5 Pillars of Biblical Theology Timeline
The Gospel in the Bible is deliberated over in its definition. What is this Gospel that we as Christians hold to and preach? The word Gospel in greek is simply a direct translation of “good news.” Therefore, whenever the word Gospel is heard, it should immediately register the phrase good news in ones mind. So, when approaching the question of “What is the Biblical Gospel?”, we are actually approaching the question of “What is the good news in the Bible?”. Many emphasize different things in their explanation, however we emphasize the approach of taking the entire Bible as our context for definition, not only particular events within it.
The most common answer is probably: Jesus died on the Cross for sinners to be forgiven of their sins and live with Him forever. Although this statement is true, and glorious, it does not embody the fullness of the actual good news found in the Bible––it is actually quite lacking. That may come as a surprise to you as it did to me several years ago. Sometimes people think it’s degrading to the Cross to even say it this way, but it is quite the contrary and actually adds the most glory to the event of the Cross. Let’s explain why.
Yes, the good news in the Bible is the simple fact that men can inherit eternal life through the death of Jesus on the Cross. This is true. Nevertheless, the means and foundation by which men do so is the entire narrative of Scripture, beginning long before the Cross and terminating long after. It is this entire story that explains and encapsulates the good news explaining why Jesus died. Without the previous information that defines the context of the Cross, the Cross would be a stand alone event lacking its rich heritage. Many people died on crosses during the early first century, but only one was the promised Jewish Messiah who was the son of David, son of Abraham (Mt. 1:1). The good news of the cross is not tied to another story, but we must attach it to the story from which it has come or we do not give it the glory it deserves–– the glory Jesus deserves.
If we simply say that the good news is forgiveness of sins, we are not presenting the Gospel that the apostles preached. If the news of the Bible is indeed good, shouldn’t we know, understand, and be able to properly articulate it to others so that they can share in its good? The hope in this series of posts is to spur one another on in the truth of the Bible so that all together we could “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints,” (Jude 1:3) as Jude exhorts.
Paul also confirms,
“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior,” (Titus 1:1-3).
These two verses summarize the point in the importance of our task. Jude exhorts us to contend earnestly for the faith that was actually handed down. Paul explains that He also was chosen for the purpose of “the faith… and knowledge of the truth…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, and that these things are given in the proclamation of the very good news we are discussing. There was a faith that was handed down– from whom? There is a proclamation that has been entrusted–What is it?
Paul candidly tells us in Romans 1:
“1Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.”
Paul has been set apart as an apostle (representative) of the Gospel (good news) which God promised beforehand in His prophets and Holy Scriptures concerning His Son who is the promised Son of David (2 Samuel 7). In other words, this good news regarding the inheritance of eternal life began a long time ago and has a very detailed progression regarding its relation to human beings and our salvation which is its final realization. No one would argue that the gospel doesn’t result in salvation, as Paul even explicitly emphasizes that the gospel is the “power of God to salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek,” (Rom. 1:16). If this good news results in men inheriting eternal life, and it began long ago as revealed in God’s Holy Scriptures and through His prophets, we should desire to comprehend the fullness of His Gospel for ourselves and for the sake of others.
Rom. 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
How the Diagram Works
In looking at the diagram in the above link, you can see that we are using a simple linear timeline beginning with the Biblical creation and ending with the Biblical consummation. It is important to understand that this linear timeline is the Biblical representation of time as we know it. Before time as we know it, there was God, and we don’t know anything about that time––except that there was God. When God created the heavens and the earth, our time, and you could say history as we know it, began. This is often theologically called redemptive history. Our Bible follows a simple linear progression throughout the Scriptures from it’s stated beginning until now, and also predicts the future events which culminate in the end of time as we know it.
This delineation in Scripture is usually distinguished by separating this age from the age to come. We are currently in this age, the age which began after the fall of Adam from the garden. The age to come begins when God as divine author of time ends this age Himself and begins the next age (Mt. 12:32, 13:39; Lk. 18:30; Mk. 10:30). This diagram uses this method because Jesus Himself taught this appropriate distinction between the ages in a very distinct fashion.
36Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43“Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
In this way we should understand time. This age will have a decisive end, not transitionally through the “church age,” but suddenly through the Messiah’s return.
