God Works Through the Patriarchs

Dave Shirley Photo Dave Shirley

So Genesis 25:20, if you would turn there, it says in verse 20 that Isaac was forty-two years old when he married Rebekah. Now, how old was he when Rebekah had their first kid Jacob? He was sixty years old. So when little Jacob the heel catcher came out, holding onto Esau’s heel, they had been married for eighteen years. So again, we see what? God had reiterated the promise, but how long did it take God to work again? Well, with Abraham it took about twenty-five years. But with this situation with Isaac and Jacob it took eighteen years.

And it just blows me away because often times it just takes God a long time to do what He wants to do. And I think, “Well, You are God. Why can’t You just do it right now?” And God is like, “Well, I could if I wanted to, but what I want to do is develop you. And I want to test your faith and develop your faith and test your relationship with Me. So it is going to take some time because you are the problem. And you are why it is taking so long.” And I am sitting here going, “God, why are You taking so long?” And God is really saying, “It is not Me, it is you. You are the one that needs more work.”

Isaac was the only patriarch that never left the land. Everybody else did. He stayed right in the land and never left. He stayed there and dug wells all over the place. Seven times it mentions that he dug wells. Went back and re-dug all the wells that Abraham had dug that the Philistines had filled up with dirt. He went back and just uncovered them all. So, it is quite interesting there. And even his enemy Abimelech was made to live at peace with him

And certainly in Isaac’s life, Proverbs 16:7 came true. It says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord even his enemies are at peace with him.” And so this guy that hated him actually became at peace with him. And he never left the land. He was there. Even receiving of his wife Rebekah was quite supernatural. But then he got Rebekah and it says here in Genesis 25:21, “Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer.” And Jacob and Esau were born, but God chose Jacob. So this is now eighty-five years from the original promise made to Abraham, but God is still building His nation.

Now let’s look just briefly at the offering of Isaac before we move on. We will compare Mount Moriah with Mount Calvary. (The following charts are being reviewed by the instructor as he teaches this section of the lesson.)

The Offering of Isaac

In Genesis 22 we read: “Take now thy son.” But at the cross we read God has spoken to us “by His Son.” On Mount Moriah it was: “Thine only son.” But we read at Calvary: “God gave His only begotten Son.” At Mount Moriah it was: “Thy son whom thou lovest.” And we read in John 1:18, “The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father.” And He said to Abraham, “Get thee into the land of Moriah.” And we read, “Solomon began to build the house of the Lord…in Mount Moriah” (2 Chronicles 3:1), the place the temple sacrifices were offered, which they believe today was actually Golgotha, where the cross took place.

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In Genesis 22:2 it says, “Upon one of the mountains that I will tell you of.” And in Luke 23:33 it says, “And when they were come to place which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him.” Regarding Isaac it says, “And offer him there a burnt offering.” Hebrews 10:10 says, “Sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Genesis 22:4 says, “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and he saw the place afar off.” And in Acts 3:18, “God before has shown by the mouth of all His prophets that Christ should suffer.” So the Father knew from the foundation of the world, He saw from afar off that His Son would suffer. Abraham also saw from afar off.

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Genesis 22:6 says, “And Abraham took the wood and the burnt offering and laid it upon Isaac his son. And they went, both of them together.” And it says of Christ, “He bearing His cross went forth” (John 18:11). “Therefore doth My Father love Me because I lay down My life. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself…This commandment have I received of My Father” (John 10:17-18). So it was Jesus and the Father together that laid Jesus’ life down, even as Abraham and Isaac went together. In Genesis 22:7 Abraham asks, “Where is a lamb for a burnt offering?” And we read in John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb which taketh away the sin of the world”—the Lamb of God.

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And verse 8, “God will provide Himself the Lamb. So they went both of them together.” Well Revelation 13:8 says, “The lamb was slain from the foundation of the world.” He said in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God.” God provided His Son. And Jesus said, “A body You have provided for Me.” Then Genesis 22:9, Abraham built an altar there and he bound Isaac his son and laid him upon the altar upon the wood.” Acts 2:23 says, “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” Then Isaiah 53:6, “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” so God planned it.

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Genesis 22:10, “And Abraham stretched forth his hand and he took the knife to slay his son.” And we read in Isaiah 53:10, “And it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” Then Matthew 27:46 says, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Genesis 22:11, “And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven.” But the contrast is that with Christ, no voice from heaven was heard, only: “He saved others, Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:42). And “Thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son,” God said to Abram in verse 12. And when God speaks of deep grief, He compares it to the loss of an only son, like in Jeremiah 6:26. So God knows what it is like to have that kind of commitment.

