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Sermons about Evangelion
Over this Christmas season, we have been attempting to add some depth to the celebration of Advent by finding a rich foundation of God's plan for Jesus throughout the Old Testament. Two weeks ago we saw that Jesus was the word by which all existence came into creation. In addition, He upholds that existence by the word of His power. Last Sunday, we saw that Jesus was all that the law pointed to. - Instead of a human priest who enters into a human dwelling where God dwells, He is the perfect priest who enters into the presence of God. - Instead of human priest who offers up an offering of someone else's blood each year for the sins of the people, Jesus offers up Himself and His blood as a once and for all sacrifice that covers the sins from the foundation of the world to the end of the age. This week, as we conclude our study of Christ in the OT, we want to see how the prophets spoke of Christ. But to do that, we need to cover the time from Moses giving the law all the way through the kings of Israel to the prophets of God. Much like our telling of the story between the Garden of Eden and Mount Sinai, we will see that this story is not too pretty either. The people of God are wandering in the wilderness and are in need of water. They just keep whining and whining, so God tells Moses to give them some by speaking to a rock. But Moses gets so tired of their whining; he has a senior moment and strikes the rock in anger instead. The people get their water and Moses gets disciplined by God. God tells him he will never get to live in the promised land of God's people. So Moses dies and they bury him on a mountain that overlooks the Promised Land. It is sort of ironic and bitter. God places Moses' right hand man, Joshua, in charge of the people. God tells him that every place his foot steps, God will give to the people, and 3x times tells him not to be afraid. What happens? Well, despite God's strong promise, there is a strange story about the spies of the people being hidden by a prostitute and then God commands His people to march around Jericho 7 times in silence and then the walls come down and the people take the land. But as soon as the people move in, the scriptures say they broke faith with God. Apparently, a couple of guys took some items used in worship to sell them to the local pawnshop. God hands them over to defeat. This faith and sin cycle continues until Joshua dies and God institutes the time of the Judges who serve like prophets and police officers. Think God ordained, righteous Dirty Harry's. We get a colorful array of characters. - Deborah - the only female judge who leads Israel to defeat the Canaanites - Samson â€“ a man with a penchant for long hair and loose women who somehow has the ability to tie 100 foxes tails together. He ultimately destroys an Old Testament equivalent of Yankee Stadium to enact the judgment of God. - Samuel - a judge and a prophet who would ultimately lead a rebellious people who rejected God as their king. The people were suffering from pagan envy and wanted to be like every other nation in the world with an earthly king. Unfortunately they get what they want and deserve. They get Saul, the first king of Israel. He is described as handsome and a head taller than everyone else. Whenever I think of Saul I think of Kronk from the Emperors New Groove: handsome and strong, neither smart nor godly. God takes the throne away from Saul after a string of disobedient and arrogant sins. First, Saul gets impatient and can't seem to wait for Samuel to offer a sacrifice. Saul offers one of his own. Later on God tells Saul to destroy everything in his invasion of the Amalekites, but instead Saul keeps some sheep for himself. Saul offers one of the all time great rationalizations when he says he was keeping the sheep to offer sacrifice God. Right. God got strips him of his throne and Saul eventually kills himself. So much for the first King of Israel God then gives the throne to a puny shepherd boy named David who goes on to be the great King of God's people. Before He gets there He kills a guy named Goliath with a slingshot...seriously. He ultimately gathers Israel together and leads them in Godliness. But one day he got fat and lazy, decided not to go to war with him men and instead decides to commit adultery and murder. God punishes him by taking his son from him but eventually he gives David another son, Solomon, who would go on to be the wisest man in the world. Unfortunately, Solomon has a penchant for land, slaves, money, and wives. God takes the throne from him and on on it goes through Israel's 19 kings. Finally, God issues the ultimate judgment on His people by decreeing that the godless, pagan nation of Babylon would destroy Jerusalem, the temple and take the people into captivity to be slaves once again. They remained slaves for nearly 50 years. God brings them back to Israel, it takes over 20 years for this temple to be restored. It was during the time of leading up, during and directly after the exile into Babylon that God sent His prophets to speak to His people, and then God goes silent. Nothing is heard for 400 years. It is during this time leading up to the exile, during, and return that we find the majority of the work of God's prophets. In it, let us explore and find our Savior.