Holding up this linear understanding of time as we know it, are five pillars. These five pillars are five Biblical points upon which the good news of our Bible incontestably sits. We know this because of what the apostles preached consistently through the book of acts. They appear in chronological order on the diagram just as they have been revealed in the Scriptures. Within each pillar is a small segment of wealth from the Scriptures showing how the Bible truly emphasizes each of the five Biblical pillars. The diagram is meant to function as a whole with all five pillars being emphasized equally. Many theological camps focus on one or two pillars, and sometimes three as the drive of their personal theological stance. However, desiring to be a faithful witness, it cannot be our agenda to choose certain “pillars” to emphasize. We must adhere to the entire account of Scripture and each pillar God emphasizes therein! Therefore, in this diagram we seek to emphasize what God has emphasized in the entirety of the Bible, rather than what man emphasizes in his opinions. To be a faithful witness we must say what God said, and add nothing else to it. In this light we have made this diagram to speak for itself from the Scriptures therein. The words provided as commentary in this post will hopefully not stray into theological opinion but stay centered on the text itself. We are not seeking to form some new theological camp in this feat, but rather trying to be as biblically consistent as possibly regarding what is revealed in Scripture.
The goal of this diagram is that with your Bible and a chunk of time devoted to prayer and study of these Scriptures, you can actually fluently understand the point of the Bible, it’s framework, and gain a solid theological foundation of its good news. We have seen and experienced that a simple understanding of the linear story-line of the Bible sets the human heart free to press on towards the goal of the upward calling of eternal life in Christ Jesus. This is personally the case for us, those we personally know and others we’ve mentored. When a man truly puts His life in context to the good news of God’s story, conversion happens deep within the heart convincing the man to lose his only life and be found in the only living Savior. Hopefully you also will believe in this good news and be able to live the Christian life in freedom to stand before Jesus in confidence giving Him account to that which He revealed in His Bible.
The Gospel is Creational
The first pillar of the good news emphasized in the Bible is that it is creational, because “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” (Gen. 1:1). God made everything we can see in the earth and above the earth. Possessing a biblical worldview hinges entirely upon this literal creation being true. We cannot emphasize enough the pertinence of this biblical principle. If we remove Genesis 1:1 from a literal interpretation, then Genesis 1:2 through Revelation 22:21 can also be in question of its divine authority. Therefore we dramatically call attention to the fact that the entire existence of experiential physical reality in which humans live and breathe was thought of and brought into being by the God of the Bible in Genesis 1.
The way that the Bible proves this creational identity which God possesses to be true is through showing His sovereign authority over the things which He has created. God exercises dominion over the things He has made. In Genesis 7-9 we behold the account of the flood. In this account, God decides that He is going to send rain upon the earth, and cause the fountains of the great deep within the earth to burst open resulting in cataclysmic waters that cover the entire planet. God decides this, and then God does it. We see in this true account the simple principle: God is proven to have created the heavens and the earth, because He can do with them as He pleases. He has authority to act in any and every instance in the way He pleases and there is nothing that can interrupt, sway, or change His plan.
Lets say I possess a toy car that I have hand-carved out of wood. If I decide to take that toy car and polish it, I will. If I also decide to drive the toy car off a cliff, I will. I have sovereign authority over this car because I made it and I will do with it as I please. The same concept applies to God’s sovereignty over creation. Albeit, in a much larger and unequivocal scale, it is ALL of existence, not a toy car, that we are equating in relation to God’s ownership of the heavens, the earth, and man.
Now we move on to the next Scripture on the diagram.
In Genesis 14:19; 22, Melchidezek and Abraham announce their understanding of the identity of the one called God by naming Him “the LORD God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth.” The word for possessor equally means creator, but each meaning emphasizes the same point. They believed that there was a most high God who created and possessed everything they knew to exist.
In Exodus chapters 7-11 we see God again exercise sovereignty over His creation by doing miraculous things. He proves He is creator by changing water into blood. He created both, He can turn either into either. He follows this sign with 9 others. He brings frogs into the land by His command and turns dust into gnats. He brings swarms of flies upon Egypt. He shows his reigning authority over life in killing the Egyptian cattle. He makes sores break out on the skin of people and makes fire and ice fall together from the sky to the ground. He calls locusts to plague the land and He causes three days of darkness to envelop all of Egypt. He even distinguishes Himself with power by causing the last 5 plagues to not affect the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived. Finally God shows his ultimate authority and sovereignty over human life by killing the firstborn in the houses of those without lambs blood on their door. Again, God decided to act and there was nothing to stop, interrupt, or sway Him from accomplishing what He desired. He perfectly proves again His sovereign power over His creation and His divine possession of everything within it.
