by the late Sheldon Emry
Most Americans have in their homes a book of 66 books bound in one volume, called simply, "The Bible." This book is the religious book of 95% of all the churches in the English-speaking nations such as our own.
Is the Bible a closed book to you? Or do you understand portions of it, while the rest remains a mystery? You do want to increase your understanding of the Bible, do you not? In the next few minutes, I am going to give you a key that will unlock the mysteries of the Bible. The Bible story begins in Genesis 1:1 — "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." In the rest of chapter 1 we are told of the creation of the animals and "all living creatures on the earth and under the sea."
Chapter 2 is of the forming of Adam, placing him in the garden of Eden, of Eve, their disobedience, and removal from the Garden. In a few more pages we read of the flood, the saving of Noah and his household, and the spreading of their descendants across the land.
On page 9 of my Bible, we learn of the building of the tower of Babel, its destruction, God's confounding of the people's language, and their dispersion across the earth.
In only 9 pages. God covers many centuries, including awesome and terrifying calamities. Then on page 10 God speaks to one man, a man named Abraham, and from this page on, for over a thousand pages, the Bible is about Abraham and his descendants.
On page 10, in Genesis 12:2:3, God says to this man:
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Then follows a number of meetings between God and Abraham. God later meets with Abraham's son, Isaac, and later with Jacob, the son of Isaac, and repeats the promises (or covenants) made with Abraham. All of these promises and covenants have to do with the future of Jacob's children.
The rest of the Bible deals almost exclusively with these heirs of the covenants and the promises, called in the Bible, "The children of Israel."