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The Old Testament Part 1

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
November 7, 2021 1:00 am

The Old Testament Part 1

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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November 7, 2021 1:00 am

Have you ever started to read your Bible from the beginning, only to get stuck in Leviticus? In this whirlwind tour of the first half of the Old Testament, Pastor Lutzer unveils the overarching narrative of the Scriptures and how you are part of God’s story. Imagine Earth as a grand stage where a very real drama is played out. In this message, you’ll come face to face with the seriousness of sin and catch a glimpse of God’s plan to rescue.   

 Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)

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Imagine the earth as a grand stage. Here, a great drama is being played out. But this drama is real. Long ago, mankind sinned, separating us from our Creator. God was not content letting His finest creation die without hope. So He set in motion a plan to redeem those that believe in the value of a great sacrifice, that of Jesus on the cross. Today, the drama begins. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly service of worship and teaching with Pastor Erwin Lutzer. Today, we begin a four-part overview of the entire Bible, and this series will trace the drama of redemption. Later in our broadcast, Erwin Lutzer will begin at the beginning as he speaks on The Old Testament, Part 1. Pastor Lutzer comes now to open today's service. We're glad that you have joined us today, and in a moment we're going to be singing together hymn number 23, number 23, The God of Abraham Prays. Our scripture reading today is by Earl Bowers. Earl and his wife, Joanne, have been involved here in The Moody Church for many years, and we thank you for their involvement, for their prayers, and Earl will be reading to us today.

Let's join together, and then we shall stand to sing. Father, as we stand here, we know that we cannot predict the future, but we thank you that no matter what happens, you will be there. Grant us, Father, both your favor and your grace. Create within us the determination that we should have to serve you acceptably all the days of our life, and no matter how many days you give us. Thank you for all who have come.

Thank you for those who are watching today by way of Internet. We ask your blessing upon them as well. In Jesus' name, amen. The eternal light and the home, True Lord of Abraham, Thine earth and heaven first, We now and bless the sacred name forever and ever. The fire who raised the fire, the great black angels sing, And holy, holy, holy, round all lives be clear, Who was and is the same, and ever more shall be. Eternal Father, great I am, we worship thee. The whole triumphant host, give thanks to God our God. If brother, son, and holy God may ever be kind, Hail, Abraham's love and fire, hail him now, softly raise, Oh, what a majesty our God had given us. We'll be reading from selected verses from Psalm 90.

Please join me on the bold print. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

You return man to the dust and say, Return, O children of man. For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. We are brought to an end by your anger, by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days pass away and under your wrath, we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty.

Yet their span is but toil and trouble, they are soon gone and we fly away. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Let your work be shown to your servants and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us.

Yes, establish the work of our hands. It is my faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with me. Thou changest not my compassions, they fail not, as thou hast been, not forever will be. Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. O I have been, in thy hand hath no my will, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Summer and winter and spring, time and darkness, sun, moon and stars with their voices above, joy with all nature, in man and home with bliss, to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. O I have been, in thy hand hath no my will, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

I am your spirit, each man and woman, I hold dear presence to cheer and to guide you, strength for today and pride for tomorrow. Blessings, O God, with ten thousand beside, great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. O I have been, in thy hand hath no my will, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. O I have been, in thy hand hath no my will, great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above all ye heavenly hosts, praise God with some and all ye hosts.

Amen. The Bible is a very remarkable book. On the one hand, it's rather simple.

I mean, we know all of the promises and the favorite passages of Scripture that we have, and we go back to those again and again. On the other hand, the Bible is very complicated, especially the Old Testament, because neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament, the books of the Bible, are not in chronological order. So if you begin to read it, it becomes a formidable task to put it all together.

It's something like a puzzle. And you have all of the pieces, but if you don't have the big picture on the box, you don't know where they fit. And you might benefit from it, but how much better if you can see the whole picture, the whole drama of redemption. There are many reasons why most Christians have never read through the Bible. One is they begin, and oftentimes this is done at the beginning of the year, though it doesn't have to start at that time, and they say to themselves, I'm going to read the Bible through, and they get through Genesis, they get through Exodus. Exodus is very difficult because all of those chapters about the priests and the temple and it becomes so difficult, and then they get to Leviticus. And in Leviticus, many a well-intentioned Christian has decided to stop.

