Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 16

Former Prophets

Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 16
Watching Now
Former Prophets

I. Content

II. Outlined in Deuteronomy Chapters 29-31

A. Theological and historical blueprint

B. Mosaic covenant

C. Mosaic covenant did not give the power to obey

D. Mosaic covenant never promised eternal life

E. Israel's disobedience and exile is "Plan A”

F. Inheritance can be lost through disobedience

G. Mosaic covenant is temporary

H. Typological significance

III. Summary

  • Dr. Miles Van Pelt is offering an opportunity to study the Old Testament and understand its overall message in more detail. The Old Testament consists of 2/3 of the Bible, and serves as a foundation for many teachings found in the New Testament. Its main purpose is to point towards Jesus who makes possible a new covenant with God's people. The structure of both Testaments follows a covenantal pattern that compels humans to make choices regarding their relationship with God, while demonstrating His patience and perseverance in doing so.
  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


Recommended Books

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Survey of the Old Testament


Former Prophets

I. Content (00:13):

I'm going to do a brief introduction to the Former Prophets, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. It is four books. Then we'll go through each of those four books and talk about basic content, key text, and key themes that run through those things. The designation of Former Prophets is actually a biblical designation. It appears a couple of times in the book of Zechariah when he's referring back to this period of time. So Zechariah 7:7 and Zechariah 7:12, the Former Prophets record historically the period of Israel's occupation of the land from approximately 1406 BC, which is the crossing of the Jordan river, to 586 BC, which is the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. That's recorded in second Kings 25. That's a pretty big chunk of history, almost a thousand years of history, we're going to try and cover in four or five lectures.

I have a sheet here to show you kind of some of the things that are going to be coming up. This is a summary, some important dates way back in 2100 BC, Abraham moves from early Chaldees of Canaan. We're now at 1400 BC. So 700 years... the promise of the land has been in the making 700 years. That's a long time for God to make a promise to someone like Abraham, and then take that long to fulfill it, waiting and hoping, waiting, and hoping. Then you have the patriarchal era that runs to about 1875. Then you have that time when Israel is enslaved in Egypt, and then they get out in 1446. Here we are now at 1406, the conquest of Canaan. When we enter into the book of Joshua, we're going to have the period of the Judges after the conquest of Canaan, then we're going to get into Samuel and Kings.

II. Deuteronomy Chapters 29-31(02:05):

We're going to have Saul being anointed as king, David being anointed king, David's reign, Solomon's reign, the divided monarchy, the exile of north, and the exile of the south. So those are the big events we're looking at. Those are some important dates all the way down to later, we'll be covering in with the latter profits. In the writings, we'll be talking about some of those other dates down below when you get into exhibit and post exhibit periods after 586. So again, we started at about 2100 BC with Abraham and Genesis chapter 12. I'll give you land, descendants, and blessings. We're about to embark on the part where they inherit the land. That's where we're looking at these Former Prophets. The Former Prophets really constitute life in the land. It's framed theologically, or literarily by two important and programmatic texts.

A. Theological and Historical Blueprint (02:56):

I have them written on the board over here for you. Joshua 23:14 and first Kings 8:56. These two texts set historically at two climactic points in the history of Israel. Joshua 23 is a covenant renewal ceremony where they have completed the first phase of the occupation of the land. They're very excited and they're going to renew the covenant and then everyone's going to go to their inheritances. They've just been given their allotments. First Kings 8:56 is Solomon's dedication of the temple that took so many years to build. It's really the high point of the mosaic covenant at that point. It's that for the divided covenant, but you’ve got the temple in Jerusalem and everything's ready to go. So I'm going to read those two texts for you and lists. They sound similar and they're supposed to be.

