VIEW THE “Old Testament Timeline” from Paster Joes Kogmo’s blog

PREHISTORY – God creates the Universe, and humankind begins its legacy; we begin it with mistrust of God, expulsion from the Garden in Adam and Eve, a brother murdering another brother with Cain and Abel, and then…such evil that a flood must wash it away.

1850 BCE – God’s chosen couple, Abraham and Sarah begin their divine-human relationship with deceit—Abraham denies Sarah and Sarah mistreats her maidservant, Hagar. Distrust abounds.

1750 BCE – Joseph is abused by his brothers and he’s sold into slavery, into which the nation of Israel is born.

1290 BCE – God through Moses frees the enslaved Israelites only for them to wander in the desert for 40 years, cursing and denying God along the way.

1250 BCE – Joshua finally invades the Promised Land, a place that God’s people, Israel, can finally call home…but even acquiring the land of milk and honey is shamefully marked with bloodshed and violence.

1000 BCE – once settled, the tribes of Israel are a loose confederation governed by individual Judges; eventually these tribes seek consolidated power and demand a single leader. Eventually David becomes their king…this murdering adulterer is, ironically, one of the few bright spots in Israel’s history. He reigns so faithfully that the idea of a good king is forever compared to the rule of David—he was the Lincoln of Israelite history; later, David’s son (Solomon) becomes king, builds the Temple, and rules respectably.

922 BCE – The golden years of Israel are a flash in the pan, as Israel splits into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom…they become a divided house. Following the split, the North and the South experience a slough of greedy and unfaithful kings to the every-once-in-a-while decent leader.

722 BCE – The Assyrian Empire conquers the Northern Kingdom.

587 BCE – The Babylonian Empire conquers the Southern Kingdom (the nation of Israel is once again enslaved; and in exile is where some of our most despairing Psalms were written: cf. “By the Rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept, and we remembered Zion” (Psalm 137).

539 BCE – Cyrus of the Persian Empire lets the exiled Israelites go home.

538-333 BCE – Whattaya know…for a couple centuries the Israelites live somewhat independently and peacefully, reconstructing their nation and Temple. 250 years of relative peace and stability out of 6,000 ain’t bad.

332 BCE – And it all ends. Alexander the Great conquers the Holy Land, beginning the age of Greco-Roman and eventually Roman Rule {by 63BCE} which would last well past the time of Jesus (hence the Romans’ presence in the New Testament. The Jews do revolt in 166BCE with moderate success (which is the revolt celebrated during Hanukkah). But the Romans would stomp that brief independence out merely 100 years later.

*I constructed some abridged timelines that break up the history of Israel into five general parts and they are at the end of this sermon)

There you have it. 6,000 years of mistrust, violence, slavery, bloodshed, greed, invasion, exile, more invasion, and persecution……. Can you feel how badly and profoundly this nation Israel longed for its Messiah!?

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pastorjoeskogmo

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Pastor Joe Skogmo

Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church, Lowry, MN

12/01/2013 First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 2:1-5

Welcome to the season of Advent. There are really about two themes in this season—the expectation of the first coming of the Messiah and the expectation of the second coming of the Messiah. Either emphasis, we find ourselves waiting.

Last week I quoted a Benedictine sister who said that the church seasons are sacred times where the biblical story enters into us as we enter into it. In Advent, the the biblical stories and sentiments of waiting enter into us and ours into them. ‘Tis ths season of waiting…excruciating, painful, hopeful and bold waiting.

Now, we’ll hear all throughout the year texts about the second coming, so I think that Advent is a good and intensely appropriate time to focus on the Old Testament, and as we wait for Christmas we wait just…

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