It's never going to happen again after this message. I assure you, you'll never stop in Leviticus again. And so they don't go on.

Another reason is because if they miss once, they say to themselves or they get behind and they're not reading the Bible for a week, they say, well, you know, I have to wait until next year to start again. Don't do that. Pick up where you left off. And if you do that, even if you take two or three years to go through the Bible, go through it. Read it all. And the best way to do it is to read five chapters a day.

And if you read five chapters a day on some days when you have to skip or you forget or it doesn't work out, you're not going to be far behind because actually four chapters a day would get you through it perfectly fine. Now, the Bible is such a remarkable transforming book. I don't have this, but you ought to take notes right now. Grab your pen, because I'm going to give you three questions you should always ask as you sit down to read the Bible, because when you're finished reading it, you should take something from it, something that you can think about all day.

And now that you have your pen handy, let me give you the three questions. Question number one is, does this teach me anything about God? What does it teach me about God? Number two, is there a promise that I must believe? And number three is, is there a command that I must obey? What does it teach me about God? Is there a promise I must believe?

Is there a command I must obey? And you ought to be able to answer at least one of those questions, hopefully all three, after you've had your morning reading. Now, the Bible is going to change you. Some of you, one day I was struggling with my thought life and I said, Lord, why do I struggle so much? And just like that, the verse of Scripture came to me from John 15. Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken on to you. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way by taking heed thereto according to thy word?

And it dawned on me I wasn't in the word, because the word cleanses, the word keeps us, the word guides us. This is what the Bible says about itself and how true it is. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure and righteous altogether, more to be desired than gold. Yea, then much fine gold, even at $1,100 an ounce. More are they to be desired than gold.

Yea, then much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them as thy servant warned and in keeping them, there is great reward. You are going to be changed. You're going to be transformed, because everybody, unless you're a child, everybody, let's just all agree that we're going to read our Bibles from cover to cover. How many of you say, yes, we are agreed?

Could I see your hands, please? All right, and the rest of you, may you not sleep well until you agree. Now what I'm going to do in the next two messages is to cover the entire Old Testament. Today we're going to look at more than a thousand years of interesting history, not boring history, but interesting history. And in order for us to do it, and in order for us to have all the books of the Bible put together for us, you have a chart today in your bulletin, and I want you to take it out at this time. This chart was lovingly prepared by the pastoral staff. It is a very special chart. It has been worked on for hours, and this chart will enable you in your reading to know where the various books fit.

Please don't leave it in your bulletin. Put it in your Bible and bring it for the next three Sundays after this Sunday, because we're going to spend two on the Old Testament, two on the New. The last one on the New is in 30 minutes I'm going to take you through entirely the book of Revelation.

In 30 minutes we're going to dissect it, put it in its context, and you will be blessed. So today we begin the Old Testament. We begin with the book of Genesis. Now many of you may not have realized that the book of Job is one of the oldest books of the Bible, and that's why on your chart you'll notice it is concurrent with Genesis. The way in which to read this chart is to understand that there are books that carry the Bible storyline forward, and then there are lots of supporting books.

They support the storyline, and it's all worked out for you on this chart. So let's begin with the book of Genesis. Genesis 1, 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In those 10 words, the whole basis of science is evident. In the beginning, time, God, personality, created is force. The heavens refer to space, the earth, matter.

Everything is there. And what does it tell us about God? It tells us that he is self-existent. It tells us that he is sovereign, he created out of nothing. It also tells us that everything is created by God and is going to be for his glory.

And we're going to see that we are part of the Bible's story, the bigger story of the glory of God and his purposes. The other day someone asked me, who created the devil? The answer is God. Now, he wasn't the devil when God created him. He was an angel, but he fell and became the devil. But there is nothing that exists that doesn't exist under God's sovereign control.