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“And Abraham took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son” (Genesis 22:14). “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter…He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:7, 11).

So Isaac was a type of Christ and the promise was reiterated to him. But then after Isaac came Jacob. Jacob stole the blessing, obviously, yet God used him. He was quite a character. Now Jacob received the promise and then he received his wife, Rachel. She was barren though, too. So Abraham’s wife was barren, Isaac’s wife was barren, Jacob’s wife was barren.

But Jacob had twelve sons from four wives. So here is how it happened. Jacob’s wives and children were: Leah, she had Ruben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Isaachar, and Zebulun. And I will tell you, that is quite a story when you read it there in Genesis 30 and how that Leah had the first kids. And then Rachel got jealous and so Rachel went and got Bilhah, her concubine and said, “Here have some kids through my concubine.” So Bilhah had two kids, Dan and Naphtali. And then Leah had another kid or two. And then Leah stopped for a while and she got a bit jealous. So she said, “Well, I am going to go get my concubine, Zilpah.” And Zilpah had Gad and Asher. Then later Leah began to bear some more. So it was like the race was on. All four of these women were like—particularly the two Leah and Rachel were like, “We are going to have kids for Jacob.” And so Jacob ended up with twelve sons from four different women. And you go, “What is up with that?”

And that is how God built the nation. Right now He is just doing extended family. And you go, “What? I mean, that seems a little strange, doesn’t it?” But yet that is how God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. I mean, I would have never dreamed this would have been part of the story of redemption. Much less, the fact that the tribe that Jesus came from was what?—Judah. And Judah was from Leah. And Leah is not even the woman he wanted to marry. You know, Jacob got tricked by Laban. He wanted Rachel and you know the story. On his wedding night, he pulls the veil off and it is like, “Leah, what are you doing here?” “Well, I am the oldest and you get me first. You get Rachel later.”

You know that story with Judah in Genesis 38. What an amazing story with Judah and Tamar! Remember that? How Judah was out and he had to go check on the sheep. And Tamar was out playing the role of a prostitute. And Judah turned aside and went unto Tamar and had relations with her. And she says, “You have got to give me something. Give me your signet ring. Give me your staff. Give me your cords.” Judah did and He said, “I will get them when I come back.” But you know, things happen and you don’t come back that way or you come back and she is not there. He is looking for her and three months later she starts showing that she is pregnant. And they bring attention to it and they say, “Look, this woman is pregnant by harlotry. We need to—she is supposed to have been your son’s wife.” And he says, “Well, burn the woman! If she is pregnant by her harlotry, just take her out and burn the girl. She ought to be burnt.” And then she comes forward and says, “Well, I am pregnant by the guy that gave me this signet ring, these cords, and this staff.” And he goes, “Ah. You mean, you were the one dressed like a harlot up by—I have slept with my son’s wife? And she is pregnant.” It is through this seed that Jesus Christ comes? And you go, “Man, isn’t that weird?”

But this is showing how fully Jesus identified with us as sinners and how fully the true God, who is without sin, humbled Himself to be associated with you and me. I tell you, there are some messed up families. This is the bloodline of Jesus Christ. It went from Adam to Noah to Abraham, and then to Isaac and then to Jacob and then to Judah and then to David and then to Christ. That is the bloodline.

And so right here in the middle of this whole messed-up, extended family, God is still building a nation—trying to—and to bring forth the Messiah. So, if God can work through such messed up situations as this, don’t you think He can work through your life? I do. You say, “Well, my life is messed up.” Well, so what? It is not as messed up as you think it is. There is nothing too difficult for the Lord. He can really work in unique ways.

And so, what is the one thing these women have in common? Well, you know, they cannot have kids. And God is always referring to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “I am the God of the three guys who had wives who could not have babies. That is who I am. But, because I am supernatural, eventually in My time…” You see, and that is the thing. He makes all things beautiful in His time. We always want it right now. But in His time, God brought about things He had promised.

Tribal Framework

All right, Scene Two. That was the end of Scene One. We have eleven scenes to go through in Act One. Obviously we are not going to get to them today. But in Scene Two, God builds a tribal framework and it is from the sons of Jacob. There must be a foundation or a structure to build a nation on.

