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"Old Testament Survey"

Genesis through 2 Samuel


Since January, in his Sunday School class, Steve Bader has began to delve into the Old Testament Scriptures. As as seen throughout the Bible the climax is found in Christ. These themes have been discussed in detail thus far in the books of Genesis through 2 Samuel. This article is to provide a brief summary of the content. I recoomend you either download the audio in it's entirety from lwcchurch.org or order the CD's.


  1. The creation account outlines the character of God as a God of distinction. This culminates in its most explicit form in the creation of Man with whom God makes a covenant.
  2. The plan of salvation found in Christ is first announced directly after man's sin had been enacted (known as the protoevangelium Gen. 3:15). Christ and His work are at the center from the beginning of history.
  3. The consequence of Adam's failure meant the marring (though not effacing) of the image of God. No man would be spared from the destructive effects of sin both within and without.
  4. Out of the mass of perdition God calls Abram out of a spiritual wilderness to enter into the plan of salvation prepared before the foundations of the world. A new lineage is created through him. Yet it is not by blood marking a true descendant of Abraham, but the calling to those elect of God. Through, Abraham and the covenant made by God with him, Christ would secure the salvation of those true descendants.
  5. The grandsons of Abraham, Jacob and Esau, are born. Jacob is born after Esau, which would naturally place him under Esau. Yet, Paul states in Romans 9:11-12 says it is the will of God to show mercy and bestow blessings. This is especially true considering the fact that Jacob is not a honorable man in and of himself. He secures Esau's blessing through deceit and manipulates to get what he wants. Only after wrestling with God and being struck crippled, Jacob depends solely on God. Revelation brought on by weaknesses exposes us and strengthens our heart to turn to God, the source of all strength.
  6. It is through Jacob's sons that we come to the foundations of what would become a new nation. Now Joseph's life provides one of the clearest foreshadows of Christ's life in Genesis. His brother's betrayal subjugated him until God raises him up to be the right hand of Pharaoh's authority. After revealing himself to his brothers he makes one of the richest summaries of the providence of God "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…" (Gen. 50:20).


  1. Exodus marks the beginning of the journey towards the Promised Land. At this time Israel had become a full nation, yet was oppressed. Hearing Israel's complaints, God remembers His covenant with Abraham and raises up Moses to lead the people from Egypt to Canaan. What had been promised to Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph was being fulfilled to their descendants.
  2. Moses ran away after killing an Egyptian in front of his fellow Israelites and encountered God on Mt. Sinai in the form of a burning bush. The burning bush represents two things: 1) the transcendence of God. The fire that did not consume the bush burned on its own and did not need to feed on the bush to be sustained. 2) The imminence of God. The fire was not separate from the bush. It was pervasive, but not consuming. Just the same, God is not identified with creation, but He is present in it. This revelation of God in the burning bush is epochal for God's people as well. It is the moment when God utters the Divine name for the first time. A moment like this won't come again until Christ comes to command us to pray in the name of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". God has finally come for His people.
  3. It doesn't take long once the chosen people of God cross the Red Sea for the bickering and complaining to begin. Despite the Tabernacle having been built and the presence of God being with them in the form of a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night, the people still became disenchanted with the promises of God. Even after God put some to death, their complaints would fail to cease for long. Those who bow their heads to God often come from the stiffest of necks.


  1. While Leviticus is not the most popular book of the Bible, it is one of the most important for understanding the nature and character of God. The ordinances God placed as Law for the people to follow reflect the Holiness and the orderliness of God. God had established a covenant with them, He is their suzerain and the people His vassals. All of the laws He establishes are various aspects of one command "Be Holy, for I Am Holy".
  2. The sacrifices demanded of God are of supreme importance in Leviticus. For it is those sacrifices that point to the ultimate sacrifice in Christ Jesus.
  3. The form and practice of the institutions God has placed is no light matter. Aaron's sons died for offering "strange fire" before the altar. Whatever it specifically was that they did, it was not pleasing or approved by God. It was the very act of worship, in the most sacred of places that became profane before the eyes of God. As a result, they were consumed.