And it's not about you, and it's not about me, it's about him. But thankfully, because of his grace, we fit into the picture. So first of all, you have creation. Then you have the fall in Genesis chapter 3.

And what a tragedy that is. If you don't understand the fall of man into sin, you're going to be off base as you read the rest of the Bible. God takes sin seriously. And because it is against him, he has been grievously offended.

Steve Mason, one of our pastors, uses this illustration. If you throw a snowball at your brother, you probably won't be arrested. But if you throw a snowball at the president of the United States, you're in trouble. The sin of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve opted for independence, that sin is grievous. And as a result, it was as if they hit a string of dominoes. And you think of all of the things that happened because they decided self-determination. And you see, the rest of the story of history and of psychology is basically mankind finding some way to minimize and manage the grievousness of his sin. And sin is going to be the issue that God is going to deal with in the rest of the Bible so that we can be reconciled to a holy God. What a story it is. That's why I'm so glad you're listening. Now, I am going to ask you to turn to one verse of Scripture.

Only one. And that is in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15. I won't refer to it.

That is to say, I won't turn to it because I think I do know it by memory. But in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15, God says this to the serpent. Remember, Satan came to Adam and Eve in the guise of a serpent. God says, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed, and he shall crush you on the head and you shall nip his heel.

What Jesus is saying there, what God is saying is that a redeemer is going to come through the seed of a woman who is going to crush the serpent's head and who is going to be the means of our reconciliation. And now the rest of the Bible storyline is going to be the outworking of how all that is going to happen in history. So what we have now is creation. We have the fall, which is huge, and then comes the flood because God said, I will not endlessly strive with man in his wickedness.

Man left to himself will perform every imaginable kind of evil. And that's what the Bible says happened there in the book of Genesis. And God decided to drown everyone except Noah.

And Noah and his family is there in the Ark, and that Ark really becomes already a picture of redemption. The scripture says in Genesis 6 14 that when Noah built the Ark, he had pitch put on it. Pitch is tar.

And what he did is he tarred all of the boards so that it wouldn't leak. And the word pitch in Hebrew has the very same root. It means to cover. It has the very same root as the word atonement, because you see, it is the pitch that prevented the judgment of God, namely the water from coming into the ark and drowning them as well. And it is the atonement that God is going to provide that is going to keep us from his judgment so that we will not fall into condemnation but can be reconciled to a holy God. And so you have the flood. After that, as you look in the book of Genesis, and now we're in chapter 12, you have the call of Abraham. Abraham is in Ur of the Chaldees. And being in Ur, he comes to the land that we call the land of Israel. This land is going to be the one that is going to be the place where the whole drama of redemption is going to be acted out.

It's the most important piece of real estate in the whole world and still is, because here eventually the Redeemer is going to be born and salvation is going to come. Now God said to Abraham, he said, Abraham, I'm going to make of you a great nation. And he says also through you all the families of the earth will be blessed. So the seed of the woman is now being clarified that it's going to come through the lineage of Abraham by God's sovereign choice. So you have Abraham and he's in the land. You have Abraham, you have Isaac, and then you have Jacob. And Jacob has a number of sons and one of them by the name of Joseph goes into the land of Egypt. And eventually as Joseph goes into the land of Egypt, and I assume you know the story, Joseph now becomes the means that God will use to get the whole family, the whole family of Jacob into the land of Egypt. And there over a period of 400 years, they will become a nation and they are going to experience hardship and the Pharaoh is going to work against them.

But God is developing them and God is leading them. So that leads us now to the end of the book of Genesis. Exodus is the next book. In Exodus, God raises up a Deliverer by the name of Moses. And Moses comes and in the book of Exodus there are two marvelous examples of redemption that God has. The first example of redemption is of course the Passover. As they come out of Egypt, the Passover is going to become now the type of God's spiritual deliverance. And so they leave Egypt and they come into the promised land, though it takes them a while to get there, and that Passover is going to become critical in the life of the nation. And centuries later Jesus is going to have the Passover with the disciples and then he'll invest it with new meaning and say this cup is the cup of the new covenant in my blood, this drink in remembrance of me.

