by Kevin Burton
It’s back to the classroom today at the Earthly School for the Spiritually Blind (ESSB), the school we need as humans because of our sin nature.
This is a sixth-period history class. We cover, quickly, the essential details of the history of mankind, with God as the Creator.
There is no way we get the entire history into one class. But we do seek to establish that the things written in the Bible are indeed history; that they happened in space and time in an age before, Amazon, You Tube and ESPN.
This lesson begins with Genesis 1:1 (NASB) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Two chapters of creation details follow.
Man’s fall from grace and entry into sin is recorded in Genesis 3. The serpent (devil) deceives Eve and she eats from the only tree prohibited by God. Adam follows suit. Sin brought immediate consequences, hard work, hard labor in childbirth and separation from God.
The two were thrust out of the Garden of Eden as punishment, but also as protection. Had they eaten from the tree of life they would have died in their sinful state, causing a permanent separation from God.
God created a worldwide flood because “every intent of the thoughts of (man’s) hearts was only evil continually,” Gen. 6:5. Noah and seven members of his family were found worthy to continue the human race.
In Gen. 11:3-9 God thwarted man’s attempt to climb into heaven and “make a name for ourselves” by confusing their speech at the tower of Babel.
The nation of Israel was established when God called Abram, (later changing his name to Abraham). In Gen. 12: 2-4 God told him to leave home and family, but promised, “I will make you into a great nation….And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
God’s rescue of Israel from Egypt is recorded in Exodus 14. God showed both Israel and Egypt multiple signs of his power culminating in a miraculous escape through the Red Sea.
God told Moses to reach his hand out over the sea, first to divide the waters so Israel could walk through (v 21), then again to make the waters return to their normal position (v 27) drowning the entire Egyptian army.
After a 400-year silence, with no word from prophets, the long-awaited Messiah arrives, but not with the fanfare one might expect.
“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, since he was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had thought this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:18-21).
In John chapter nine, Jesus affirms he is the son of God after restoring sight to a blind man. Jesus asked the man, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“He answered by saying, ‘And who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.’” (John 9: 36-37).
By God’s sovereign design, Jesus was crucified on a roman cross after an illegal trial. The parallel passages for this are in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 and John 19. The earthly view was this was done for political expediency. God had a much bigger plan in mind.
Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to more than 500 people. The account of the resurrection is in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20.
The resurrection is fundamental to the Christian faith. If you don’t have a risen savior, you don’t have anything.
In John 14:16 Jesus said God would send a “helper” who would always be with Christians. The fulfillment of that promise is recorded in Acts 2 when believers were filled with the Holy Spirit.
As the book of Acts unfolds, the Christian church grows despite persecution. Saul of Tarsus is converted and becomes Paul the Apostle, the greatest evangelist in human history.
Revelation 21 covers the final stage of history, the new Heaven and Earth, an end to death, crying and pain. Future history is just as sure as past history when God is doing the telling.
Class notes, sixth period, History: Even the word history can be broken down to His-story. It is all about God, always has been.
One for the spiritual road: For a pocket history of the early periods of Israel, see Acts chapter 7 and Stephen’s speech to a Jewish council.