When we arrive to verses such as Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lords and all it contains, the world and those who dwell therein,” the exclamation mark is made again. God created and therefore owns and exercises authority over all existence. Psalm 104 (which should be meditated upon for many hours) stands alone as a truly remarkable Psalm in relating to God’s sovereignty. The Psalm says in the second verse that God covers Himself with light as with a cloak, and has stretched out heaven like a tent curtain. As we would pitch a tent when camping, God has pitched the heavens into place. This is remarkable. The Psalmist goes as far to say that God “causes the grass to grow on the mountains,” relating God’s productive (productive in the sense of being the sole producer) activity even in the simplest things such as grass growing. God is causing every blade of grass that you’ve ever seen to grow. This should amaze us. He is paying scrutinizing attention to the details of His creation, even each blade of grass. Psalm 104 could be seen as a type of commentary on Psalm 24:1, with verse after verse of God’s sovereign involvement with His possession.
Isaiah 40 is the grand rhetorical question and answering chapter from God regarding the oceans of the earth which sit within the palm of His hand, the heavens which were measured out by His hand’s span, and the dust and mountains which He weighed upon scales so that the earth is balanced (v.12). These verses are not metaphorical, and His careful calculations have held the earth in balance and in place from the day He spoke until today. When verse 23 finally arrives we see His sovereignty over the people on the earth that rise into and fall out of power. Daniel later confirms this when speaking to Nebuchadnezzar, saying, “He removes Kings and establishes Kings,” (Dan. 2:21). Nebuchadnezzar then himself confirms the point we have sought to make in this section by saying “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but “He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have you done?‘” (Daniel 4:35).
Isaiah 42:5 affirms God’s sovereignty over the earth and life yet again. “Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it…”. This is one of only a few passages that give a clear understanding that God is not only providing air within the earth to breathe, but actually giving it into the lungs of people making their spirit to be alive. God is making life happen in you and I at this very moment––we are not merely living because we breathe.
As a final word on the creational identity which God alone holds we turn to the words of His Son. “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will,” (Mk. 13:19). I love this verse because it pitches creational and eschatological together in one. Jesus confirms that God created the heavens and the earth directly, and then confirms the time of tribulation which will occur at the end of all things when God finally sets out to complete His final acts of sovereignty over His creation. What a beautiful paradox Jesus!
Here we behold the good news of the Gospel being creational: God created all things and exercises His authority over them. Creation wasn’t chance. It wasn’t a big bang. The earth and it’s inhabitants haven’t changed through evolution, because, “By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done,” (Gen. 2:2). This very blatantly suggests that God’s work in created reality as we know it, was entirely finished, not to be altered or changed by anyone other than Him, after the sixth day. God rested because He was unshakably confident in what He had done and how things would turn out–He was not tired!
The earth is not millions of years old. All of those perspectives displace good news and cause the traffic of questionable news to arise in our fleshly hearts. God does not present His news in this way. However, if we come with a simple faith to Genesis 1 and allow it to be interpreted literally, we behold the beauty of a wise, all-knowing, all powerful, and completely sovereign God who interacts within His creation in the most dynamic way. Truly, He is causing everything to happen right now within the confines of the sum-total of reality as we know it. His interest in humans should cause us to stand in awe as David does in Psalm 8 “What is man that you are mindful of Him?” and we should tremble with fear that, as men, we will give account to Him for our faith in what His word says concerning this.
God’s Creational Sovereignty Over Man
While peering into the wonder of God’s creational power and authority over the earth, we also see this same supremacy exercised over men. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us the history of how man came to exist.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
Genesis 2:7 “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Maybe this hasn’t struck you like this in a while? Because of the indoctrination of evolution and the age of science where mans knowledge has become authority, we become slowly desensitized to the electric veracity of these passages. God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. This is the complete and unadulterated truth of our existence.
Again we turn to the flood account in Genesis chapters 6-9. If God breathed life into His creation, He is the only one who possesses the right to that breath. He has a divine reservation to take the breath away when He chooses whether the breath is or is not being used to glorify Him. Although the flood is very apologetically hard to deal with (concerning many deaths), and difficult for our human hearts to bear due to lack of understanding, God removes the breath from the nostrils of every human being alive on the earth save the 8 of Noah and his family. It is done out of grief and sorrow (c.f Gen. 6:6) and it is done without asking anyone’s permission. God decides by His own will and authority that it is time to take their lives as a judgment upon wickedness, and then He caused the rains to fall above them and the great deep to burst open under their feet drowning them in the aquatic deluge. Although our hearts might rise up in offense at this, those of us currently reading remain alive in this very moment only because He wills. Let us praise Him for this gift of life and be thankful that all of His ways are just and true. Let us fear rather than accuse!
