First Fifteen

The Big Story of the Bible

August 20, 2021 Ron Oltmanns Season 5 Episode 13
First Fifteen
The Big Story of the Bible
Show Notes

Stories draw us in.  It's hard to resist listening to a good story that is well told. Stories hold our interest.  What's less obvious is that stories shape us, inspire us and teach us important truths. There is great untapped power in the stories of the Bible. As we learn to pray them we can grow closer to God and experience a growing faith too.
 
In season five we're learning to listen to and pray Bible stories or narratives.  We plunged into the beginning of the story of Samuel first then turned back to Genesis to the beginning of it all.  On today's episode we zoom out to take in the overall storyline of the entire Bible. 

In our podcast we take time to listen to God's word, reflect on it and then pray it back to God as well as carry that word with us through the rest of the day. 

The story that God reveals in the Bible can be summarized in six parts: 
1. Creation and the royal task (Genesis 1-2) 
2. Rebellion and the unravelling (Genesis 3-11) 
3. God’s covenant with Israel (Gen 12-Malachi) 
4. Jesus and the Kingdom of God (Matthew-John)
5. The Spread of Jesus' Kingdom People (Acts-Jude)
6. The Victory and Return of the King (Revelation)  

The longest part of the story that covers the most books of the Bible is #3, which we can detail in three movements:
  3. God’s covenant with Israel (Gen 12-Malachi)
     A. God choose Israel to bless the nations (Genesis 12-Deuteronomy)
     B. Israel’s royal failure (Joshua-2 Kings)
     C. Israel’s exile and the prophetic, covenant hope (Ezra-Malachi)

How does this help us to pray? 

The bigger storyline helps us see that this is a God story.  It starts with God and he is active in it (even when that isn’t obvious). Prayer orients us properly toward God.

Second, it’s a moral story about our freedom and failing as humans. In prayer we align ourselves morally with God; we choose him and his ways and acknowledge he is good. 

Third, this is a covenant story. God makes promises and acts to protect us within a loving relationship.  Prayer is built on God’s promises and is a primary way to grow or strengthen our relationship with God.

Finally, it’s a kingdom story. God of course is King and he reigns over all. Jesus came as King, and the Church's ultimate destiny is to reign with God in his Kingdom. In prayer we acknowledge these truths and we pray in expectant hope for God’s kingdom to come in fulness and power, for justice and righteousness to prevail, and for the return of our King. 

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