Sermons on Old Testament

Sermons on Old Testament

Purifying God’s Space: the Sin Offering

Leviticus opens with three chapters detailing instructions for three offerings central to the problem driving the book’s content – how will God manage His covenant with rebellious Israel? While the placement (and idea of sacrifices and offerings) might seem dull and antiquated to us, the first-place position of the offerings in the book and the amount of space dedicated to them indicates their importance in understanding God’s relationship with Israel. The purposes God gave to those offerings not only provided Israel…

A History of Division

The Bible introduces the Jewish monarchy through a story of rebellion, giving the impression the Israelite kings were a begrudging concession to a sinful request. Even though a story of mutiny introduces the kings, they occupy an important and prominent role in the Bible’s narrative – they serve as a kind of bridge between humanity’s fall from its role as rulers of God’s creation to Jesus, the messianic king through whom God will restore humanity to its position. This lesson continues our slow movement through the major blocks of the Bible’s story of humankind by considering the Israelite kings, the role God intended them to fill, and the reality of their legacy.

History of Division: Conquest and Judges

Judges 2: 11-19 The books of Joshua and Judges cover a long and dark period in Israel’s history. The story begins in a promising way, narrating the faithfulness of Joshua and the leaders who worked with him, before quickly moving into a summary of Israel’s cancer-like unfaithfulness that spread throughout the nation and nearly destroyed it. The dark realities of the nation during that time resulted in truly disturbing stories in the books. Our discomfort with those stories can, however, cause us to miss the insights they offer into humanity through its depiction of the relationships the Israelites had with themselves, with the people around them, and with God. This lesson considers the books of Joshua and Judges and explores what lessons they offer us.

A History of Division: Israel in the Wilderness

Movies occasionally produce characters whose identity becomes reduced to a memorable line. Consider, for example, the line, “I’ll be back” from the movie Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger voiced the line in his role as a robot from the future sent back in time to perform a mission and the now-iconic phrase captured his unfeeling commitment to accomplishing that task. God similarly reduces Israel’s identity in the story of their exodus from Egypt. Rather than using a phrase, however, God focuses on the nation’s responses to His activity in its life – they constantly grumbled against Him. This lesson considers Israel’s complaints recorded in the books of Exodus and Numbers, what insights it offers us into their relationship with God, and how their story offers us perspective on our own lives.

A History of Division: The Patriarchs

Genesis 18:16-19 –The Bible’s story opens with a compacted, yet masterfully narrated, account of God’s grand plan for humanity and of humanity’s rebellion against Him and His plan. God responded to humanity’s rebellion in a surprising way – He promised to bless the whole world through a man named Abraham. The introduction of Abraham results in the dramatic slowing of the Bible’s story as it traces the development of the promise through Abraham and his family. This lesson will consider Abraham’s family in the book of Genesis and their relationship to God and His promise as part of our ongoing series exploring the story of humanity in the Bible.

I Shall not Want

This lesson explores the well-know twenty-third psalm. The psalm, written by Israel’s king David, considers the confidence and security David felt in his relationship with God and offers insights into the blessings that await all others who enter into a relationship with God.

God’s Majesty in our Rule

This lesson explores Psalm 8, David’s poetic consideration of the important place God has given to humanity within His creation. David’s psalm offers us an important reminder of our importance to God and of the place He has given to us in His creation.

A Man after god’s Heart

The Bible identifies David as a man after God’s own heart yet it also reveals numerous failures that populated his life. This lesson will consider the balance between God’s praise of David and the problems that were a part of his life to help us better understand our own relationship with God.

Wise & Foolish Builders

Life will drastically change our plans. Those who wisely build their faith on what’s true about God aren’t immune to storms. Numbers 9 is a great reminder that life’s circumstances won’t change God’s nature or His promises. Is your faith founded in the unchanging and compassionate God?

God is…Holy

God censored Moses for failing to respect His holiness in Numbers chapter twenty, a censor that illustrates the importance of holiness to God’s identity. We will therefore consider that story as a starting point for thinking about God’s holiness and its meaning for our lives.

God is…Just and Merciful

God revealed Himself to Israel through His interactions with the nation and, in His response to the nation’s incident with the golden calf, He revealed both His justice and His mercy. This lesson explores that story to help us better understand God’s identity and its meaning for our lives.

God is Faithful

– This lesson continues our exploration of God’s character as revealed in the story of Moses by considering how God’s remembrance of His covenant with Abraham (Exodus 2:23-25) evidences the faithfulness that defines Him.

God is… King

God’s kingship offers one of the early, important things He reveals about Himself. This lesson considers God’s sovereign identity and begins a series exploring some of the things God revealed about Himself through Moses.

Moses’ Shining Face

Exodus records the curious incident of Moses’ face shining after he talked to God. Rather than an oddity in Israel’s history, the story offers another way God worked to reveal Himself to Israel and to readers of the Bible.

My Treasured Possession

Exodus 19:5-6 – God’s covenant with Israel sought to establish a relationship with God and the nation that, in turn, sought to (re)establish God’s relationship with the world. This lesson considers God’s relational agenda and what it means for us today.

You shall know that I am God

Exodus 6:7 This lesson considers God’s repeated announcement in the book of Exodus that He was going to reveal Himself to Israel, Egypt, and the world. In considering those announcements, the lesson will explore why God needed to reveal Himself and with that need tells us about both humanity and ourselves.

A King’s Lament

David’s lament over king Saul’s death in 1 Samuel 1 might seem surprising given the very difficult relationship between the two men. This lesson will explore David’s response to Saul’s death and consider what lessons it offers to us

Why the Law?

Leviticus details the laws God gave to Israel as part of His covenant relationship with them. The book’s record of those laws seems strange, arbitrary, and sometimes even cruel to modern readers, which raises the question in many peoples’ minds – why did God give those laws and what am I supposed to do with them today? This lesson considers a series of passages that outline a basic overview of God’s purposes in the law, purposes that help us understand its place in God’s Bible and in our lives today.