JudaismNotes

JudaismNotes - Chapter 10 Judaism: Only God Is Eternal...

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C hapter 10 Judaism: Only God Is Eternal Having set the context for Judaism in our earlier study of Genesis 1-11, we will now continue our study by considering five stages of the history of Israel from Abraham to the return from Babylonian exile. Biblical history is the unfolding of man’s response to God’s revelation in creation and Scripture. Original creation was very good. It revealed the glory of God. Evil was permitted to serve God’s purpose. It deepened the revelation of God’s glory. Evil is allowed to work itself out in history in every form of unbelief and every cultural expression of unbelief. Biblical history unfolds through several epochs of apostasy, curse, deepened revelation and renewal 1. Abraham to Moses 2. Joshua to Judges 3. Kings 1 (Saul/David/Solomon) 4. Kings 2 (division to exile) 5. Exile to return We begin the first period with the call of Abraham which occurs in Genesis 12 (it is recommended that you read along in the Biblical text). God calls Abram (renamed Abraham later in the account) to leave his country, his family, and his land and in return is promised to be made into a great nation in the promised land and that through him all nations of the earth will be
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blessed. We need to think about the context of this call to Abraham: what is Abraham thinking, what is his view of history, and who does he think is calling him (who is God)? Abraham lived in Ur of the Chaldees, Old Babylon. Ur was one of the most prominent cities of the day and so would have been a center for civilization and all this entails for political, economic, and religious life. As you study Genesis chapters 12-23 you will read about the call of Abram, his travel out of his homeland and his time in Egypt, his separation from Lot and then his rescuing of Lot, and his interaction with the kings of the land and with Melchizedec, God’s covenant with Abram and the promise that God is Abram’s reward, Abram’s attempt to obtain an offspring with Hagar and the consequences of this, the covenant of circumcision and the change of Abram’s name to Abraham (father of many nations), the judgment of God on the cities of Sodom and Gommorah and the account of Lot’s family, Abraham’s interaction with the people of the land and the king Abimelech, the birth of Isaac, Abraham’s test of faith, and the death of Sarah. What we want to consider now is the nature of Abraham’s worldview which allowed him to understand God’s call to leave Ur, and what Abraham’s test of faith reveals about him and about faith (he is given the title “the Father of the Faithful”). By focusing on Abraham’s worldview we will come to a greater understanding of how these work in a more general sense and in application to ourselves. Abraham’s worldview consisted of his belief in God the creator, his understanding of
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JudaismNotes - Chapter 10 Judaism: Only God Is Eternal...

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