An ancient African proverb imparts wisdom about tackling huge projects: “How does one person eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.” The Genesis & Job Series is the first bite of Eyewitness Bible Series in tackling the Old Testament.
The most casual reader soon recognizes the majority of the writings of the Old Testament have to do with the history of the Israelites (also known as Hebrews or Jews). Embedded in the Old Testament is a wealth of knowledge about God and his character, books of poetry and proverbs, and a host of prophecies.
In Bibles used by most Protestant Christians, the Old Testament consists of 39 writings, called books. The Eyewitness Bible Series groups these books into three different series:
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Abraham is 100 years old. It has been twenty-five years since God first promised him an offspring, but he and Sarah have borne no children. Something has to give.
It does. The Lord is gracious, and Sarah becomes pregnant. At 100 years of age, Abraham becomes the father of Isaac. When Isaac is weaned, Abraham throws a great feast. This provides an occasion for Ishmael to mock Isaac, which infuriates Sarah. She insists that Abraham send Ishmael and his mother away. This is crushing to Abraham because Ishmael is also Abraham’s son, but only through Sarah’s handmaiden. God tells Abraham to send Ishmael away, and God will not only make sure he survives, but also become the start of a great nation.
Genesis 22 is one of the most crucial chapters in the Bible. It tells the story of God testing Abraham by commanding him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, to God. Abraham obeys God, takes Isaac to Mount Moriah, places him on an altar. As he brings the knife to Isaac, his hand is stayed by an angel, and Isaac is saved. They spot a ram caught in a nearby thicket and sacrifice it instead.
That story raises a long list of questions. Did God really want Abraham to make a human sacrifice? How could Abraham have enough faith to sacrifice Isaac, when it was the son through whom God was going to fulfill so many promises? How could Isaac have enough faith in his father to willingly lay on the altar? How much does this story foreshadow the story of Jesus’ death on the cross?
Paul – Brian Shoop
Japheth – Bryan Chatlien
Satan – Christian Heep
Job’s Wife – Leticia Magaña
Job – Bob Reed
Lot – Patrick Arnez
Isaac – Tod Upchurch
Esau – David Burkhart
Rachel – Magdalen Vaughn
Reuben – John Ruegsegger
Joseph – Blake McNamara
Benjamin – Jackson Kelly