They're echoing one back to the other. You'll see the theme that runs through this corpus of literature, Joshua 23:14 says, and, now I'm about to go the way of all the Earth. This is Joshua talking and you know, “in your hearts and souls, all of you that not one word has failed all the good things that the Lord, your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you. Not one of them has failed”. This is a text where Joshua is stating that Yahweh has been completely faithful to His covenant people to fulfill every promise. In first Kings 8:56, Solomon rehearses this statement and again frames the Former Prophets, “blessed be the Lord”, in first Kings 8:56. “Who has given rest to his people, Israel, according to all that He promised. Not one word has failed of all of His good promises”, which he spoke by Moses, his servant.

B. Mosaic Covenant (04:48):

So you've got a bookend in the Former Prophets, once in Joshua, once in Kings, saying one of the key themes in this literature is the faithfulness of the Lord to fulfill all of His promises. So if you're studying, teaching, preaching, learning from this material, you should always be encountering the Lord's faithfulness to keep His promises. That's what you should be encountering. We can also say from that, the parallel theme is going to end up being Israel was completely unfaithful and kept none of God's rules and obligations in the covenant ever. That's going to be the counterpart to that one. We're going to talk about that next. When we look at Deuteronomy 29 to 31, back in those earlier lectures, when we were talking about how the Bible works in the big grand scheme of things, I noted that Deuteronomy 29 to 31 represents the backbone of the Former Prophets.

C. Mosaic Covenant: Does Not Give the Power to Obey  (05:48):

If you took an x-ray of Joshua to Kings, you would see that the spinal cord running down it was Deuteronomy 29 to 31. It outlines the program of Israel's occupation of the land. So it's a very important text to understand. We're going to take a minute and look at what Deuteronomy 29 to 31 says about the Former Prophets, so that we know how to assess the materials. It's like the Bible telling you in advance, how to read the material that's coming up. It's a great thing. The Bible tells you how to read itself. So in terms of theology, it describes the nature and purpose of the mosaic covenant, as it relates to the inheritance and the promised land. The obedience of the people of God is required to maintain their tenure in the land of inheritance. But the power to obey does not accompany the mosaic covenant.

The mosaic covenant does not come with a prepackaged circumcised heart. You don't open that box, put it in. That's going to be the problem. So what does Deuteronomy 29 to 31 say about the Deuteronomic history? If I say Deuteronomy history, that basically means the history that is about to be recorded in the form of prophets. So Joshua to Kings, we'll call that the Deuteronomic history. In terms of history, Deuteronomy 29 to 31 says that there are going to be five stages of Israel's occupation of the land. I have those written up there for you on the board. First, they're going to occupy the land and that's going to take place in Joshua. Then they're going to become idolaters . That's going to be focused on in Judges, but all the way through to second Kings. Then the Lord is going to bring judgment through His prophets.

The prophets are going to come, execute a prophetic lawsuit, say please, and repent. So the Lord doesn't have to do this. They don't repent. Then judgment eventually comes. The Lord is then going to send them into exile. That's going to be Second Kings 17 and second Kings 25. The north goes into exile. The 10 tribes up north, and then in second Kings 25, the south goes into exile. Finally, there's the promise for the return. The return from exile does end up coming. It comes in 538 BC under Cyrus, the Persian. We'll talk about that when we get there as well. The mosaic covenant, especially as it relates to inheritance of the nation of Israel from one man in the occupation of the land, as an inheritance is stage one fulfillment of the Abraham promises in covenant.

 This is the Abraham covenant. Remember that was back in Genesis 12, 15, 17, and 22. You’ve got to remember that. There's going to be two stages of the fulfillment of it. That's the MVP rule of two. There's going to be the mosaic stage. Then there's going to be the new covenant stage. They are going to be mirror images of each other, type and anti-type. So the mosaic covenant, and what we're about to see with the land, represents stage one. So listen to what Deuteronomy 29 then says about this stage one fulfillment. Deuteronomy 29:12 to 23. We're going to be kind of tracing back and forth through Deuteronomy 29 to 31. So you can have your Bibles open to that.

