At the end of the Old Testament, the Israelites return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, relearn the law, and wait for the Promised One to come. In the New Testament, not only is the Temple rebuilt, but we see a fully functioning religious system, with Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, scribes, and rabbis. So how did this change happen? This podcast looks at the many political and religious changes that happened between the Old Testament and New Testament - changes that prepared the world for the Messiah.
Israel remained in exile for seventy years, but then things started to change! In three groups, Jews returned from exile to rebuild the temple, restore worship of God, and then rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. A mixture of hope and sadness marked this time as the Jews sought covenant faithfulness once again.
Photo by Ales Me on Unsplash
We only get a small glimpse of life in exile for the Israelites through the books of Ezekiel and Daniel. Each of these men prophesied both judgment and hope, though they had different audiences, and each one revealed a different part of God's plan for restoration.
In the last episode, we discussed the split of Israel into two nations: Israel and Judah. This episode looks at the kings who ruled Israel and Judah and the prophets who brought God's word to the people. Unfortunately, neither nation devoted themselves to the Lord, and both ultimately fell.
The picture with this episode is ruins of the Second Temple, which was actually built after the Jews returned from exile, and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. It was taken by my Mom when she visited Israel in 2020!
Solomon's kingship was a time of great prosperity for Israel. It seems like the promise is being fulfilled! But this episode reveals that Solomon wasn't the promised king. We look at Solomon's successor and how the Kingdom of Israel ultimately divides into two. How will God fulfill his promise now?
The last episode considered whether the Israelites following the law mediated by judges could solve the sin problem, and in this episode we turn to a new attempt to solve the sin problem - a king. Will a king be able to keep Israel on track? We look at Saul, David, and Solomon and see an amazing covenant that God makes with David.
The Israelites are now poised to enter the Promised Land, and it looks like the promise to Abraham is being fulfilled. This podcast looks at the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth as the Israelites enter the Promised Land, fight to possess it, and then attempt to follow the Law. Will the Law solve the sin problem?
On this episode I am joined by a special guest - my daughter Jamie! On this short Christmas episode, I look at a Christmas tradition which ties the story of the Bible to the magic of Christmas - the Jesse tree. Jamie helps me to explain what a Jesse tree is and how it helps us to prepare our hearts for the birth of the Messiah. The picture with the episode shows our tree, plus the ornaments that Jamie mentions!
The books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy can be hard to understand because they are full of rituals and laws that we don't totally understand. However, these books help us to understand what it takes for us to approach a holy God, and leave us with the question of whether a "theocracy" - a government by God - is what will bring people back into a relationship with God and solve the sin problem.
The last episode ended with the Israelites in Egypt. God's promise is threatened as the Israelites face the possibility of being wiped out by the Egyptians. This podcast shows God's miraculous rescue of His people, and the covenant He makes which will guide the nation for the rest of its history.
Here is the link to the blog post that is mentioned: https://bridgetogodsword.org/the-bible-story-and-plot/