24 March 2016

Guide to the Bible (3) History - By Jack Lewis

After the books of law, there are a section of 12 books that are often referred to as the history books. They are like their name suggest, they are almost historical documents. The 12 books are listed below along with a famous Bible character/story in them.  

Joshua - Fall of Jericho
Judges - Gideon and Samson
Ruth - Ruth and Naomi
1&2 Samuel - David and Goliath
1&2 Kings - Solomon and Elijah
1&2 Chronicles - David and Solomon
Ezra - Ezra
Nehemiah - Rebuilding of Jerusalem
Esther - Esther

More or less all the history books follow/lead on to the books before and after them, it's quite an obvious sequence. To go through the books in order: Joshua carries on where Deuteronomy left off; Moses has died and the Isrealites are now led by the young Joshua. They first cross over the river Jordan (in flood season!) (http://godatthecentreofourlives.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/be-patient-with-god-he-knows-what-hes.html/) to get to get to the promised land, and there they conquer Jericho without laying a finger on it! Joshua dies at the end of the book, and from then on the Isrealites really lack that Godly leader like Moses and Joshua. Their story carries on into Judges; and in this book the stories of Deborah, Gideon and Samson are told. After Judges comes Ruth, and it's a little like a footnote that tells a short story mixed in with the main document. It's still a really good book to read though, and there is a few great moral lessons that can be learned from it. The books of Samuel begin with a bit about the life of the person whom it is named after, before moving on to the stories of King David. Next comes 1&2 Kings, and they start off with the story of David's son and successor, Solomon. In these books we also have the stories of Elijah and Elisha, including the contest on Mt. Carmel (If you've never read that story, it's great! 1 Kings 18) After the mainly sequential first 7 History books, we find 1&2 Chronicles. They don't take on the Isrealite story, instead they recap what had happened in the past. The books were written for the men returning from the Babylonian exile, and it's a reminder to them to learn lessons from what happened when their ancestors turned away from God in the past. The last three history books are Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. They are a bit of a series in themselves, in fact Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one book. In those two, we learn about the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and Esther tells the story of the person after who it was named.