Abraham’s Covenant Advances: from Judges to Kings

admin/ June 26, 2013/ Uncategorized/ 4 comments

ras-shaitan-ii-sinai-peninsula-egypt-october-2011From his initial calling in Ur, Abraham’s descendants have endured a long and arduous journey filled with challenges from Canaan down to Egypt and back.

Our timeline shows a lapse of some nearly 800 years have passed. What can we learn from this almost glacial pace in God’s plan unfolding for Israel?  Why so long a time to fulfill the promise made to Abraham?

But first, it is important here to acknowledge the decline and passage of a golden era in human history.  The Bronze Age in all of its glorious achievements has come to a violent end.  In Anatolia, the Hittites, Trojans and other smaller vassals are under siege.  New invaders from Assyria and Greek-speaking invaders called Phrygians and Lydians are wrecking havoc and destruction.  In Greece, the old Mycenaean culture has fallen to fierce invaders called Dorians, formerly living on the fringes of the Greek empire, speaking Greek, and now in a land grab similar to the Israelites are in Canaan.

Egypt too feels the sting of invaders who, like the Hyksos of old, seek land and plunder.  Ramses III comments in a famous bulletin that “the isles and the peoples of the sea are in turmoil with fires and catastrophes everywhere.”  The old age is doomed for eclipse by a new age of iron on the brink of succession.

In a word, Homer’s story of the famous siege of Troy and its annihilation will be transformed into our vocabulary as “des-Troy/ destroy”, an event etched into our collective memory by its demise.  Troy, Jericho, Mycenae, all of Minoan Crete, Hattusa all melt away into history so lost and forgotten that many believed they never existed.   Only Egypt will survive largely intact but will for the next 1,000 years suffer many invasions and conquests.

Mount-TaborSince Abraham, we have seen demonstrated an intimate portrait of God’s love, concerns and blessings for all humanity thru the lives of Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Samson and Samuel.  Aristotle’s quote, “the purest activity of God is thinking about thinking” rings hollow here.  Yahweh continues to allow his people to live out His covenant plan for some 326 years from Joshua to Saul’s ascent.  Yahweh has given Israel land – land located in the center of everything with access to resources and prosperity.

But the story is not over — the greatest promise is the Messiah and soon Israel will demand from Yahweh that they be like the other nations and have a king.  Yahweh will give them a king and these kings will set the stage for a 1,000 year drama leading to the Messiah’s arrival.


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