We have spent the last three weeks walking through the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Old Testament. Those books give us the foundation for the story of God. And they show us a right way to see God and see ourselves in this great story.
Before we jump ahead I want you to see where we are. As much as I would love to cover it all, we've got to be really picky with the rest of our time together during Lent. We're going to skip over the history and the poetry and jump straight to the Prophets. But let me catch you up.
We left off in Deuteronomy and our beloved Moses dies. We see Joshua taking over his roll and leading the people finally out of the wilderness and into the Promise Land. They had to fight for it and God provided and protect them. We see Israel set up as a nation among the nations. They were set apart for their good and Gods glory. He set Judges over them to help interpret and fulfill the law. But the people looked around and begged God to be like other nations and have a king. God said, but you guys are different, let me be your king and they said, No, let us be like everyone else. So God gave them what they thought they wanted. He gave them Saul. And on the outside he was everything that a kind should be. He started off well, but after a while turned his back on God and started building a kingdom for himself. That ended badly and God called David to rule after him.
Now David is a whole other story in itself and I really wish we had the time to dig in deep. He was the youngest of all his brothers, but he trusted God like no other man on earth. He was know as "A man after Gods own heart" But don't be fooled. He was no saint. Go read his story and you'll be greatly encouraged. Because there you'll find a man. He was a man of war with blood on his hands. He had an affair with a married woman and had her husband killed. His children were a mess! ... rape, murder, attempted murder to steal the throne, and hatred like no other ... The difference with David, and what set him apart was that every time he was confronted with his sin, he fell on his face in repentance before God. The Psalms are filled with the prayers of David. So, God, not because of Davids actions, but because the desire of his heart was to know God and follow him (no matter how many times he messed up) God promised David that one of his descendants would rule with a kingdom that would never end. We'll talk more about that in a few weeks.
Davids son Solomon ruled after him. (Go read Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon and the Proverbs!) He had wisdom beyond anyone else. He had it all, beauty, money, fame, wisdom, women and land ... and in the end he claimed that everything under the sun was meaningless compared to the glory of God. Under his rule the Temple of God was built. And for the first time, God moved out of a tent (The Tabernacle) and became permanent inIsrael.
From there Israel had king after king and some worshiped God and some turned their backs on him and chased after evil. The kingdom split into the Northern Kingdom, Israel, and the Southern Kingdom, Judah.
But for now, we're going to follow the Prophets. These were men that God sent to warn the people. Through these visions and messages, God warned the people to repent and keep the covenant they had made. He warned them of judgement that would come. And they would not listen. And we see the nation sacked because of their unfaithfulness and scattered. We watch God faithfully speak to his people through the Prophets during their exile and promise their return if they repent and keep the covenant.
And through all of this God kept speaking of the Wounded Victor to come from Genesis 3. He gave them signs to look for so they would know him when he came. He continued to be faithful to a people who chose to be unfaithful.
Take a few drops of Douglas Fir in the palm of your hand and inhale deeply. Rub the remaining oil on the bottoms of your feet. This oil is know as the oil of Generational Wisdom. It's thought to remind us that valuable wisdom can be gained by listening to the stories of the ones who have come before us. And where we're going this week, we'd much rather learn from than live through these stories.
Read Jeremiah 29:11 and let that promise wash over you new today. Breathe it in knowing this promise was made to a nation in exile. It was a promise made to a people God was calling back to himself. It was a promise that said, you are in the middle of punishment, but this is not the end for you, come to me ... I know what I'm doing. Trust me. So today, trust that he knows ... he knows you. He knows what he's doing in your life. If you've turned your back on him, if you're running, its not too late to turn back. Grace my beautiful friend. You can not run far enough that he can't save you.
Rest in those words today or move your body with intention and purpose. Wake up a neck that has been stiff for too long. Open that spine and align it with your foundation. Move in a safe and comfortable way. Move your body in praise and worship of the very one who made it. And calls to the depths of your very soul.