It says in verse 12 of Deuteronomy 29, “you are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord, your God. A covenant, the Lord, your God is making with you this day and sealing it with an oath to confirm you this day as His people, that He may be your God, as He promised. And as He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. So you see how the mosaic covenant is a furthering or an advance of the Abraham covenant. They're all on this administration of the covenant of grace. It's all one big covenant. We've got a covenant of works and a covenant of grace. That's what only two we’ve got, besides the redemption one way back there. So everything that we see coming forth, Abraham, Mosaic, Dravidic, New, it's all an administration or different administrations of that one covenant. So there's unity and diversity. We can tackle that. Again we have this same thing of hearing in Deuteronomy 13:19 to 20.

This is where He is going to enter into that witness stage. “This day, I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you. That I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses, now choose life so that you and your children may live. And that you may love the Lord, your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him for the Lord is your life and He will give you many years in the land, He swore to give your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. Again, rooting this mosaic covenant in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In fact, we can see that at the golden calf episode, when Moses intercedes for Israel. He doesn't intercede and say, be faithful to your people, because you just entered into a covenant with him here. He says, be faithful to them because you entered into a covenant with Abraham. He roots it back there, because he knew the Deuteronomy one or the Exodus one, would've gotten them killed.

Contrary to the new covenant, the mosaic covenant never imparted the power to obey the terms of this covenant and that's key. The author or Moses right here, the author of Deuteronomy is making sure you understand that he's emphasizing it over and over in his speeches, Deuteronomy 29:4 puts it this way.

“But to this day, the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear”. You consider Jesus picking up on these words and when He is talking about His parables. And Isaiah seeing they do not see, hearing they do not hear. And so this is where that comes from. And Deuteronomy 31:16 says, the Lord said to Moses, “you are going to rest with your fathers and these people will soon prostitute themselves to foreign gods of the land they're entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them”. So already from the very beginning. They're not even over the land. This is bad news. This is rough parenting. You're about to go to college and you're soon going to fail and be back here.

It's not a very motivating speech. Deuteronomy 31:27 says, this is now Moses saying for, “I know how rebellious and stiff necked you are”. That stiff neck designation comes from the golden calf episode. “If you have been rebellious against the Lord while I'm still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die?” Now that's an important text. It's programmatic for the book of Judges because when the Judges are alive, the people appear to be more faithful to the covenant. Then the Judge dies and the people whore after the foreign gods, even more, then they get worse. They raise up another Judge, Judge dies. And so it highlights kind of the sense of really important leadership. If you have a faithful covenant leader that people follow, but if you don't, they don't. We can see that the importance of leadership like that and that's why they're going to want a faithful covenant king.  Judges are individually raised up charismatically, like just at the Lord's will, but judges have this dynastic kind of thing, continuity.

D. Mosaic Covenant Never Promised Eternal Life (12:51):

It's all also very important that when we think about the mosaic covenant and the Former Prophets to remember that the mosaic covenant never promised or provided for eternal life. It was never keep my covenant and I'll grant you eternal life. The only thing you could get is prosperity and long life in the land. Deuteronomy 30:16 makes it this point, “for I command you today to love Lord, your God, to walk in his ways and to keep his commands, decrees and laws, then you will live and increase and the Lord will bless you in the land you are entering to possess”, but like Abraham, they too will die.

Deuteronomy 30:20 puts it this way, “for the Lord is your life. And He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. So there is life, but it's life in the land.

E. Israel’s Disobedience and Exile: Plan A (13:42)

It's also important to note from this text that Israel's disobedience to the mosaic covenant and their ultimate exile from the land of inheritance constitutes plan A, from the perspective of the Lord. The very design of the mosaic covenant and the nature of its promises and blessings was always intended in a temporary and typological way. Wouldn't it be a bummer, if the only thing you got out of the Abraham covenant was a piece of the land of Israel, and then you just died in it? That would not be great news for me. That would be it's okay news. I might rather live in Washington state for my life and die there, rather than in Oregon or in Mississippi.

Listen, I've got a couple verses here. I won't read them all, but listen to Deuteronomy 31:16, it makes the point this way, “and the Lord said to Moses, you are going to rest with your fathers and these people will soon prostitute themselves to foreign gods of where they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them”. In Deuteronomy 31:20 it states, “when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their fathers and when they eat their fill, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting Me and breaking My covenant”.

