Bible ClinicJ One
A journey into the life, times, and teachings of the Bible
by Gary D. Strunk
Lesson 3 - Who Are HIS PEOPLE? Part 1
A favorite scene in the Christmas story is when Joseph discovers that Mary, his bride-to-be, is with child, Mt. 1:18-25, but an angel appears to Joseph and explains that the conception is by the Holy Spirit. Then the angel tells Joseph that Mary Awill bring forth a Son and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.@ v. 21 Our subject in this lesson is the all-important question, AWho are His people?@
Jesus was Jewish, and the Jewish people were considered AHis people,@ the Achosen people@ of God. How did the Jewish people become His people? And can anyone become one of His people ... without adopting the Jewish faith?
Someday, you may consider these two lessons, AWho Are His People?@ parts 1 and 2, the most valuable lessons you ever studied in helping you understand your Bible because it presents a time-line (see page 5) of important names, places, and events that are referred to over and over again, and that symbolize major issues appearing throughout the Bible. To make this time-line stand forth in bold relief, many details have been omitted, but the references given will enable you to read them at your leisure.
Memorize the following names of persons in the order given for they are considered AThe Fathers@ of the Jewish people with the exception of David who is considered their King: Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Joseph - - - Moses - - - David - - - Jesus. Also remember the names Judah and Israel.
READ Gen. 11:27 - 12:9
We are now answering the question, AHow did the Jewish people become >His People=?@
1. In about the year 2000 B.C., God spoke to whom? Gen. 12:1 ____________________,
2. To where did Abram go? v.5_____________________________ Canaan is later called Palestine. See map on pg. 5. The land of Canaan was named after Noah=s grandson who migrated to this region. Gen. 9:18,19. Abram moved from Ur to Haran, then after his father=s death, he came to Canaan . Gen. 11:27-32.
AWho Are His People@ Part 1 2
3. And who was in the land? Gen. 12:5, 6 _________________________________________
4. What were the descendants of Abram to become? v.2 AI will make you a great _____________.@
5. How many descendants would Abram have? Ge. 13:16 __________________________________________ ________________________________________
6. When Abram was very old and had not yet had any children, he proposed to the LORD that his servant Eliezer could be his adopted son and heir, but where did the LORD say that his son would come from? Ge. 15:4 ____________________________________________________________
7. And how many descendants would Abram have? v.5_____________________________
8. At this point Abram believed God completely. There was no doubt in his mind, not only that God could give him a child but that He would give him a child. What was the result of such complete faith
in God? v.6 ____________________________________________________________________
Two thousand years later the apostle Paul cites this example from Abram, that saving righteousness comes not by works (meritorious deeds that earn one=s way to heaven), but saving righteousness comes as a gift credited to those who fully believe God, Rom. 4:3. However, such faith leads to obedience, or works of righteousness. James 2:17-24.
9. When Abram was 99 years old, God repeated His promises and changed Abram=s name to _______________________ , = AFather of a multitude@ Ge. 17:1-5
10. God made His covenant with Abraham to make him not only the father of many nations but to also give him Athe land,@ land that would eventually come to mean the whole earth. But with whom else did God make His covenant? ________________________________________________ v. 7
11. And who was Abraham=s immediate descendant with whom God made His covenant?
vs. 19-21 ___________________
12. And after Isaac, with whom was God to perpetuate His covenant. v.19 _____________________ _______________________________________________________
Abraham at 100 years of age and Sarah at 90 years were too old to have children, Ge.18:11. Nevertheless God promised that they would have a son. That is why Isaac is called a Achild of promise.@ This becomes an important point later as to who will inherit the earth, because being a blood descendent of Abraham does not automatically make a person one of AHis people.@ Ishmael was a blood descendant of Abraham but the covenant was not given to Ishmael. It was inherited by Isaac, the child of promise.
Both Abraham and Isaac represent ?His people.@ In lesson eight you will learn that all who trust and obey God as Abraham did become ?His people@ and receive the covenant promises as Isaac did. How much do you trust and obey God?
