Before everything, there was God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the beginning, He chose to share His infinitely blessed life by creation. He made a world of heaven and earth, populated with creatures spiritual and physical. God crowned this creation with man in His image. He made man spiritual and physical to best display His glory and exercise His authority in heaven and earth. Man was to build up the creation as a world increasingly filled with God’s glory.

But man fell into sin. He turned from God, in whose image he was made, and was deformed. He became so wicked and violent that only the Flood could save God’s world. So God restarted with Noah. But man’s corruption quickly increased again. The unified people tried to cast off God and exalt themselves, so God scattered them and put them under the supervision of angels. These split societies became more idolatrous and degraded themselves by abominable worship practices.

So God chose a people for Himself, called Israel. She would be a worldwide witness and bring forth a Seed to bless all nations. She grew in the protection of Egyptian power, and when this security turned to oppression, God destroyed Egypt. In the Exodus, He made Himself famous and brought His people out of their Egyptian womb into the land of Canann. He gave them the land at the center of the world, with a Law to train them as the people of God. Sometimes Israel obeyed, and God was glorified internationally. Under the righteous kings David and Solomon, Israel started blessing the world. But more often she was unfaithful. Instead of being God’s life to the world, she was the world’s sin to God.

Israel was gradually split. A few were righteous, and they became fewer and more righteous. Many were wicked, and they become numerous and more wicked. God eventually cursed Israel with exile. While away, Israel was further purified, and the nations were seeded with righteous God-worshippers. But when God finally brought Israel home, He did not come with her. She was still waiting for His presence to return.

When the time came, God returned to Zion in His Son. Jesus was born of a virgin, heir to David’s throne. He was anointed the Messiah, Israel’s king and deliverer. He preached the coming of God’s kingdom, judgment on rebellious Israel, and a new and greater Exodus and return from exile in Himself. He made war with Satan’s host, Israel’s corruption, and death itself. The last Righteous One of Israel died as Israel’s sin, which embodies the world’s sin. But since He was faithful unto death, God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him as Lord. Jesus was given authority over the nations, so He poured out His Spirit on His people. The Church, as Israel reborn, carried the news of His kingdom to the ends of the earth. Now we preach His Gospel and do His will until He returns to make all things new.

Caleb Smith

I'm 22. I'm married with two excellent children. love Jesus Christ. I grew up a Southern Baptist and now am vaguely Reformed (yes, that includes paedobaptism, but ironically not TULIP). I'm working on a BA in Ministry Studies at the Baptist College of Florida. I'm also a bit nerdy.

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