Summary: Have you ever noticed that? The Bible is not simple, and it's not man made. It's all interconnected. The first verse of the Old Testament says "in the beginning God created" it all. Of course we know from Genesis chapters 2 and 3 that things went wrong.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. John 1:1.
Have you ever noticed that? The Bible is not simple, and it's not man made. It's all interconnected. The first verse of the Old Testament says "in the beginning God created" it all. Of course we know from Genesis chapters 2 and 3 that things went wrong.
Then we look at the magnificent gospel of John, arguably the beginning of the New Testament, and it begins with the same words "In the beginning" but this time it says "was the Word" a term used to represent Jesus Christ. In those first few paragraphs of John we have an incredible mystery. It is stated that all things were created by Christ and for Christ. But more so when examining John 1:1 we see that though there was a problem, there was already a solution to that problem in Jesus Christ. From the very beginning there was an answer to the problem of sin.
One of the oldest books in the Old Testament is the book of Job. Job is a book very close to my heart. I read it vigorously while I was in jail. It helped me identify with the problem of suffering. But in that book Job utters these prophetic words:
"I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth." (Job 19:25)
It was said that Job was a righteous man in the sight of the Lord (Job 1:1). Yet he suffered immensely. Even though Job was so righteous and pure, he still knew that he needed a savior. Job and God actually talk to one another. And do you know what God says to Job? He asks him somewhere between 50 and 60 questions regarding his worldview. It helps Job understand himself. God is not the problem. Man's distorted worldview is the problem.
But Job knew deep down that God had provided a provision for his malady, Jesus Christ.
Think of another Old Testament hero, not nearly as upright and true as Job. We can think of Jacob. He was a troublemaker. If there is any one person in the history of man that I deeply identify with even more than Job, it's Jacob. Jacob was trouble. I used to be trouble. Sometimes I still am trouble! But God made a great nation of Jacob. More so than Isaac or even Abraham, Jacob's name is forever connected to Israel. The time in the book of Revelation when Israel's feet are placed to fire is called simply "The time of Jacob's trouble." Not Abraham's trouble or Isaac's trouble, but Jacob. Why is that astounding?
Because Jacob was such a screw up. He ran from his problems. But God pursued him as he fled. Do you recall the night that Jacob had his dream? It's one of the most majestic and haunting records in the Old Testament, as follows:
Genesis 28:10-22 (NIV) "Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[a] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[b] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[c] though the city used to be called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord[d] will be my God 22 and[e] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”