Abraham represents God also. God told Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Abraham still believed God=s promise that Isaac would be his (Abraham=s) heir, therefore Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac believing that God would resurrect him in order to fulfill His promise of giving Abraham as many offspring as the stars of the sky. In this experience Abraham represents God Himself who, out of love for the human race, willingly sacrificed His son Jesus, (and resurrected Him) in order to produce followers as the stars of the sky. Just as God would have resurrected Isaac, He will resurrect His people to inherit the ANew Earth.@
The goal today is to become a believing descendant of Abraham and thereby inherit the New Earth according to God=s promise. That does not mean to become Jewish or to be of the blood line of Abraham. Since the days of Jesus, it means to be a follower of Jesus the Christ. The promises were made only to Abraham and his ASeed.@ Christ is called the true Seed, Gal. 3:16. So how does one who is not naturally an offspring of Abraham become an offspring or part of the family? By believing in and obeying Jesus Christ.
13. Fill in the blanks from Galatians 3:29. AIf you are ______________ then you are __________
______________ and _______________ according to the ______________________.@
God repeated his covenant promises to Isaac, and to his descendants, Ge.26:3,4. Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac, but Esau sold his birthright to his younger twin-brother, Jacob.
Ge. 25:29-34, Thus Jacob became the next descendant with whom the covenant promises were made.
14. One night as Jacob was returning to his homeland where he must face his brother Esau whom he had deceived out of his father=s blessing, Jacob was attacked. He wrestled all night with his assailant. Eventually Jacob realized he had been wrestling with an angel if not with God himself, so he refused to let the LORD go until He blessed him. The LORD then changed Jacob=s name to ______________________ Ge. 32:28
At this point in time Jacob had eleven sons, but would eventually have twelve. They are called the Asons of Jacob,@ but they are also called the Asons of Israel.@ They married and had families which grew into tribes giving rise to Athe twelve tribes of Israel@ or Athe children of Israel@ which refers to the whole nation of Israel.
The names of the 12 sons listed below are from Gen. 35:23-26. Familiarize yourself with the underlined names for these you will see often, and need to know them as tribes of Israel. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher.
Early on, ten brothers were jealous of Joseph because he was his father=s favorite, so they connived to sell Joseph to traders who took him to Egypt. Through a series of Providential interventions, Joseph rose to a position of great prominence in Egypt. In time a severe famine came upon the land of Israel (Canaan), so that Jacob and all his sons, Joseph=s brothers, and families came to Egypt where they were treated favorably because of Joseph. Ge. 37-50.
15. What eventually happened to Joseph, his brothers, and all that generation? Ex. 1:1-6 _________________
16. And a new king arose over Egypt who A__________________________________________________@ v.8
So the Egyptians placed the Israelites under bondage (slavery). vs. 8-14
17. Why did the king of Egypt make slaves of the Israelites? vs. 7-11a ________________________________
______________________________________________________________ He ordered the Hebrew male children killed for the same reason. vs. 15-22
18. Who was born during this time to a family of the tribe of Levi?
Ex. 2:1-10 ___________________
When Moses was about 40 years of age he had to flee Egypt for killing an Egyptian who was mistreating an Israelite. He went east to the deserts of Midian where he took a wife and tended sheep for 40 years. Then the LORD appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and commissioned him to go to Egypt to represent Him in delivering the Israelites.
READ Ex. 3:1-10
19. What are the Israelites called in this conversation? ___________________________ vs. 7 & 10
20. THEREFORE who are His people at this time? ______________________________________
21. To where will the Israelites be taken? v.8 ____________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
Moses proceeds to Egypt where he confronts the Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the most powerful ruler on earth, with the words, AThus says the LORD God of Israel: >Let My people go that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.=@ Ex. 5:1, which takes us to the next lesson, ALet My People Go.@ We will come back to AWho Are His People? Part 2@ in lesson number eight. Please note: If you are studying these lessons in a group, you should read Exo. chapters 7-12 before the next meeting.
AWho Are His People?@
Israel ends 722 B.C.
Abraham - Isaac - Jacob -> 12 tribes of Israel (Joseph) - - Moses - Joshua - Judges - King Saul - David - Solomon - Judah - -
2000 B.C. 1500 B.C. 1050 B.C. 971 B.C.
Babylonian Stoning of
Captivity Jews called AIsrael@ MESSIAH - Crucifixion - Stephen Christians are AIsrael@ _ _ _ _ _
605 B.C. 536 B.C. 27 A.D. 31 A.D. 34 A.D.
5. As the dust of the earth
6. From your own body
7. As the stars of heaven
8. Accounted it to him as righteousness
12. Isaac=s descendants
13. Christ=s, Abraham=s seed, heirs, promise
16. Did not know Joseph
17. He was afraid the Israelites would side with his enemies.
19. My people
21. Land flowing with milk and honey, or place of the Canaanites and others.