And he will take the symbolism of the Passover and he will explain it in a new way because he is the fulfillment of it. And then in addition to the Passover you have the tabernacle. Now the tabernacle during the day they were led by a cloud. At night they were led by a pillar of fire. And as you see what happens is all of the tents were around this tabernacle, explained in the book of Exodus. And the tabernacle had in it the Ark because God was going to be localized in the Ark. And if you get hung up in the book of Exodus then it's important for you to realize that God is saying number one sin is serious and you can't handle it.

But sin is serious I will provide the way by which you can access me. People say well you know I don't like this idea that there's only one way to God. I'm sorry but God has not consulted with you as to what your view is. All that we can do is to say that this is the way in which God worked it out and thankfully Jesus becomes the fulfillment of the whole thing. And so we have the book of Exodus. Now we get to the famous book of Leviticus.

The place where people diligently read and then they come across offerings and sacrifices and priestly requirements and hygiene ideas and commands and they come to a certain kind of cloth you know don't mix different fabrics together and they're saying what is this? So I'm going to help you with Leviticus right now. First of all always remember never open the Bible to read it unless you have first of all prayed Psalm 119 verse 18. Always pray that before you open the Bible you pray it Lord open down mine eyes that I might behold a wondrous things out of thy law. And there's no time when you need that more than when you enter the book of Leviticus. Now I need to tell you that it is okay it is okay for you to speed read some sections in the Bible. Now for years I was bound I was thinking well you know this is God's Word I have to read every chapter in every line. When you get to books like the book of Leviticus it is okay to read it quickly and get the gist of it without pausing to try to understand it all. I have seen Washington DC on the ground my wife and I have been there and we looked at the different buildings as we walk through most of Washington DC but I've also seen Washington DC from an airplane and when you see it from an airplane it is not disrespectful to say I'm not stopping to look at all of the buildings I'm not trying to figure out all of the things and the symbolism of what the buildings mean I'm just getting the general plan and when you come to the book of Leviticus what you want is the general plan and you say that there were sacrifices and there were requirements and so forth always remember the bottom line. The bottom line is this God is giving rituals in Exodus and Leviticus he is giving rituals that enable him to dwell with his people without being contaminated with their sin and without compromising his holiness and justice that's the whole point and then when you read it thank God for Jesus because he fulfills it all and that's why we no longer practice these rituals these were intended to be a picture of the real thing you know there's a big difference between having a picture of someone and then the real person showing up on the stage God says in the Old Testament I'm going to show you how holy I am the word holiness occurs 87 times in Leviticus the word sin occurs even more times than that you have to understand that I am holy and you're sinful and I'm giving you a way by which you and I can exist together without me being contaminated by your sin or compromising my holiness and that's the way you need to do it now I'm going to I wish I had all of you slow readers in a room for 10 minutes if I had all the slow readers in a room for 10 minutes I could help you but you know what I'm going to take out two or three minutes to just help you if you're a slow reader listen if you're a slow reader you know what that means you read one sentence and then you have to read it again because you forget what you just read isn't that true of slow readers I'm going to deliver you from that right now I'm going to give you two or three minutes no extra offering taken it's all free today here it is if you're a slow reader oh I'm glad that 35 years ago somebody explained this to me what you do is you take a book not the Bible but another book maybe you want to use one that I've written and speed read it okay all right now here's what you do is you read very quickly and you don't read line by line you zigzag all the way through grasping as many ideas as you can what you're after is ideas you turn the page maybe you're reading a hundred words a minute now you're reading 500 words a minute and you just keep reading 500 words a minute page after page after page get the main idea and read now you do that for 10 or 15 minutes a day for three weeks then if you are reading a hundred and now you're reading 500 what you do is you go back to 250 words a minute which is more than double of what you were doing and you'll find out that you are picking up all the ideas your eyes can handle it your mind can handle it and you'll have doubled your reading speed just that fast you can do it in three weeks break the habit of being a slow reader and understand that there are some passages in the Bible that you can scan and get the main gist of it also when you get to the prophets sometimes chapter after chapter they're hammering against idolatry but at but keep reading