the story of god’s people

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THE STORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE A Story of Ups and Downs… A Story of the People’s Unfaithfulness AND God’s Ongoing Faithfulness

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THE STORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE. A Story of Ups and Downs… A Story of the People’s Unfaithfulness AND God’s Ongoing Faithfulness. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE STORY…. 1290 B.C.—Exodus and Wilderness 1250 B.C.—Entrance into the Land 1050 B.C.—Beginning of Kingship - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: THE STORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE

THE STORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE

A Story of Ups and Downs… A Story of the People’s

Unfaithfulness AND God’s Ongoing Faithfulness

Page 2: THE STORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE STORY… 1290 B.C.—Exodus and Wilderness 1250 B.C.—Entrance into the Land 1050 B.C.—Beginning of Kingship 922 B.C.—Division between North and South 9th and 8th centuries—Prophets appeared

(Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah) 722 B.C.—NK (Israel) Falls to Assyria 587 B.C. – SK (Judah) Falls to Babylon Exilic prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel

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Now, approximately

700 years after Exodus from Egypt

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EXILE!—587 B.C.

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Leaders taken to Babylon—Some escaped to Egypt—

Poor and untrained stayed in Jerusalem

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DURING THE 500 YEARS AS A KINGDOM, A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY HAD DEVELOPED

• God had promised LAND

• God had established a DYNASTY (king)

• God “resided” in the TEMPLE in Jerusalem

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EXILE (587 B.C.)—the breakdown of all the systems in which the people trusted

• Loss of land

• Loss of king

• Loss of temple

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This creates a major theological crisis for the people of God!

• Confidence in God• Question of identity• Where do we go from here?

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The Historical AccountsThe Historical Accounts Chronicles – A look back to “the Chronicles – A look back to “the

good old days” – David good old days” – David Ezra-Nehemiah – rebuilding the Ezra-Nehemiah – rebuilding the

temple, the walls, and the faith of temple, the walls, and the faith of the peoplethe people

Esther – Courage and Hope – God Esther – Courage and Hope – God is with His people!is with His people!

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537 B.C.—The Return537 B.C.—The Return

Rise of Persian Rise of Persian Empire under Empire under CyrusCyrus

Edict of Cyrus—Edict of Cyrus—return to homeland return to homeland and relative and relative freedom to freedom to practice religion practice religion and customsand customs

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THE PRE-EMINENT PROBLEM: THE PRE-EMINENT PROBLEM: No Longer a NationNo Longer a Nation

THE PRE-THE PRE-EMINENT EMINENT QUESTION: QUESTION: Who are we? Who are we? What is our What is our identity?identity?

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WHAT WOULD YOU DO???WHAT WOULD YOU DO???

If you were the If you were the “vision team” of a “vision team” of a group returning group returning from exile, how from exile, how would you go would you go about trying to about trying to re-establish a re-establish a source of source of identity?identity?

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ARTICULATING AN IDENTITYARTICULATING AN IDENTITY

TEMPLE--People TEMPLE--People who worship Godwho worship God

TORAH--People of TORAH--People of a sacred writinga sacred writing

RELATION TO RELATION TO OTHERS--Insiders OTHERS--Insiders vs. Outsidersvs. Outsiders

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TEMPLE—People of Worship

• Foundation of new temple almost immediately under Sheshbazzar

• Temple completed 20 years later under the leadership of a new governor Zerubbabel and the encouragement of prophets, Haggai & Zechariah

• “Hymnbook of the Second Temple”--Psalms• New History—Chronicler’s History – a king

like David!

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TORAH—People of a Sacred TORAH—People of a Sacred WritingWriting

Ezra, a priest who Ezra, a priest who had grown up in had grown up in Persia (Babylon) Persia (Babylon) brings back the brings back the story that defines story that defines their identity—the their identity—the TORAH (teaching; TORAH (teaching; instruction)instruction)

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THE GREAT DILEMMA—What do we do with “outsiders”???

COMPETING VOICES•EXCLUSIVE???

The basic approach of Ezra and Nehemiah

• INCLUSIVE???

The short stories of Ruth and Jonah

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DISCOVERING A POST-EXILIC IDENTITY—537 B.C. Return from Exile

People of Worship—Rebuilding of Temple, Developing a Hymnbook, and Rewriting a History (temple completed by 515 B.C.)People of Written ScriptureTorah presented by Ezra the priest (450 B.C.)People in Relationship to Outsider—Exclusive approach by Ezra and Nehemiah; Inclusive approach by short stories of Ruth (Moabite) and Jonah (preacher to Assyria)

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DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FAITH DURING EXILE…

LAMENT—the honest expression of grief to God—no cover up to God!

HOPE—an understanding of creation as the LORD’s capacity to take chaos (like exile) and bring order

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Wisdom Literature Learning about life from

the God of creationDealing with Life’s Realities

Job, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs

Voicing Grief and HopePsalms, Lamentations, Song of Songs

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The Character of this Diverse Literature:

Dealing honestly with Life

Refusing to remove God from the equation

Willing to host alternative voices and viewpoints as the truth, the whole truth…

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Prophetic Voices in the postexilic period

Nahum – God’s judgment on Nineveh (contra Jonah)

Habakkuk – The just will live by His faithfulness!

Zephaniah – the Day of the Lord – judgment/salvation

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Prophetic Voices in the postexilic period

Haggai – encouraging the leaders to rebuild the temple

Zechariah – rebuilding, but also anticipating the Messianic Age

Malachi – let’s get things right, and prepare the way of the Lord

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Prophetic Voices in the postexilic period

God’s judgment is just!

Life after exile is tough!

Faith in God overcomes the toughest obstacles!