So Joseph is seen as the preserver as God takes His people into Egypt. He sends Joseph on ahead. Joseph is sold into slavery, gets down into Egypt and rises up to be second in the nation. Was that a God thing, or what? Yeah. I mean, that is pretty amazing. And he is just going ahead and preparing the way for this nation to come down because God wants His people down in slavery in Egypt. And you say, “He does?” Yeah, God’s plan is that His people go down into slavery in Egypt. And all the persons of the house of Jacob that came into Egypt were seventy. Is there a nation yet? No. This is not a nation. There are seventy people in this big extended family all fighting with each other. This is the beginning of the nation.

Can you imagine, ladies, being one of four wives? Married to the same guy and each of you has kids by the same guy and you are all trying to live in tents together? Can you imagine what that would be like? And that is how God starts the nation? Man, I cannot imagine it.

How does God create the nation? He has to first obtain a people with a language, right? Because to have a nation you have to have three things, right? People with a language, is the first thing. Does God have a people with a language yet? No. What has He got? He has got a family that just has seventy people in it. That is a start.


So in Scene Three, what is God going to do? Well, He is going to multiply the people in Egypt. Does it work? Yeah, it pretty much does, doesn’t it? He gets this people and He multiplies them because (this is Scene Three) He has got to build a nation.

How long were they there? Four hundred years. Now, what did they do? Those seventy people who went in came out 400 years later and how many people came out 400 years later? Josephus and others say three million. There are some liberal scholars who say it was only a million and a half. You know, but whether there was a million and a half or three million—I tend to lean toward the more conservative view that it was around two and a half to three million.

For 400 years and all they did in slavery was make bricks and babies because there was not anything else for a slave to do. They did not have video games. They worked and made bricks during the day. They got off. When they went home at night they did not have any recreation. It was not like they had basketball courts and stuff like that for them. They were just slaves. So you are sitting home at night, well, what do you do? So for 400 years under the protection of Egypt because they were in slavery and they did not have anything else they could do—and the more help you had, the better it was, wasn’t it?

I mean, they were out there making bricks. And they finally said, “You got to make bricks. We are not even going to give you straw to make bricks. You got to even go get your own straw.” And it was like, “What? We need a larger family. We need more help.” It is kind of like the agriculture days, you know, when you had big farms. And when you had big farms, you had big families because you needed the help, didn’t you? Today it is the opposite. You can hardly afford to have kids. It is like, man. So the families have gotten smaller because of the way society is organized. But it used to be the more kids you had the better because they needed to work the farm.

Well, in slavery they needed as many as they could get. Somebody had to do the work. So for 400 years God just made a people. And at the end of 400 years there is two and a half to three million people and these people have a language. And it was all because of slavery.

Now, the Egyptians tried infanticide. They tried to get rid of them. They tried to kill all the babies as they were being born at one point. Remember? They said, “We have got to stop this nation. This nation is growing too big. What we need to do is kill all of these boys.” And so they started killing all the babies to keep the nation down from getting too big. But God still interceded and the nation grew to this huge nation. So God has got a people with a language finally. God is at work.

Now I doubt during those 400 years when they were making bricks during the day and babies at night, they all stopped now and then and said, “Well, you know, God is at work. This is really God, isn’t it?” I mean, if you had been there would you have stopped and said, “Boy, isn’t it good that God is at work?” Would you have ever said that? I doubt it. Matter of fact you would probably have thought, “I wonder what ever happened to our God? I wonder where He is at?” And yet God was working.

How many times is this true in your own life now? You are going, “I wonder what happened to God. I wonder where He is at.” And God is working. You feel like you are in slavery but God is at work.

And He is building a nation and that is way He does it. First He gets a people.

Moses The Leader

All right, Scene Four. They have got a people with a language. What do they need next for a nation? They need leadership. They need laws. And so He brings Moses on the scene. He is going to provide Israel with a leader.

And in Exodus 2, Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house by no small accident but by the sovereign plan of God as his mother sends him down the river, you know, in the bulrushes. And the king’s daughter’s handmaid finds him and brings him in. Moses gets raised with the best education and the best opportunities of anybody. And God is providing initial training for the leader of the nation. He sends him to the best schools in all the world for forty years. He just gets training like nobody has an opportunity to have training. What a blessing in many ways. But it was also a curse in some ways, obviously. But do not make light of the fact that he really got trained. And God is using a pagan nation to train His leader.