all right so much now for the book of Leviticus it is a manual for the priests that's what it was and notice according to your chart Leviticus does not advance the Bible storyline why it supports it numbers they're getting ready to go back into the land Deuteronomy is a recap it's a recap of what happened and it's Moses farewell speech so that doesn't really advance the storyline either so notice in your chart it occurs at the bottom now under Joshua in the book of Joshua they re-enter the same land they've been in the wilderness for 40 years now though over the Jordan River they enter into the land and the land is conquered and it is divided up under Joshua but but remember this there are still pockets of resistance some of the Canaanites are still left in the land by design God says I'm leaving them there so that so that they can test you God always leaves some enemies for Christians that's why he doesn't exterminate the devil the devil exists for the glory and the happiness and the victory of God's Saints same reason why the Canaanites existed in Canaan now after they are there the period of the judges you see the judges are Israel trying to find leaders that will help them in their fight against the Canaanites because these warring tribes continue to become very strong when you get to first Samuel first Samuel is basically the story of Israel's first king namely Saul and Saul turns out to be a great disappointment but the people wanted a king and so God says I'm giving you Saul and David begins to enter into the picture though his story is most prominently displayed in second Samuel second Samuel is the story of David and when you get to David God gives another covenant to David and God says David I'm going to through your seed give you a son who is going to rule forever and it turns out to be Jesus that's why you see the angel comes to Mary centuries later and says he shall be great he shall be the son of the most high the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David there you have the fulfillment of the Davidic promise the beginning of the fulfillment of it so David gets a special revelation from God and then what you have is his famous son Solomon and that opens first Kings Solomon turns out to be a great builder and he builds a temple in Jerusalem and it was extravagant if you'd have gone inside of it you'd have seen all the gold that Solomon had there because he loved to do things in a big way he sacrificed thousands of animals and Solomon also is one of the wisest people in the world he is such a he's a psychologist dream to analyze because he is so wise he writes books such as Proverbs most of them were written by him Ecclesiastes Song of Solomon all of those books relate to Solomon and the temple now if you go to Jerusalem and you have a guide the guide will always talk about the first temple period the first temple period the first temple period is the period of Solomon and let's suppose that he builds it in approximately 9 of 30 BC and now because we're BC we're going the numbers are going down as we get to the time of Christ 586 BC that temple is taken apart by the Babylonians as you'll understand in a moment and so that's a 350 year period roughly that's Israel's first temple period oh wait until next week don't even think about not being here next week because I'm going to explain Israel's second temple period and all of the intrigue that is involved there so that is Solomon and after Solomon dies he designates a son by the name of Rehoboam and says Rehoboam you become king now catch this okay Rehoboam is appointed by Solomon to be king the people come to him and say you know your dad really taxed us I mean how else do you build the temple and his hand was so oppressive in terms of taxation would you please reverse his policies and and take this oppressive taxation away Rehoboam says well give me time to figure this out I'll tell you in three days he goes to the old man and the old man say absolutely the taxes are too high cut them he goes to the young men and the young men said hey you know what you tell them your dad my dad taxed you but you ain't seen nothing yet it's going to get worse and so he goes to the people and takes the young man's advice and says under me things are going to be worse oh my you were under my father's thumb but you're going to be under my hand ten of the tribes ten of the tribes have a tea party and say absolutely not we're revolting and we're going to establish our own capital and this is the period of what we call the divided Kingdom what you have now is Samaria and Samaria is both a city as well as and a region and we're going to establish a capital in Samaria and we're going to have our own kings and we're going to have our own means of worship go to Jerusalem absolutely not we're going to build our own temple on Mount Zarek Mount I know the word so well Mount Gerizim that's the word sometimes the computer finds it difficult to spit all this stuff out we're going to have our own thing on Mount Gerizim we're not going to Jerusalem so from now on you have Judah in the south and some of the tribe of Benjamin and you have the ten tribes to the north under an entirely different King and in the book of first and second Kings which you have is two different lines of Kings you have kings who are ruling over Israel it always says and you have kings who are ruling from Judah namely from Jerusalem when you go to Israel as I studied there in 1968 I had the privilege