Faith = Undivided Loyalty!

God is coming! Get Ready!

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GROWING DIFFICULTIES OF THE FAITH GROWING DIFFICULTIES OF THE FAITH OVER A CENTURY (450-350 B.C.)OVER A CENTURY (450-350 B.C.)

FORMALISM: Temple Worship FORMALISM: Temple Worship increasingly gave way to practices increasingly gave way to practices without meaningwithout meaning

LEGALISM: Obedience to the Torah in LEGALISM: Obedience to the Torah in a narrow sense became the means to a narrow sense became the means to be the people of Yahwehbe the people of Yahweh

EXCLUSIVISM: Keeping outsiders EXCLUSIVISM: Keeping outsiders OUT became predominantOUT became predominant

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A NEW THREAT TO THIS A NEW THREAT TO THIS NEW IDENTITY!!!NEW IDENTITY!!!

THE RISE OF THE THE RISE OF THE GREEK EMPIRE GREEK EMPIRE under Alexander under Alexander the Great in 333 the Great in 333 B.C.B.C.

HELLENISM—HELLENISM—Greek language, Greek language, culture, and culture, and thoughtthought

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THE JEWS UNDER GREEK THE JEWS UNDER GREEK RULERULE

Alexander the Great dies 323 Alexander the Great dies 323 BCBC

Empire inherited by Empire inherited by successors:successors:Ptolemy – EGYPT Ptolemy – EGYPT

Annexed PalestineAnnexed Palestine Jews relocate to Jews relocate to

Egypt and adopt Egypt and adopt Greek cultureGreek culture

Septuagint (LXX)Septuagint (LXX) DiasporaDiaspora

Seleucids – Seleucids – SYRIA SYRIA

Antiochus III – Antiochus III – 198 defeated 198 defeated Egypt and Egypt and made Palestine made Palestine part of part of Seleucid Seleucid kingdomkingdom

Favorable Favorable period for the period for the Jewish peopleJewish people

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THE THREAT OF THE THREAT OF HELLINIZATIONHELLINIZATION

175 BC – 175 BC – Antiochus IV EpiphanesAntiochus IV Epiphanes

Return to Hellenization Return to Hellenization project, including worship of project, including worship of

Greek godsGreek gods

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HOW DO YOU HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO RESPOND TO

THIS THREAT???THIS THREAT???

HASIDIM—the people of HASIDIM—the people of hesedhesed (covenant (covenant

faithfulness)faithfulness)

‘‘the loyal and faithful the loyal and faithful ones’ones’

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FORMATION OF VARIOUS GROUPS

PHARISEES—out of power in the temple—therefore, quite liberal (wanted things to change); ‘in the world’ but not ‘of the world’—laws of separation

SADDUCEES—in power in the temple—therefore, very conservative (to preserve status quo)

ZEALOTS—take up military arms and fight ESSENES—withdraw to caves in the desert

and wait for God to do something himself

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ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES in 167 ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES in 167 B.C.B.C.

Outlawed JudaismOutlawed Judaism Looted the TempleLooted the Temple Built Acra – a Greek Built Acra – a Greek

citadel city to control citadel city to control JerusalemJerusalem

Persecution of JewsPersecution of Jews ABOMINATION OF ABOMINATION OF

DESOLATIONDESOLATION

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MATTATHIASMATTATHIASand his seven sonsand his seven sons

““Let all who are Let all who are zealous for Yahweh zealous for Yahweh come out and come out and fight!!!”fight!!!”

Judas “Maccabeus” Judas “Maccabeus” (the hammer), the (the hammer), the oldest son takes oldest son takes over—thus becomes over—thus becomes known as the known as the Maccabean Maccabean movementmovement

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Judas Maccabees defeats the Greek Judas Maccabees defeats the Greek army,army,

cleanses Temple, erects a new altar, cleanses Temple, erects a new altar, andand

rededicates the Temple in December rededicates the Temple in December 164 BC 164 BC

Miracle of the oil Miracle of the oil Lamps keep Lamps keep burning for eight burning for eight daysdays

““Festival of Festival of Lights”—HanukkahLights”—Hanukkah

Century of Jewish Century of Jewish independence (163-independence (163-63 B.C.)63 B.C.)

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RESPONSE TO PERSECUTION AND GREEK (323-63 BC) and then ROMAN POWER (63 BC)

APOCALYPTIC—a way of viewing the world and a literature that expressed that worldview

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Apocalyptic (literally meaning “to see or to reveal”) thought…

• Dualistic

• Expectation—God would eventually overthrow the world power and establish THE KINGDOM OF GOD

• Eschatology—”end times”

• Led by an “apocalyptic seer”

• Hidden, coded language

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THE BOOK OF DANIEL

• Stories to sustain a distinctive identity in a world gone mad

• Stories to give hope and courage to people of faith in times of deep crisis

• Stories to remind us of the ultimate triumph of God and God’s people, despite present circumstances or evidence

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AS THE STORY OF THE OLDER TESTAMENT ENDS:• People of God wrestling with the question of

identity – what does it mean to be the people of God in this world?

• People of God wrestling with the question of restoration – what is the kingdom of God going to look like in this world?

• People of God wrestling with the question of a King – When will God send us the promised Messiah (David-like King)?

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PREPARETHE WAYOF THE LORD…JESUS!

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Reading Quiz – Friday, Nov. 19 or Thursday, Nov. 18

• Chapter 18 (pp. 253-267) – 18 terms

• Chapter 19 (pp. 269-281) – 12 terms

• Chapter 20 (pp. 283-297) – 14 terms

• Chapter 21 (pp. 299-313) – 15 terms

• 58 pages of text…36 terms

• 24 matching questions

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