F. Inheritance can be lost through disobedience (15:03) You can see those two stages there, which will precipitate the last three stages. Next, it's important to know that the inheritance of the land under the mosaic covenant can be lost or forfeited through disobedience to the covenant. This is a covenant that can be broken and the benefits of it be taken away. That's not the kind of covenant I want to be in. In fact, Joshua at the end of his life, when they do covenant renewal, and we'll see in a minute, he says, you guys really aren't able to keep this covenant. It may be better for you not to be in it. They say, no, we'll take a risk. We'll go. It ended up turning out just how Joshua said. So at least Joshua was honest with them. He gave them an out clause and they didn't do it.

So, for example, it says in Deuteronomy 31:17 to 18, “But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you'll certainly be destroyed. You'll not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan river to enter and possess”. It can be to taken away. So, you don't want to live in a covenant that can be taken away. That's why we have the new covenant, which Jeremiah will say, “can't be broken”. You want a covenant that can't be broken. So we got to figure out how do you get into a covenant that can't be broken? That's what where we're going to think about. Given historical outline of Israel's tenure in the land promised, presented in Deuteronomy 29 to 31.

The explicit statement in Deuteronomy 35, that when Israel does return to their inheritance from exile, that the return to state will exceed their previous state of occupation. So, I'm going to read this in a second. Meaning this, we're about to see that Deuteronomy 29 to 31 predicts Israel's exile, it also predicts Israel's return. Let's see what it says about that return. It's found in Deuteronomy 30:1-6. I'll begin in verse one. “When all of these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart, wherever the Lord, your God disperses you among the nations in exile. And when you and your children return to the Lord, your God and obey Him with all your heart, with all your soul, according to everything I've commanded you, then the Lord, your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where He scattered you”.

Even if you've been banished to the most distant land under the heavens from there, the Lord, your God will gather you and bring you back. So here, we've got this promise of a return from exile. He will bring you back again. There's three things here. He will bring you one, to the land that belonged to your fathers and you'll take possession of it. Two, He'll make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. Then three, the Lord, your God will circumstance your hearts and the hearts of your descendants. So that after that, you may actually love the Lord, your God with all your heart, your soul, and live. So He is going to bring them back to the land. He's going to make them more prosperous and He is going to circumcise their hearts. So it's interesting. This text says that before your heart's going to be circumcised as a people, you're going to have to go into exile.

So that's a sobering thing to remember again, the exile's plan A so that they can get to the plan B. The next stage, is where they can have circumcised hearts. We're not really there yet, but when we get down to that, Israel does get to come back. You can see down here, right in 5:38, the decree of Cyrus, 5:36 first return, dedication of the temple in 5:16, second return under Ezra, third return under Nehemiah. So they do get to come back, and rebuild the temple. We've got to ask the question. Was it more glorious than it was at the height? The height being Solomon, with the temple, with the wealth, with international influence at and international trade.

We get someone like Haggai, a post exilic prophet who witnessed this stuff. In chapter two of his prophecy verses one to three, it says this, and it's even dated “on the 21st day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai says, speak to Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel the governor of Judah to Joshua. And Jehoshaphat, the high priest and to the remnant of the people and asked them who have you have, who have you has left? Who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?” So we've got internal kind of Bible evidence that the return from exile that we see later here is not a greater, more prosperous, super circumcised event, right? So the return is a flop. In fact, that's what the end of the book of the writings is going to tell us where we have here.

We're going to have Ezra and Nehemiah, and then it goes all the way through Chronicles. Right at the beginning of Ezra and Nehemiah, there's the decree of Cyrus in 583, that God's people can return. Then they return. Chronicles, redoes it all. They return. Right here, its, the decree of Cyrus again and he, says, Hey, you can go up and go again. So it's interesting. They started 538 BC, and it goes down to about 400 BC and they go back at 538 BC, which is a tacit way of saying that this return from exile didn't work. We need a bigger, and better return from exile. So you can see the arrangement of the cannon and the statement of Haggai that show you that what happened at the end is a flop. It's not the success they had intended.