I don't think tourists can do that today to actually go to Samaria the town of Samaria we were at Jacob's well and there in Samaria you still have the ruins of the palace and and who lived in that palace well Ahab did with his infamous wife Jezebel so you see you had kings like that ruling you had prophets like Elijah and Elisha going to a has and Ahab rather and telling him to repent and so forth and so you've got that whole history now you have another line of Kings beginning in Judah and you've got that whole history and the kingdoms are divided and it's during the time of the divided Kingdom you have all of the prophets arising because idolatry is everywhere people are are building shrines on every single hill and they are sacrificing to the pagan gods and they're doing it with a great deal of gusto and the prophets are saying judgment is coming judgment is coming and then you have false prophets that's why Jeremiah gives chapter after chapter about false prophets who are saying ah good times ahead nothing but prosperity and the false prophets are preaching that the true prophets are saying judgment judgment judgment judgment you take for example Isaiah one example he is in the southern kingdom he's going to be he's going to be exercising his ministry to the kings of the south in Jerusalem and it says the vision of Isaiah the son of Amos which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah jotham a has and hezekiah kings of Judah so there you are he had such a long ministry it spanned four or five different kings now what happens is this by the way look at your chart all this today for you do you notice that first and second chronicles don't advance the story because they are the same history as first and second kings except that they give a different perspective when you watch football do you notice that oftentimes they have two people there's one who calls the plays and then there's another guy in the booth to he's adding color commentary he's adding things that the other left out listen I was reading some chapters in chronicles to the other day they are so full and so rich I'm going to be receiving phone calls and all kinds of things thanking me that you got beyond Leviticus and you are now in chronicles because you are going to be blessed everybody's going to be blessed now what happens and look at this this is in your chart too I just can't believe this you'll notice that Israel is the north Judah is the south look at the bottom of your chart you see that diagram notice what happens in 722 BC to Israel the ten tribes Assyria comes down Assyria says we're going to conquer you Assyria takes 27,000 Jewish people that was a lot of people in those days and they take them to Assyria and what happens to them they are lost they're the ten lost tribes they were integrated into the other nations and and that's it years ago there was a group called the British Israelites the British Israelites were those who says that the people of Britain are the ten lost tribes but there's no evidence for that they are totally obliterated in the sense that their identity has been lost and what the Assyrians did is they brought other people that they had conquered to settle there in the land of Samaria centuries pass what we read in the New Testament the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans why because they were a mixed race they were Assyrians there were some Jews you know who still stayed in the land they intermarried they lost their identity they had pagan worship on Mount Gerizim and that's the end and Jesus comes and he has to go through Samaria the Bible says and there's a Samaritan woman who knows what her race was and he sits with her and he explains the gospel and she says our fathers worshipped in this mountain I remember being at Jacob's well you can't go there today unfortunately but sitting there in 1968 there is Mount Gerizim where they found the temple that they built there the shrine and G and she says our fathers worshipped in this mountain but you folks you Jews you say that in Jerusalem is the place to worship and Jesus said hey neither in Jerusalem nor here those who worship the Father must worship him in spirit and in truth wow what a powerful message so 722 they go off then what happens is you have the southern kingdom the kingdom of Judah that lasts about another hundred and thirty years remember that's where Solomon's temple was built we're talking about Jerusalem now and it is there that finally in 586 BC after the prophets just cry their hearts out repent repent repent judgment is coming the people say no no no we like our paganism better 586 BC through three separate campaigns Babylon comes and what you have is Solomon's beautiful temple destroyed so completely that we don't have any artifacts of it anymore the first temple period is over the 350 years that it lasted are gone first temple period finished so what happens is now everybody has to go to Babylon they're from the south the Jews who gets caught up who gets swept up in this judgment but people like Daniel remember this when you have a nation under judgment if God judges America economically as well he might Christians get caught up in this too we're part of the judgment so Daniel ends up and and he's in Shushan the palace there I mean he's telling us what's happening in the temple by the way excellent book to study not only because of its prophecy but he gives an example of how we have to live differently when we're