The Bible is one big story. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells us one storyline. However, if you’ve grown up hearing Bible stories or just attend church periodically, you’ve probably heard the stories of the Bible told in random order with no real connection.
But in order to understand the Bible, you need to see the connection. Understanding Old Testament facts enables you to understand the storyline. So let’s start at the beginning.
Genesis begins with the story of creation. It is important for us to understand God was not created but rather he created everything. Once you understand who the creator is, you can start to realize the creator is the one with all the authority.
Once you understand God is the creator and ultimate authority over all things he created, you can get a picture of why sin is such a big deal. When Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree God had told them not to, they were saying, “I don’t trust you God. I think I have a better way”. And this begins the concept seen in every book of the Bible.
God provides man with a way to have a relationship with him. Man desires the relationship but desires to control his own life more. Sin separates man from God. Man suffers the consequences of his choices. Eventually, man turns back to God, and the whole process begins again. No matter where you pick up the Bible and start reading, you will see this cycle play out.
Both creation and the authority of God as well as sin and the rebellion of mankind takes place in the first two chapters of the Bible. These two facts set the stage for the rest of the story.
There are several themes that run throughout the Bible. The top three themes that are helpful to understand are:
God makes a covenant in Genesis 12 with Abraham promising Abraham’s descendants will be a numerous as the stars in the sky. It is this covenant or promise that motivates the people of Israel throughout the Old Testament. They continually look back and remember that God promised he would protect his people and give them land of their own.
The kingdom of God is seen throughout all of scripture. The Garden of Eden in Genesis 1 & 2 gives us a glimpse of what life looks like in the kingdom of God. The Old Testament prophets prophecy about a time when the Messiah will come and usher in the kingdom of God. And believers today wait and hope in anticipation for the full reign of the kingdom of God to happen “on earth as it is in heaven”.
Promise and fulfillment:
God makes a promise to rescue his people and we see this promise fulfilled through the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ.
After reading through the Old Testament, you realize mankind will never be able to remain in a relationship with God. No amount of sacrifice or rituals can save them. God continued to reveal to his people over time they needed a Savior.
This Savior was introduced to the world in the Gospels. He lived a perfect life, died and took the consequences of mankind’s sin upon himself, and rose again to defeat death. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise of God that began way back in Genesis.
For help understanding more Old Testament facts, check out….
- Lessons from Genesis
- The Book of Deuteronomy: Learning to Trust God
- Understanding the Old Testament: A study over 1 & 2 Samuel