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Know Your History

August 4, 2020

August 4, 2020 • Andrew Stevens • READ: JOB 8:8-10; ROMANS 15:4; 1 CORINTHIANS 10:6-12

When I visited Gettysburg for the first time, my imagination whirred to life. I wanted to know the men who fought there. I wanted to hear their stories, to comprehend their politics, to peek in at their way of life. Because the events that happened on that field directly impact the world I live in now. By understanding the past, I can better understand today. The same can be said of the many events related in the Bible. God’s Word isn’t a collection of disjointed stories. It’s composed around a framework of history. By teaching ourselves biblical chronology, we are able to place stories in context, gain a logical understanding of sequence, and see the full scope of God’s plan. Here are some broad historical markers and round dates to help you begin lashing individual stories into a sequential history. The prophets, books of poetry, books of law, and epistles all hang within this outline: • Creation, the Flood, and earliest history: Genesis • Patriarchs of the Israelite people (2000–1550 BC): Genesis • Formation of the Israelite nation (1550–1380 BC): Exodus–Joshua • Leaders of Israel up to the Exile (1380–539 BC): Judges–2 Chronicles • Return from the Exile (539–474 BC): Ezra–Esther • 400 years of silence • Birth of Christ and the early church (AD 5–90): New Testament When you use this framework as a general guide, you’ll begin to see human history as God has revealed it. You’ll also notice right away that the Israelite people figure prominently within the story He tells. That’s because He used that particular family line to reach the Bible’s (and history’s) climax—the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The next time you read from a particular book of the Bible, find out who wrote it and when. Then fit it into this rough history. You’ll soon find random stories fitting together in a comprehensive whole—one redemption story centered on Jesus Christ, the only Savior from sin and death. • Michelle Isenhoff • Can you think of more reasons why it’s important to understand biblical chronology? • Why can we view Jesus as the focal point of history? All the prophets testify about him [Jesus] that through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins. Acts 10:43 (CSB)