
• They conclude that they're incapable of taking the land, even though it was already given to them (they just needed to believe).
• Yeah, the land that God commanded them to go in and take was already theirs...
• ...they just needed to - trust and obey.
• And so just know this - God will never lead you where His grace cannot provide for you, or where His power cannot protect you.
• The Israelites didn't get this truth.
• They doubted God.
• And so God renders judgment:
Numbers 14:34 ESV
34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’
• So they wonder for 40 years.
• Had anything changed for these people?
• In looking back at all that had happened to them from the time they left Egypt, had anything really changed?
• No.
• From their cries to the Lord standing at the Red Sea with Pharaoh closing in, to the refusal to take the promise land...
• ...nothing had changed.
• And why couldn't they enter the promise land?
• What does Hebrews say?
Hebrews 3:16–19 ESV
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
• (repeat verse 19)
• What are these verses telling us?
• Verse 16:
16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled?
• Heard what?
• Verse 15:
Hebrews 3:15 ESV
15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
• They "heard" His truth, and yet - rebelled.
• Then what does it say?
• These verse go on and point to the results in these people's lives...
• ...building a case for a final verdict.
• verse 17 - they were a "provoking" people.
• verse 17 - they were a "sinning" people.
• verse 18 - they were a "disobedient" people.
• Final Verdict - They were an "unbelieving" people.
• Unbelieving???
• They literally followed God around for 40 years.
• They literally experienced God and His blessing for 40 years.
• Unbelieving??
• Yes, how?
• Because the Christian life is a matter of the heart.
• Always has been...always will be.
You can come to this place every day of your life and hear what is said, but unless God opens the ears of your heart, you remain in your unbelief.
They heard, and yet they rebelled...because of unbelief.
Yet God’s plan is still in motion...
• Following the 40 years of wandering, we find the people ready to take the Promise Land...under new leadership.
• Moses had died, and now Joshua was set to lead the people.
• Joshua had been one of the 12 spies who went and originally scoped out the land.
• He and Caleb were the only ones out of the 12 to plead for the people to trust God.
• The people didn't trust God.
• 40 years later, Joshua understands that the promises of God do not become void on the basis of time.
• AND SO - After 40 years, Joshua knows God's promise still stands.
• They cross the Jordan, into the Promise Land
• Once they get there, they take the Land.
• Once they take the Land, they divide the land among the 12 tribes of Israel.
• Then...they're charged to "serve" Worship God.
• BUT, we're quickly reminded we're dealing with mankind.
• Soon after the promising response to Joshua, we find Israel worshipping - OTHER gods.
• The people did what was right in their own eyes.
• What did God do?
• He rose up Judges to deliver His people from under their sin. (Our sins are MANY - His mercy is MORE)
• Judges rise up to save the people...
• ...then there would be rest in the land.
• But then the judge would die...
• ...and the people would return to their evil ways...
• God would then give them over to plunderers.
• The people would cry out...
• and God would raise up another Judge.
• The rise and fall of these judges lead the people of Israel to cry out for a king
1 Samuel 8:5 ESV
5 and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
• See the nations surrounding Israel had kings, and so Israel thought - Well, what we have isn't working...we want a king!...
• ...That will fix our problems!
• Saul becomes the first king of Israel...
• leading to David as its 2nd king.
• Imperfect men...pointing to a longing for THE PERFECT KING...
• God establishes a Covenant with David, promising...
• to establish his:
• House...
• kingdom...
• throne...
• All of this building up to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
• In David we see a sinner, being forgiven by God, a 1000 years before the cross of Christ.
• HOW?
Romans 3:25 ESV
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
What do we see here…?
• God's forgiveness of David points to the cross of Jesus Christ.
• YET - before we get to Christ...
• We see a history of kings who come and rule in Israel.
• Following David we have Solomon ruling Israel during it's golden age.
• In his 4th year he begins building the temple...
• But even Solomon would turn from the Lord.
• This sets Israel on the path of idolatry, a breaking of the Covenant, and God's judgment.
• The kingdom shatters...the nation divides.
• with 10 tribes forming the Northern Kingdom...collectively called Israel
• ...and 2 tribes (Benjamin and Judah), forming the Southern Kingdom, collectively called Judah.
• 19 kings in the North...none follow after the Lord.
In 722 B.C., the Northern Kingdom collapses, when Assyria defeats it and takes its people into exile.
• 19 kings and 1 queen rule over a span of approx. 350 years.
• Of the 20, 8 followed the Lord.
In 586 B.C., the Southern Kingdom falls to Babylon and the people are taken into exile.
The Exile lasts 70 years, before the people return to try and rebuild what had been destroyed.
• We have the rebuilding of the temple in 515 B.C
• And we see during this time, God sovereignly working to preserve His people for His glory.
• One way that God did this was thru Prophets.
• God used man to speak to His people during a time when everyone was turning from the Lord.
• Some examples include...
• Isaiah and Ezekiel who were given visions of God's glory.
• Jeremiah was told by God that he had been picked before he was even born.
• Hosea was used by God to model, in his life, the adultery that Israel committed against God.
• All of these prophets following what the prophet Micaiah had said in 1 Kings.
1 Kings 22:14 ESV
14 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.”
• They spoke for the Lord...
• ...Regardless of the opposition
• ...Regardless of the circumstances
• And so - This Old Testament tells us the story of what man was created worship God
• ...How man broke that perfect union (YET God’s Mercy was MORE)
• ...How God, ever since, has been getting us back to that state of perfect UNION!
• ...and How He will accomplish this through His Son Jesus Christ. (The PERFECT KING to come)
• And so that’s the story of the Old Testament...
• BUT....... as this story tells us:
Individual Responsibility
More than 130 years ago, a group of twenty distinguished Americans met in the Astor House in New York City during the presidency of Millard Fillmore. Among the dinner guests was Secretary of State Daniel Webster, who had been unusually quiet. In an effort to engage him in conversation, a colleague asked, “Mr. Webster, will you tell me what was the most important thought you ever had?” Following a brief silence, he confidently replied, “The most serious thought that ever occupied my mind was that of my individual responsibility to God.”
Individual Responsibility
• Every one of us in here, and everyone on this planet will stand before God to give an account to Him of our lives.
• We won't respond by saying - Well my church believed this...or my church believed that.
• You will all, individually give an account of how you interpreted this book.
• Don't let this survey of the Old Testament be your only taste of it.
• I pray that it won't be...
Let's pray...
Praise the Lord
His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness - new every morn
Our sins they are many - His mercy is more
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