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  • Jackie Raderstorf

The Books of the History of Israel

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Twelve books make up the History of Israel division of the O.T. There are list of families, might men, priests, officials, singers, and so on. But don’t groan. Sometimes scanning through them, something might catch an eye and lead to some “bunny trails” to follow. Like the Prayer of Jabez in Chronicles 4:10.

These are thumbnail sketches, many things are left to seek out. Like in Esther, the name of God is not mentioned. But you realize His presence, His control and His Spirit throughout the Book. Notice He works with non-believers, too.

I try to feed you enough to give you an interest to learn more of the beginning, before Jesus and the N.T. I know I’m learning more.

Joshua: begins where Deuteronomy ended. The Lord gave Moses’ responsibilities to Joshua with a warning not to forget the Book of the Law. His word to Joshua was to be strong and courageous.

The promised lands were divided among Israel’s 12 tribes. They renewed their Covenant with God.

The Israelites were to follow in an orderly fashion as they were to cross the Jordan River. The priests with the Ark stepped into the flooding river and it parted for them, just as the Red Sea had. All were instructed that God would lead, so be ready to move when He moves! (If not God led, it won’t work!)

There were some skirmishes and battles that were won by following God’s explicit instructions.

And the sun did what?

Judges: The Israelites entered the promised land and Joshua had died. They were instructed to purge the foreign countries out of their inherited land. This was not accomplished, so they began to follow the ways and customs of their enemies.

Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They would suffer and cry out to the Lord. He would send a deliverer and peace would come for a period. This was their pattern through the Book of Judges.

Easy going doesn’t need the Lord?

Ruth: During the times of the judges rule, Ruth returns with her mother-in-law, Naomi to Naomi’s home country. Both women were widows, with nothing.

Ruth gleans in the grain fields of Boaz, a kinsman redeemer. …there is something about threshing floors? …the giving of a sandal?

“….wither thou goest, I will go; where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God….” Ruth 1:16 KJV

1 and 2 Samuel: Samuel was born and at an early age his mother left him with Eli, the priest. He was raised by Eli to be a priest and prophet. His mother’s vow was completed.

Samuel anointed Saul king of the Israelites. David was in the kings service as a harpist to sooth the king. Saul loved David. This love turned to jealousy, to hate, to killing.

David was secretly anointed by Samuel as king to replace Saul. Although many times he could have killed Saul, he would not harm God’s anointed. David became king after Saul’s death.

David and his mighty men fought many battles following God’s direction. David was a man after God’s own heart. But still he had problems. Disobedience has its consequences.

1 and 2 Kings: Solomon followed David as Israel’s king. God granted him wisdom and riches. He built the temple for the Lord and the Ark.

The Lord gave Solomon a warning for him and his sons, NOT to mess with other gods and idols. Solomon’s 700 wives and 300 concubines brought into his life idols and other gods. (Consequences!)

The Israel nation divided: the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and the Northern Kingdom (Israel).

Many battles. Many kings – good and evil. Many stories: Elijah and Elisha; healing a water; many prophets hidden; Elijah and Baal; etc. etc.

And there was Jezebel.

1 and 2 Chronicles: These books are a lot of repeating of the prior books. This follows the history of David and Solomon as the Chronicler prefers to follow the lineage of David. The author is unknown, so the author is referred to as the Chronicler. Referencing the historical records and genealogy of David, Saul and the 12 tribes of Israel. Battles and victories of David and his mighty men.

Saul dies and David becomes king. Solomon followed his father, David, as king. During Solomon’s reign the temple was built and the Ark was placed in it. Restoration of many villages was accomplished.

Solomon died and his son, Rehoboam was king, But Israel rebelled against him and the kingdom was divided: the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and the Northern Kingdom, (Israel). There were many kings – good and evil ones.

King Cyrus of Persia released the Israel captives to return to Jerusalem.

David wouldn’t kill Saul, who did?

NOTE: The Books of Chronicles were written with the purpose to give comfort and hope to the exiles returning to Jerusalem.

Ezra: Because the Lord had moved his heart, King Cyrus of Persia allowed his captives to live in their native region and custom, under a ruling governor.

Exiles with Zerrubbabel returned to Jerusalem to rebuild it. There was opposition and a decree from King Darius eliminated that problem.

Another group of exiles came to Jerusalem with Ezra. He is a teacher well versed in the Laws of Moses. Ezra was devoted to the study and observance of the Lord’s laws and read the to the people.

Among the Lord’s laws is the restriction of intermarriage with the neighboring countries. Ezra prayed and confronted the people. Confessions were made, marriages terminated, and wives with their children were sent away.

How strong is your faith?

Nehemiah: a cupbearer to King Artaxrxes of Persia upon hearing the condition of Jerusalem, wept and prayed. He asked the king to be sent there to help rebuild. Granted and sent in style -- with letters and excort.

He secretly inspected the walls and gates, set a plan and told the people. Nehemiah also told the people of God’s help. There were trouble makers, but God prevails and the project was completed. Walls and gates were dedicated.

Ezra, the priest and scribe, read the Book of the Law to the people. Nehemiah corrected some wrongs and some living styles. Nehemiah was a continual prayer, asking for this or that. Always with a “Remember me for this, O, my Lord.”

Is this food for thought?

Esther: >>King Xerxes (Greek) king of Persia

-- wealthy, cruel, arrogant -- banished Queen Vashti for refusing to be flaunted before a drunken group of men

-- Esther replaced Queen Vashti -- king had a sleepless night, the king read the record of his reign and found the record of Mordecai exposing a plot against his life. – issued a decree to destroy all Jews.

>>Mordecai, a Jew living in Persia

-- raised an orphan cousin as his own daughter, Esther. – Exposed a plot to kill the king

-- coached Esther to keep her Jewish nationality a secret -- coached her regarding the threat against the Jews

>>Esther, a lovely beautiful Jewish lady

-- he ‘daughter’ of Mordecai, living in Persia -- chosen to replace Queen Vashti

-- to intercede with the king concerning destruction of the Jews -- sought fasting for 3 days for this purpose

-- accepted the possibility of death from approaching the king -- plans 2 banquets and invites the king and Haman

>>Haman, a prime minister in Persia, 2nd to the king

-- Because of his position, expects people to bow to him. Mordecai refuses. – plots death of Mordecai

-- finagles the king to decree destruction of all Jews

-- brags about invitation to Queen Esther’s banquets

** Now for the rest of the story see the Book of Esther.

Brothers and sisters, I pray the you are finding things in the scriptures that you didn’t know were there.

In Christ’s love, Jackie Raderstorf


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