Job 33:4 and 6 articulate the way that Job perceived his life in relation to God’s creative identity. “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life… Behold, I belong to God like you; I too have been formed out of the clay.” Here the point is confirmed from the mouth of the man weighed down by the freedom of God to disrupt his life and do as He liked. He recognized that He had been made by God and that God’s spirit was his direct and only source of life after being formed out of the clay. Here though we also see a descriptive word that furthers our understanding of our existence. Job says that he belongs to God… like other men. In other words, job sees himself as God’s possession. This is powerful.
Although it is a little more heartbreaking to employ the wooden car toy analogy again here, we must see its value. If the car belongs to me, I can do with it as I like because it is mine. Although our motives are selfish and sinful, God’s never are. We are of far greater value to him than inanimate objects. We are of even more value to him than animate objects like sparrows and the flowers of the field! All these things belong to him, but He has given His own breath of life into man. Our belonging is very personal to God and only He has reserve upon the lives of men.
In Job chapters 1 and 2 we see that even satan, usually equated by many to be the “other great power at work in the world,” has a sort of policy he has to follow when entering God’s presence. I find it almost laughable and wonder that God may have even set it in place simply to annoy satan. It appears God always asks satan the same question: “From where do you come?” and then satan always answers the same way “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” Maybe my opinion is of no value, but let me explain. Regardless of how satan has been put in the place where he is, God is emphatically in complete control over him. Since He is God, maybe He set in place an annoying dialogue exchange that satan has to follow every time He enters God’s presence? Regardless, when satan speaks to God, God gives direct commands regarding what satan is allowed to do. Because God says “spare his life,” satan is forbidden and furthermore unable to challenge this command from God. There is no satanic trump card that somehow overpowers God’s will. Often times we give satan the credit for someones death and or some mass tragedy. While satan may have been the tool God used to bring calamity, we must have firm security and faith that God alone makes these decisions Himself because only He exercises sovereign authority over human life––not satan.
Elihu then capitalizes on Job’s statement about life and spirit in 34:14-15. “If He should determine to do so, if He should gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.” If in one moment God decided to inhale into His own lungs all of the breath of life serving the earth with life itself, in that moment it would perish altogether and cease to exist. Selah.
By the time that God responds to Job in the end of the book and makes His tornadic entry we can gather that He is about to make a very serious point regarding Job’s questioning Him of “Why?” From the whirlwind we hear nearly 130 verses of God’s ideas about Himself. God always tells the truth. We could cite any number of these verses but the very first thing God says to Job basically sums it up, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Right there we have a full-stop that no man can trespass. Like a cartoon character suddenly plowing into the concrete wall and falling down a pancake, Job is immediately flattened to silence. After God’s firm reprimand we hear Job blubber out the same thing as Nebuchadnezzar, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” The resounding gong of our point is crystallized––God created everything and exercises sovereignty over it to do as He pleases, when He pleases, and nothing and no one can affect or change what He purposes.
Psalm 8 distinguishes itself from many other Psalms because of its creational focus of the heavens and the earth and how man is so small in comparison. The announcement given in verse 5 “You have made him a little lower than God” stresses the situation humans are in––lower than God. This is our created God-given identity and the reason why we are to honor our Creator by attributing to Him the recognition and praise He deserves for what He has made!
We emphasized Isaiah 42:5 earlier so let us take this opportunity to mention another relevant Scripture regarding life. “The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil,” (Prov. 16:4). We cannot perceive this as sadistic in relation to God’s identity, but rather worship Him that He has so graciously revealed truth to as many as will listen and humble themselves before His word.
The Creational Identity of Israel
God specifically says that He has created three things in Scripture and we have only discussed two of them. Now we come to peer into the mystery! Usually when I discuss this it doesn’t seem to quite connect with people. I pray that it can connect with you. The same creational title that God uses for the heavens and the earth and man, he also uses regarding the nation of Israel in the Bible. This point alone stands violently in the face of supercessionism, shaking its fist and demanding an explanation to which there is no response. I pray that we have come to understand by this point the supreme power of God regarding creation. Whether the earth, the heavens, or men, He relates the identity of Creator as being His alone. This identity He is proud of, and it is an equally beneficial identity. God created the earth and he plans on keeping it, which is why restoration is si important in our gospel. God created man, and He plans on keeping them (the ones who choose Him within their life) which is why there is a future resurrection. Since God specifically relates creational identity to Israel, we must come to the same conclusion, He plans on keeping them (the ones who choose Him within their life) and an apocalyptic restoration is planned for them as well.
