Monday, March 9, 2015
The Old Testament in 5 Minutes
Over 4,000 years ago, God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia and said to him, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation." Abraham obeyed the Lord and came into the promised land of Canaan where he lived along with his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, who was later renamed "Israel."
Israel and his 12 sons went down into Egypt because of a famine in the land of Canaan, and there they multiplied into a mighty nation. The Egyptians felt threatened by the powerful nation of Israel living among them, so they enslaved them and made their lives bitter with hard bondage. After 430 years in Egypt, they were lead out of bondage by Moses, then crossed the Red Sea and went into Arabia, where they received the law of God at Mount Sinai.
The generation of Israelites that left Egypt with Moses were not allowed to enter the promised land because of their lack of faith in the Lord. They were forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until a new generation rose up that trusted the Lord and entered the promised land with Joshua.
For about 400 years, the 12 tribes of Israel were ruled by the Judges according to the law of Moses. When they desired to have a king like all the other nations, God appointed Saul to be their king, who reigned over them for 40 years, followed by King David who reigned 40 years, and David's son Solomon who reigned 40 years. During the reign of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was at its most glorious, and the first temple was built, but because Solomon's heart turned away from the Lord in his old age, God told him that 10 of the tribes would not be ruled by his son.
After the death of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was divided, and the northern 10 tribes were ruled over by a series of wicked kings, who were not descended from David and Solomon. This Northern Kingdom retained the name of Israel and eventually had Samaria as its capital city. The smaller Southern Kingdom became known as Judah, had Jerusalem as its capital, and was reigned over by the descendants of David. Starting in 2 Kings 16, the people of the Southern Kingdom became known as "Jews" after the name of the kingdom of Judah.
Because of the wickedness of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, they were overthrown and taken captive by the Assyrians. The Israelites who remained became intermingled with the heathen nations who came in and occupied the land. These people would become known as the Samaritans, and the 10 tribes of Northern Israel would never be a nation again.
The Southern Kingdom of Judah would eventually be taken captive into Babylon as a punishment for serving other gods, and the temple would be destroyed, but after 70 years, the Jews returned to Judah, rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem, and continued to be ruled by kings descended from David.
At the time of Christ, the nation of Judah had become know as Judaea and was under Roman rule. Jesus Christ and his disciples preached the Gospel throughout Judaea seeking after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. After 3 and a half years of ministry, the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah and convinced the Roman governor to crucify him. 3 days later, he rose again from the dead and showed himself alive to his disciples before ascending up to the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
Shortly before Jesus was crucified, he prophesied that as a punishment for rejecting him, Jerusalem would be burned, the temple would be destroyed, and the Jews would be led away captive into all nations. This prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when future Roman emperor Titus conquered Jerusalem. For over 1800 years, the Jews remained scattered throughout all nations.
Then in 1948, the impossible happened. The State of Israel was founded, and the Jews once again possessed the promised land. Many Christians have proclaimed this to be a miracle and a blessing from God, but was this really the blessing of the Lord, or were darker forces at work? This film has the answer.