There are specific books and sections of the Bible I can’t wait to show. These tales give us confidence and pleasure within the gospel, in God’s plan to rescue and redeem folks from sin via Jesus. Which of them come to your thoughts?
Possibly it’s God’s covenant with Abraham, his declaration that this aged man may have a baby, and thru that baby all nations shall be blessed. Maybe it’s David defeating the large, Goliath, and the Philistine military together with him, the shepherd king who leads his folks into victory over a robust enemy. Or, leaping forward, possibly it’s Jesus’s show of energy and may as he healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and made the lame stroll.
However for me, one among my favourite parts to show from is the divided kingdom, one of many darkest instances within the historical past of God’s folks.
(Did I point out I serve in youngsters’s ministry at my church?)
Loss of life of the Dream
The chronicle of Israel and Judah’s descent into sin is arguably the bleakest part of the Bible, maybe greater than the exile and even the time of the Judges. In some ways, it’s the antithesis of all the things that got here earlier than. The books of 1–2 Samuel and the primary half of 1 Kings, in some ways, appear to point out the consummation of God’s guarantees to Abraham: the wandering folks, former slaves, had made themselves a house in Canaan. They’d a mighty king, David, who led them into victory over their enemies. His son Solomon was the wisest and richest man to ever stay, and through his reign Israel was a beacon of knowledge and prosperity. Silver was “as common in Jerusalem as stones” (1 Kings 10:27, CSB). Stories of Solomon’s knowledge went out to all of the nations, however they didn’t convey even half the story, as flattering as they had been (1 Kings 10:6–9). If ever there was a heaven on earth after the autumn, Jerusalem in Solomon’s day was it.
However the smart king grew to become a idiot. His coronary heart was led astray by his many wives, his nice wealth, and his many possessions (1 Kings 10:14–11:43). He worshiped false gods, and the folks adopted go well with. Below his son’s rule, the nation break up in two, and each Israel and Judah ran headlong towards destruction.
God warned his folks.
He disciplined his folks.
However nonetheless they’d not hear.
And they also had been banished into exile—first the northern kingdom of Israel, then the southern kingdom of Judah. The previous slaves had been slaves as soon as extra.
God’s Love in a Dwelling Parable
So why do I like educating from these passages? Why do I look ahead to educating them to youngsters? As a result of this part of Scripture is stuffed to the brim with gospel hope. The gospel is there, prepared to interrupt forth, if we’ve eyes to see. Whereas there are lots of examples (and many who the New Testomony itself factors to), simply think about one: Hosea, one of many prophets God despatched to Israel.
Hosea’s life was a dwelling parable, one designed to inform the story of the connection between God and his folks via Hosea’s marriage to Gomer. God advised Hosea, “Go and marry a woman of promiscuity, and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the LORD” (Hosea 1:2, CSB). In commanding this, we are able to see the nice lengths God went to to be able to assist his folks see the awfulness of their sin. Betraying him and serving false gods is akin to being a openly adulterous partner.
However in it we additionally see his love for his folks. God doesn’t abandon Israel to their sin any greater than Hosea abandons Gomer to her promiscuity. Regardless of her unfaithfulness, Hosea involves her. He seeks her out. He pleads along with her to return. And he even purchases her freedom.
(Should you’re questioning the way you may really train this story to youngsters, watch this video to see how we do it with The Gospel Mission.)
All all through Hosea, God is pleading along with his folks to repent, to show from their sin and run again to him who loves them. Regardless of their infidelity, he doesn’t abandon them. As a substitute, he swears he’ll redeem and restore them (see Hosea 14).
That’s what I need folks to see as we research this era within the Bible’s narrative, whether or not I’m learning by myself, with different adults, or educating the children at my church. I want this as a result of I want the gospel, and what’s the gospel if not the supreme instance of God’s dedication to rescue and redeem individuals who don’t deserve it?
Give it some thought: Gomer didn’t deserve Hosea’s love any greater than Israel deserved God’s. You and I are simply as vulnerable to wander as anybody else—and but, God doesn’t cease chasing us. He’s unfailing in his resolve to result in complete redemption in Christ, to finish the work he started (Phil. 1:6).
That’s what I like about books like Hosea. That is what I like about these darker tales in Scripture, and why I like to show them, even to youngsters.