  1. The book of Numbers chronicles Israel's wandering through the wilderness. It is a disturbing account of the people's attitude toward the provisions of God. When they hunger, they do not pray or ask God for provisions, they gripe and complain. Even when God supplies them with manna, they audaciously complain about the lack of variety in their meals. As a result of their ingratitude, God brings judgments and chastisement. Through Moses' interceding on their behalf, God spares the rest of Israel from destruction, typifying Christ's intercession on our behalf. The constancy of Israel's complaints show that while God is longsuffering to our ingratitude, it is not an opportunity for us to take advantage of His character.
  2. The endless complaining of the people angered Moses. So faithless were the people of God that they expressed how they would rather have died! So when they, yet again, complained of a lack of water God commanded Moses to speak to the rock and water would pour forth. However, Moses did not speak to it. In an anger that was not righteous, he struck the rock twice. The pouring of the water symbolized the pouring of Christ's blood to give life to His people; therefore, you do not strike twice against that which is provided once for all. As a result, Moses and Aaron are forbidden to enter the land.
  3. Despite God's constant sustenance and tolerance for the people, they simply refuse to learn. God had both given them warning against failing to obey God, and given plenty of examples of the consequences. Despite this, the people hated the food God had given them. They despised His provisions and their state so much that they described the food to be "worthless". As a result, snakes were brought into the camp and begin attacking the people. In yet another act of gracious mercy, Moses is commanded to lift a crafted snake on a pole and that all who look upon it would be spared. The image here is explicitly the work of Christ on the cross. We look upon Christ on the cross in faith just as the Israelites looked upon the snake on the pole in faith. (John 3:14).


  1. The rebellious attitude of the wilderness generation resulted in the next generation to enter the land only. Not even Moses was allowed to enter, leaving Joshua (of the new generation) in charge. Before they enter, Moses encourages them to remember events past. They were not to behave as their fathers had done and gripe about God's provisions. As they entered pagan lands they were to remain holy and distinct from the Canaanites. They were to be obedient in contrast to their fathers who perished for their disobedience.
  2. Moses also reminds them that it was God and God alone who delivered them. He warns them against thinking it was due to their own righteousness and goodness that God has given them the land. Rather, it is God's faithfulness to the promise made to Abraham that He had stayed His judgment.
  3. Finally, Moses presents them with two options to choose from: Life or death (Deut. 30:19) and directs them to choose life so that they and their children may live. Their disobedience expressed time and time again in the past, results in death, while obedience brings blessings and life. To walk against the Lord is to march steadily toward your own grave.


  1. As the Israelites entered the land, in Joshua we must remember that the promise of inheriting the land was ultimately about Christ. He fulfilled all the promises to Abraham and obeyed the conditions perfectly. It is through Him we inherit the promises unconditionally.
  2. The fall of the Walls of Jericho came not from the loud voices of the Israelites, nor from the noise of the instruments they played. It came from the coming of Jehovah to whom all nature bows and all idols cast down. This is shown by the pre-incarnate Christ who held a sword and told Joshua to take off his sandals for the place he stood was Holy. The response of the pre-incarnate Christ to Joshua when asked whose side He was on shows that God does not lower Himself to partner and equate Himself with anyone. All are subservient to His will that is responsible for Israel's victories.
  3. Israel's defeat at the first attack against the city of Ai shows God's attitude towards a lackadaisical approach to the presence of sin within the people of God. God does not deal with sin. There is no such thing as a minor disobedience; just as there is no such thing as a minor enmity towards God. The Israelites were commanded to root out the Canaanite inhabitants and exorcise them from the Land, yet not all were expelled when it was distributed among them. The result of their disobedience to God is that the remnants of the Canaanites grew to have much influence over the people of God. Israel had to be expelled from the Land until they were fit to return. Much the same way when we rest from our battle against sin in our lives, whatever remains grows like a cancer to take reign over our wills and captivates us. At that point, we have called trials upon ourselves.