You think God would send somebody to a secular college? Sure He would. God uses a pagan nation to train this guy, in Acts 7:22. His education includes athletics, art, writing, music, geometry, literature, law, astronomy, medicine and philosophy. That is what we know of that is in writing that they would have to take at the time of Moses if they were trained in the schools of Egypt. He was taking all those subjects.

When he got through he could have chosen a career in official life or literary life. He could have been a soldier. He could have been anything he wanted to. He had the best schooling and training that any money could have bought.

Now, what happens is Moses tries to take leadership a bit early. It is not God’s time. And it is described in Acts 7:23-29, it says:

Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian, for he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. And then next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them saying, “Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?” But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away saying, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?” Then at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.

So it was like he knew God had called him to leadership. He started to step up to the plate to be the leader. And everybody else did not understand that he was called to leadership. Plus, he realized people knew he had killed this Egyptian. He thought, “Man, I am in trouble.” And so he just fled in fear and went out in to the desert.

But God wanted to use that too. Why?—because God has got to have a man that will rule for Him. God has to have a man that will cooperate with Him.

So God appears to him in the desert and says, “Look, I am glad you got the good education—matter of fact, I am the one that sovereignly led you into that home and that family so that you could go to these kind of schools and be educated so that later you could be a leader of My people. But there is something you missed in all that education you still have to get. And that is you need to learn how to humble yourself and rule for Me. And I am going to teach you that out in the desert. I am going to make you so dependent on Me that when I get through with you, you won’t want to do anything except the things I want you to do. But then you will have the ability to do it, because you have the training of both worlds, you might say. So you have been really blessed.” So God is going to use Moses and make him the great deliverer. And He does.

So the issue has always been and still is today, God wants somebody to rule for Him.

But what kind of ruler is Moses? He is a reluctant leader. He says, “Who am I? I mean, why should I do it? My family is nothing special. Why should I be the leader?” And he thinks of reasons why he should not be the leader.

And then he says, “What shall I say? I have never been—the one thing I was not good in was speech class. Give me a geometry problem. I can do that. But I cannot speak. What am I going to say? And even if I was to speak,” he says, “they are not going to believe me. And I am not eloquent in the presentation of it.”

So, I mean, he was very reluctant in his leadership. But God has a plan and He is training Moses. So he spends forty years as a dignitary. He spends forty years as a desert shepherd. And then he spends forty years as the deliverer of Israel. What a unique position. He is the deliverer. He is the lawgiver. He is the builder. He is the commander in chief. He is the judge. He is the author of Genesis to Deuteronomy. And he is the inter-mediator between God and Israel. Now that is a unique fellow. God raised him up because He needed a leader to build a nation.

So what has to happen? They’ve got to get out of the land because you cannot have a nation within a nation, can you? You’ve got to get out in order to have your own nation. So the people have to be brought out to function as an entity.

So God tells Abraham, “You are coming out.” And God is going to do it. He is going to deliver them from Egypt and bring redemption. So the beginning of the process takes place in Exodus 5. Pharaoh increases the pressure on the Jews. He is making life miserable. He is going to make it so miserable that they are actually going to be willing to leave. Because it is going to take a lot to move this many people out. But God is going to deliver them.

And He starts by just making them absolutely miserable. You think, “Well, that is not the way I want You to deliver me, Lord. Don’t make me miserable, please.” But that might be the way God chooses to deliver you.

And so finally Moses has to go and say, “Let my people go!” And Moses repeatedly asks Pharaoh to let his people go. Pharaoh repeatedly agrees and then he refuses. He basically lies. He says, “Okay I will do it.” Then he goes, “No, I won’t do it.”

So God unleashes His awesome power in the ten judgment blows against the Egyptians. And if you remember those plagues, He turns water into blood and frogs and lice and gnats and flies and boils and sores and hail and fire and locusts and three days of darkness and the death of the cattle and finally the death of the firstborn. And it is neat as God brings these plagues against Egypt showing that He is sovereign, He is in control. He attacks the very objects of Egyptian worship to show how very powerless they are. I mean, the Nile, the frog, the earth, the scarab beetle, the bull, the atmosphere, the sun, and Pharaoh himself, were all objects of worship in Egypt. And God just attacked every one of them and said, “I am the true God and I can get rid of these other gods any time I want.”