“(I am the Lord) (your God).” Although I have heard many cite this verse, I have rarely heard anyone expound upon its deep yet simplistic implications. I think we should consider that God is actually applying His identity of God as specific to His relation to Israel. In other words, God is not making a passive statement about being their God as a simple matter-of-fact declaration. God is suggesting Israel’s personal possession of Him as their God and He is emphasizing His ownership of Israel––that they equally possess each other. This is certainly a marriage type analogy. If I say to my wife “I am your husband” there is a relational identity I am seeking to emphasize. It means, “I am not the husband of another woman. I belong to you, and you belong to me.” This is simple to understand, but rarely applied to the many times God says this to Israel in Scripture. How much more is this true when God says it? I believe what God is saying should be understood as, “I am the LORD, your God––I have attached Myself to you personally, and attached you also to Me.” Because God does this, He then takes the liberty in Scripture to use creational language regarding Israel.
Let’s take a short parenthesis here. It is necessary to understand how personal Israel is to God so that after the Cross we don’t confuse the theology concerning Israel in the New Testament. It is of the utmost importance to actually ask God to reveal to you the emotions of His heart concerning Israel in the Scriptures we are looking at. Israel is not just a theological matter, it is the chosen of God’s own heart! We must pray for and seek to understand this in order to be theologically sound in our understanding of the Bible. End parenthesis.
Now let me show you in Scripture what I’m commenting about. Please read this whole passage:)
Deut 4:10-40 10“Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ 11“You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom.12“Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. 13“So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone… 32“Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? 33“Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? 34“Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35“To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him. 36“Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. 37“Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, 38driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today. 39“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. 40“So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”
I have underlined the verses that utilize very personal language of God regarding Israel. However, I want to specifically highlight verses 35 and 37 which I’ve made bold above. Verse 37 says, “To you it was shown that you might know the Lord.” God showed himself to one people that this one people might know him. You could say, God revealed Himself from heaven to this people, so that this people would know they were His. We’ve discussed regarding the earth and man that God possess them because He created them. Here, God zooms in within the great landscape of mankind and picks a certain people to be His own special possession.
Deut. 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Hopefully this is ringing the bell of understanding within your heart and mind. We are trying to evaluate the creational nature of the nation of Israel in comparison to the earth and man. I’m hoping the Scriptural implications are becoming clear. If God employs the same creational language of possession of the earth and man, to Israel, then the result is paramount! Indeed, let us look to a few pertinent Scriptures that confirm this.
Is. 43:1 “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
Is. 43:15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.”
Is. 43:21 “The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.”
Is. 44:1-2 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, And Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”
Is. 45:11 “Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: ‘Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.'”
We should full-stop here and note a very important principle. God speaks of three things in the Bible that are creational in their identity. The earth, man, and Israel. These share equal importance in Scripture because they each hold the unique quality of being God’s possession. God has created for Himself eternal possessions in the earth, man, and Israel––things He has no plan of giving away. What is the point for God to create something that expires or is replaced? The very nature of His creational identity is that what He creates stands firm without any outside influences affecting them. Since God created man and the earth, they exist right now, they cannot cease to exist. God also created Israel, and they exist right now. An emphatic section of Scripture that relates this principle perfectly is Jer. 31:35-37
Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the LORD, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,” declares the LORD.
Did God just do what we think He did? Yes! God Himself confirms the creational dynamic and its divine interplay by relating creation itself to His created Israel! This is noteworthy and should crystallize in our minds the creational nature of Israel.
Here we have the finale of good news and the foundation upon which Biblical theology is built. God created the earth and He possesses it as His own creation. God created man, and He possesses them as His own creation. God created Israel and He possesses them as His own creation. If the earth is under a curse because of the fall of sin, the Lord’s promise is sure to redeem the earth from this curse, because He created it. If man is under a curse as a result of the fall of sin, God’s promise is sure to redeem him from this curse, because He created them. If Israel is under a curse because she has been unfaithful to her covenant with God, then God’s promise to redeem her is sure, because God created her. We must be certain that God has purposely employed the creational identity of each of these three in order to give a simple understanding of consistency to His Biblical story. His ingenuity is so simple it is brilliant! Let us praise Him for His magnificence, and fear His wondrous ways!