  1. In Judges, the people of God have settled in the land with much of the work of purging the Canaanites left unfinished. As a result, Israel has given herself over to pagan idolatry and has adopted horrid pagan practices. Much like in our own lives, what remnants of past influences remain are still influential. God sent oppressors against Israel in order to bring her back into repentance and bring deliverance. From this, a judge was sent. In the same way, when those influences begin to grow and gain strength in our lives, God sends trials and hardships to bring us back to Him.
  2. The scene with Gideon showed something of great importance—that man's greatest temptations turn out to be absolutely nothing. When the altar of Baal was thrown down, the people were outraged. Yet, Baal being nothing, nothing happened.
  3. The narrative of Samson reveals the consequences of attributing God-given strength and skill to ourselves instead of God who provides them. Samson wrongfully attributed his strength to his hair, and the Spirit of God left him and he suffered the consequences.


  1. The Book of Ruth serves as a contrast between the overall poor spiritual condition of Israel, and the faithful few. Amidst a fallen people, God will always preserve a faith in the hearts of a remnant.
  2. After Elimelech dies, his widow and two daughters begin a return to Israel. Naomi believes she can offer no hope of a future and urges them to their mother's house. One daughter-in-law heeds Naomi; Ruth insists on going to Israel and is willing to submit to whatever Jehovah-God sees fit to demand of her. One daughter follows according to sight, the other according to faith.
  3. Back in Bethlehem, Ruth gleans grain from the fields of Boaz. In truth, Boaz is a near relation of Elimelech; therefore, at Ruth's request, he acts as a kinsmen redeemer. He not only redeems the family land, he marries Ruth. According to the letter of the Law, he was under no obligation to do so. Thus, he did this, not out of civil duty, but out of grace and love. Out of this unity King David would be born and out of David would come the perfect Redeemer who also purchased us out of grace—Jesus Christ. The marriage between Boaz (an Israelite) and Ruth (a Moabite) serves as a primitive archetype of the redemptive unity between Jew and Gentile secured through Christ.

1 Samuel

  1. In 1 Samuel, Samuel is born and raised to be a child of God who judged Israel for 40 years. Yet, despite the spiritual fortitude of Samuel, Israel still demanded a king. The beginning of Israel's monarchial reign began
  2. God declared that Israel's desire for a king was an act of sinful rebellion. Not because of the desire for a monarchy in and of itself, but because Israel wanted a king like that of the other nations. Giving them what they wanted, Saul was made king: a spiritually shallow and pragmatic king who would rather follow the ways of the superstitious than obey the ordinances of his Heavenly Father.
  3. The difference in character consequentially reflects the differences in their respective ends. Saul was condemned to die along with his lineage while David was destined to be God's anointed and Israel's king.

2 Samuel

  1. In 2 Samuel, David is declared King by Judah, but rejected by the rest of the tribes for Ishbosheth—Saul's last son. The behavior of Ishbosheth and his kingdom speaks to the fact that God had given the people exactly the kind of kingdom she'd asked for. A kingdom "like the other nations". The desire for power resulted in the deaths of both him and his general.
  2. While David is a type of Christ, he like all other types is not a perfect representation. David fails terribly in the case of Bathsheba whose husband he ends up murdering in order to cover up his adultery with her. Yet, despite his failings, the major difference between David and Saul is that David shows true repentance. When the consequences of his actions are upon him, he bears them.
  3. David had wanted to build a temple for God to house the holy objects in place more comparable to the king's palace. Yet, David was a man of war, and the blessing of building the Temple would go to the peacemaker—his son Solomon. God is a God of peace who shows great mercy bringing peace with those who are by nature at enmity with Him. The Temple is not a sign of war, but a sign of peace, of covenant.

- Jason Bader

You can listen to this series here.