And then He institutes the Passover and says, “This is how we are going to get out of here.” And it is quite a unique thing. It must be a lamb. And we know Christ was the lamb. It has to be a spotless lamb. And Christ was spotless. And the blood has to be shed so there can be life. And Christ’s blood was shed that men might have life. And so they are delivered.

And so even there, we see God is going to deliver them but He is going to deliver them and make them a separate people. And one of the things that stands out about the Passover is that whole concept of how they had to go through and consecrate the place and bring the leaven out because there could be no leaven, no sin, no iniquity.

And that is how separate God wants His people. He wants a people that have no leaven, don’t have any sin in their life. He wants us to abstain even from all appearance of evil. That is how much God wants us separate. He wants a unique separate people to work through. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13). We are to abhor evil, to abstain from all the appearance of evil. These are things that God expects in our life because “a little leaven will leaven a whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). And so when we are in Christ, we are given that very righteousness of God in position. But it is also to become practical in our life. And He wants us to be separate. And as He delivers us He is expecting a separation, but it is found in Christ.

And so He gets them out of the land, delivers them with a great deliverance. And as He gets them out what He does is gives them a constitution for the nation in Exodus 20. Now they have laws to govern them. And no nation has ever had a constitution like this one. I mean, even our constitution is based largely on the Ten Commandments.

So at this point, you know, they have a people with a language. They have a leader in Moses. But they also have laws that are written down, the Ten Commandments given by God. And no nation has ever had a start like this. And it is sad that our nation has gotten to the point that we are removing the Ten Commandments from our court system. And you just wonder what in the world will we base our decisions on if we do not have the foundation of God to determine what is right and what is wrong? But they had it. God gave it to them. It was really neat.

They had what was called the Shema. Anybody know what the Shema is? Well, let’s read about it because it was so important to them. Turn to Deuteronomy 6 and let’s read the Shema. It was so important to the Jews that they follow God’s law that they had three things that helped them. One was called the Shema. The other was called the tefillin. And the third was called the mezuzah. What was the tefillin? Anybody remember? You find it in the New Testament in Matthew and the Gospels that Jesus referred to all the time. The tefillin were those Scriptures that they wrote on their hand, carried on their hand and on their head. They had certain portions of Scripture that were so important that they would actually tie them to their head and also wear them on their hand. That was the tefillin. So the law was so important to them, it had to be bound to their body. So they would put them in a little box, tie them onto their head, and put them in a box and tie them onto their hand. You know, sort of like, well, they carried their Bible everywhere they went. The law was that important to them that they had to have it just bound to their body.

Now they had the mezuzah also. And what was the mezuzah? When they went home, they had a little box of Scripture, a roll of Scripture, a scroll that was stuck up on the door that represented the law of God. And every time they went into the house, what did they have to do? They had to—normally what they would do was they would kiss their finger, you know, and then they would touch the mezuzah showing a sign of what? Devotion and love for God’s law. Or you could do it vice versa. You could touch the mezuzah and kiss your finger. Either way you were making that connection that you were devoted and in love with God’s law.

So they had the tefillin there bound to them and they had the mezuzah on their houses. But as little kids, when they first started, you might say elementary school or kindergarten, they had to memorize the Shema. And so let’s read the Scriptures that you would have had to memorize as a little kid. Because this is how they felt about God’s law. And there are three Scriptures. The first one is Deuteronomy 6:4-9, if you want to write them down. The second one is Deuteronomy 11:13-21. And the last one is Numbers 15:37-41. We are going to read them real quickly. Deuteronomy 6:4-9. This is the first one that they had to memorize.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NKJV)

So He was talking, obviously, about the tefillin and the mezuzah, wasn’t He? And that is why they developed these things because God had commanded that they actually do that. Write them on your head and your hand, so to speak. And put them on the front porch of your house. That was the first Scripture.

The second one that they memorized was Deuteronomy 11:13-21.

And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock that you may eat and be filled. Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the LORD'S anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you. Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. (NKJV)

So they had to memorize that. And then the last one was found in Numbers 15:37-41.

Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.” (NKJV)

Wow! Now, you know, we read how in Matthew 9 and all where the Pharisees were always lengthening their tassels to seem even more spiritual. But the purpose of the blue tassel was like, well, some people might wear a rubber band on their arm or they tie something on their foot or their arm. And it is to remind you to do something, right? You go, “Oh, yeah.” And so the tassels of blue were just to remind them that they had to do God’s Word. And it was so important that they follow His government and that they follow His law.