F. Mosaic Covenant is Temporary (20:59):

In review, the mosaic covenant is a conditional, temporary, and typological covenant. However, it is undergirded by the unconditional, unilateral, permanent, and non-logical covenant of grace that we see expressed through Abraham. Those connections are so important. The organic relationship between Abraham and Moses, and the new administrations is evident in the cannon and diagram, which I've redone there. Remember we had Genesis as the prologue, and then we have in the upper register, the mosaic covenant and the lower registered being the new covenant. So that's what we're looking at. Adam's disobedience and expulsion from the garden is Israel's disobedience and expulsion from the land, which is God's original plan for this particular administration of the covenant of grace. So let me then just summarize what we're going to encounter in these four books that are coming up in the Former Prophets.

G. Typological Significance (21:53):

Number one, in the book of Joshua, Yahweh fulfills through Joshua, the promise of the land of Canaan to Abraham under the leadership of land. The theme of Joshua is the inheritance of the land. Therefore it is about Yahweh’s faithfulness. The theme of, the book of Judges is that Israel repeatedly fails to keep the covenant. The Lord has to raise up judges to deliver Israel from the corruption and oppression caused by their idolatry. The theme here is, and “the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord”. That's the recurring theme in the book. That's the phrase that occurs more than anything else “the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord”. It's always idolatry. The theme of the book of Samuel is kingship. It is the establishment of the monarchy and the Davidic line under the leadership of Samuel climaxing in the Davidic covenant in second Samuel seven and the building of the temple in first Kings eight, when it's dedicated.

We have the climax of the earthly kingdom of God in Solomon, and likewise, the demise of the earthly kingdom of God in Solomon, from rags to riches or from riches to rags in this case. You have this tremendous climax and success. Then you have this tremendous failure, and it rips the kingdom in half. We end up with the divided kingdom and eventually the monarchy. So in Joshua, you have the inheritance of the land, and the faithfulness of Yahweh. In Judges you have, the infidelity of Israel and the continuing faithfulness of Yahweh to raise up judges, Samuel, the establishment of the monarchy. Then in Kings the climax of the monarchy and the fall of the monarchy. Again, all of these things falling out. We have it so good. Here's what the covenant is. God said, okay, you want heaven on earth.

I'm going to give you everything. You need to have heaven on earth. I'm going to give you Myself. I'm going to fight for you. I'm going to be in your presence. I'm going to give you my word. You have all the resources you need to rebuild Eden here, go. Between, Solomon getting up here in 900, let's say it only took, less than 500 years to lose it all, to make it completely corrupt. They had all the resources necessary. Think of all the wealth that Solomon had to achieve this, all of the wisdom that he had to achieve this, all of the lineage, background, and the line to achieve it. They could make heaven on earth and it wouldn't work because their hearts were sinful and they had unclean hearts.

III. Conclusion (24:25):

There were people who had circumcised hearts back then. There are people like David, people like Moses, people like Joshua and Caleb, right. But the people of God, as a whole did not have a circumcised heart, like the church does now. Church consists of those who have circumcised hearts. I'm not saying that no one had a circumcised heart back then I want to make that clear, but God's people as a whole and this mosaic economy as a whole, which was a national kind of economy. There were people with circumcised hearts. There were people who generate, there are people who are going to heaven from that time. Does that make sense? So I want to make sure you understand that as well. All right. That's the end of this first lecture that kind of summarizes a little bit what we're going to be doing in these next four lectures.

So is that the idea of a remnant that there's always people around that have circumcised hearts? Yes. That’s because of the behavior of others, they have to suffer too. That's exactly right.

They have to go through all that. You could see the original remnant is Noah and his family and he suffered under the wickedness of his time. Even though he was a preacher of the preacher of righteousness. There was always a remnant and they're always suffering. That's exactly right.