surrounded by pagans who do not care about our rituals nobody in Babylon was keeping the Passover nobody in Babylon was concerned about the temple and so here you have Daniel and his friends and other righteous Jews living there for 70 years until God brings them back now what was of the temple by the way the temple was simply taking this tabernacle which initially was a building that could be moved it was like a tent and giving it a permanent home and Solomon had done that gloriously sometimes people say we shouldn't give money toward a building why let's give it to people well you know Solomon built that wonderful temple and God apparently was pleased because after the sacrifices you remember the glory of the Lord came upon it but now it's totally destroyed 70 years now they're going to be in Babylon and then they're going to be brought back this remnant and then God is going to pick up the story and let me say this next week I will pick up that story too where does this leave us what is the bottom line the bottom line is what God is trying to convey through all those books of the Old Testament is that sin is terrible human beings left to themselves will leave the true God and they'll worship idols and they'll enjoy doing it let me ask you a question all throughout the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom the big issue was idolatry they would have these shrines on the hill and they'd worship the different pagan gods someday I'm going to preach an entire message on this but what was the great attraction of idolatry why were they constantly going back to idols a couple of things first of all there was some financial benefit that I'll describe at some later time perhaps if God wills secondly this was a very highly sexualized kind of paganism and you will find people doing all that they possibly can to try to convince themselves that God is not upset with sexual immorality whether it is homosexual marriages or whether it is infidelity within marriage people will do everything to try to justify it and to say that God approves and paganism is waiting for people and paganism says yes you can live this way in this sexualized culture and you can still worship the true God too and the people bought the lie of course the major message is God's grace God's grace you see in our culture today politically correct and I know that what I've said today is not politically correct exactly but in our culture today people always ask this question why doesn't God just save everybody the Bible nowhere answers that question it answers an entirely different question namely how can God save anybody that's the issue because God is so holy we are such sinners that $64 question that is answered in the Bible is again how does a holy God connect with and how can his presence be among his people when they are sinners that's the big issue and by the way the presence of God is always the distinguishing mark of God's people always Old Testament New Testament when people walk into Moody Church what they should see and hear and as we sing they should say surely God is in that place it's always the presence of God and what God is saying is that sin is terrible and you can't come bumbling into his presence with your sin unless you have some way that that sin can be forgiven and cleansed and that's where Jesus comes in Jesus is going to be born centuries later and he's going to fulfill these Old Testament rituals and he is going to say to you that if you believe on me you'll be reconciled to God but if you don't the wrath of God abides on you no matter how content you are with your sinfulness the wrath of God abides on you the bottom line always has to do with how do we manage our sin that is the issue and with that today I close would you join me as we pray together father we thank you today that you found a way by which you could dwell with your people without compromising your holiness or being contaminated by us thank you for Jesus the one mediator between God and man and we asked today that in his grace that those who have listened to this message who have never trusted him as their Savior may do so right now even during this prayer may they say Jesus save me and for those of us who know him may we love him more because of all that he did for us as sinners thank you that the seed of the woman crushed the head of the serpent and we walk today in his victory we thank you in Jesus name Amen on today's Moody Church hour pastor Lutzer spoke on the Old Testament part one the first of four messages in a series on the drama of redemption next week our trip through the entire Bible continues as we complete our look at the Old Testament the drama of redemption series helps us make sense of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation we'd like to put this four-part series in your hands on either CD or DVD is our way of saying thanks for your gift of any amount to The Moody Church hour just call us at 1-800-215-5001 ask about the drama of redemption when you call 1-800-215-5001 or you can write to us at Moody Church media 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 also you can go online at moodyoffer.com that's moody offer all one word.com join us next week for another Moody Church hour with pastor Erwin Lutzer and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago this broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-26 13:29:54 / 2023-07-26 13:46:48 / 17

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