So they have been started as a nation from a guy from Ur of the Chaldees, one guy, builds up his family, you know, the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All their wives are barren but God does a supernatural thing. So God is beginning to work. He builds this tribal framework in Scene Two, and seventy people, this extended family takes off down into Egypt. But God has already gone before them and prepared the way by Joseph because God has plans for them.

They get down there and they end up staying for 400 years just making bricks and babies! And they come out with close to three million people and they are this huge nation with a language. They are a people but they are really not a nation yet because they don’t have any leadership. So God raises up Moses. And He prepared that. And He trained Moses for that. And along with that, He brings Moses to Sinai in chapter 19. You know, then in chapter 20 God gives him the Ten Commandments. And so they have this tremendous law. They have been delivered from Egypt. They are a people with a language and they have a law.

What is the one thing that they do not have yet that will make them finally like a real nation? They do not have a homeland. So, what we are going to look at next time is God’s people getting their land, because God is building a nation and to have a nation you have got to have this people with a language, laws and leadership, and then you have to have a homeland. And God is going to give it to them.

Now what is neat about what is going to happen in the last days is what? There is going to be one people. There is not going to be any more twain, Jeremiah says. But they are going to be one. There is not going to be a division. They are just going to be one people, not a north and a south, but they are going to be one people. And God is going to bring them back and He is going to write the law where?—on their hearts. So instead of it being worn on their hands and on their foreheads and put on the doorposts of their doors and stuff, when the Lord does the work in the last days with this nation, He is going to bring them back and He is going to write the laws on their hearts, and He is going to give them all the land that He promised from the very beginning.

And I believe that is going to happen. And there are a lot of people who say, “No, that is not going to happen. All of this stuff has been spiritualized and it is just happening in the church.” But the church is not promised a homeland here. It is promised heaven; that is our homeland. But the nation Israel has been promised a homeland here and I believe that, through Judah, through David, and finally Christ as a descendent, He will return and He will give them all these things. So it is pretty neat to see the Lord beginning to work.

So let’s pray. And I hope that you are beginning to see—and you will as time goes on. You will see more and more as we go through the class just the beauty of the history. I never really enjoyed history. I am not sure I still do, but—when I began to see the Lord working in history then it was like, wow, there is something to this! You know, being able to see God at work. And by knowing the past and seeing God work in history, maybe you can begin to see more of what God is actually doing right now today too. And when we see our place today in history, it can help us to focus on what is the priority of God’s heart and what He wants today.

Father, we thank You that You are the One that began the work and You are the One that is continuing to do the work. And not one promise is going to fail. And, I certainly know that there is a strengthening that goes on in my faith. When I go through the history and I realize that when you say you are going do that, it took you a while but you did it. Then you told the next guy that you were going do it and it still took you a little while and you did it. And then you did it in such a strange way sometimes that we would have never thought or figured out that that is the way you were going do it. But as I look at it now and I step back and see the larger picture of it, I go Wow, Lord. You do have a plan and you are wiser than I am at how it ought to work out and how it is going work out. What I really need to do is to just trust that you really love me. And because of your great love that you have proven in Christ, I can know that you are going to work things out in the best way for me and each person here can know that. We just want to stop and say to you Lord that we appreciate you choosing us. Sometimes we forget to just say thanks, because who are we? We are just like Abraham. The value is in the fact that you have called us. It goes beyond my thinking and ability to understand with my finite mind all that is involved in your sovereign choosing and calling. But I do know this, that it is wonderful to know that you have called me. I just want to say thank you for calling me. Pray that each person here will just walk through this day knowing your choosing of them and that you have plans. We do not want our own choice, Lord. We do not want our own plans. We want to separate like Abraham did. I don't even know how he did that apart from that you had a relationship with him, but we want the same thing. We want to be in your plan--right where you want us to be. And we want to be totally yielded, surrendered, and available so that you can use us. As we believe you, the way that Abraham believed you. And so, Lord, increase our faith as we look through the Word. Even at the big things and we step back and get a larger picture of it, Lord, it should just build us up in our faith knowing that not one promise will fail. You will do all You said You would do. And we see it. So now all the promises of God that are yea and amen in Christ Jesus are ours. Help us to hang onto them, to claim them, to hold them dear in our hearts, to walk by them and to be used by You. Open our eyes that we can see clearly for Your glory, Lord. That we can walk in just a real kind of faith that pleases You and trusts You fully and for our good that we can be a blessing to others. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.