3. Biblical Overview: From Abraham to the Promised Land

Through the Bible

This is part of a series. You can see the other posts in it here.

What could God have done to prove to Adam and Eve that he was trustworthy?

It’s the same dilemma parents have with children when they get into their teenage years. Other voices and influences start crowding into their child’s life. The mother and father are not the all-knowing, God-like creatures they were before in the eyes of their younger son or daughter. How can parents show their children that mommy and daddy still know best? (if indeed we do)

At some point, parents have to let their children go so that they can learn for themselves whether their parents were right or not. They may need to make countless mistakes before they come back around to thinking, “You know, my parents weren’t as stupid as I thought they were.”

This is the problem with free will. If God told us that his way was the best way, how would we actually know that? Forever, we would wonder, “Is it really?”

So in the midst of a polytheistic world, where gods fought it out with each other or stayed in their particular locals, the one true God called a man named Abraham to follow him. Abraham and his children followed God in faith. As they did, the contrast between this God of Abraham and all the others would become more and more apparent.

God made lavish promises to Abraham and fulfilled them. He gave him a son even though their bodies were as good as dead when it came to procreation. (the Bible’s words, not mine).

The son had a son. Then that son had twelve sons who went on to become the fathers of the twelve tribes that made up Israel, the Jewish people – a people belonging to the one true God.

In Egypt

brown camel
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Through a series of unfortunate events that turned out to be fortunate in the end, this family of twelve sons and their father ended up in Egypt.

Things went well for awhile, but they began to really multiply over the next three or four hundred years. The Pharaoh, king of Egypt, began to freak out. First he decided to make them slaves. Then he tried depressing their numbers by have their newborn male children killed. This was all in an attempt to keep them under control.

The outcry from the Israelites to God about the whole situation became so great that God eventually sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt. Moses did a whole heap of crazy miracles that decimated Egypt, and the Jewish people got out of there.

In the Wilderness

dry canyon with narrow path in antelope valley
Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

The goal was to get all these Israelites – who now certainly made up a nation all by themselves – through the desert back to the place Abraham had made his home in centuries before. But along the way, God had a few lessons to teach them. He gave them a law to follow and tried to teach them to trust him. But just like generations before, it was three steps forward and two steps back. They flunked the classes quite a few times before finally getting it.

The schooling took an entire generation till finally, the Jewish people made it to their destination and were in the right frame of mind and heart to be God’s people in their new home, the Promised Land. They had to kick a few other people out before they could settle in (a most unsavory and complicated section of the Bible), but after they did, the place was theirs.

And everyone lived happily ever after? Of course not.

©2021 Catholic Anonymous

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