Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The History of the People of God in 658 Words

Sorry I haven't been online at all this week. It's been a full one! I'll write more about it soon.Over the next couple days I'm going to post a couple fun things.

Earlier this year I posted a link to a very funny, clever video for the new season of "Lost". It was called "Here's Everything You Need to Know about Lost in 8 Minutes, 15 Seconds."

Later this year, someone did something similar for the Democratic Party. Again, very funny.

I've been kicking around trying to do something like this regarding the Bible. For your entertainment, here's an early text version.

Here's Everything You Need to know about the history of the People of God in 658 Words.

God creates the universe. Also people. He tells them to be fruitful and multiply. And don’t sin.

The people sin. Later, they multiply. Then they sin some more. God has a flood and wipes them out.

God saves Noah and his family. He makes a covenant and promises not to flood the world again. Phew.

The people multiply a lot. They all live in a big city with a tall tower. God doesn’t like that. He creates foreign languages and subtitles. People leave.

God asks Abram and Sarai to leave their family and go where He will send them. He promises them land and a lot of descendants. And he changes their names.

Eventually, they have a son. Sarah dies. Abraham buys a little piece of land to bury her. Abraham dies.

Abraham’s grandson Jacob steals the blessing owed to his older brother Esau. God renews the covenant with him anyway. He's like that.

He changes Jacob’s name to Israel. Esau is not happy. He hates his name.

During a drought, Jacob’s descendants move to Egypt. At first, they live like kings. Later, they are the kings’ slaves. Bummer.

God rescues the people from Egypt, and makes a covenant with them at Mt. Sinai. If they will be faithful to him, he will be their God. Plus, they’ll get a land of their own, and commandments on tablets. They think this deal is sweet.

The people say yes. Then they’re unfaithful. Moses has a fit. God decides they’ll have to wait until everyone in that generation has died before they can enter the Promised Land of Canaan. 40 years of eating manna in the desert. This deal is not sweet.

40 years later, at the entrance of Canaan, Moses reminds the people of everything God has done for them. He tells them they better remember all this, or they will become unfaithful and things will go badly. Then he dies.

The people invade Canaan, conquer its tribes and make it their own. Then they forget everything God has done for them, become unfaithful and things go badly.

Later they remember and ask forgiveness. Things get better. Later, they forget again.

Eventually, the people ask for a king, because all the other kingdoms have one. Samuel tells them to trust God, having a king will just cause trouble. They say he is like totally out of touch and doesn’t understand them.

God names Saul king. Saul causes trouble.

God replaces Saul with David. David loves God, defeats the Philistines and expands the empire. Later, he commits adultery and has his lover's husband assassinated. Whoa.

Otherwise he is Israel’s greatest king. He rules 40 years.

David’s son Solomon reigns 40 years. He builds the Temple and a palace. Later, he worships foreign gods. God is not happy. When Solomon dies, God splits Israel into the Northern Kingdom (Samaria) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah).

The kings of the Northern Kingdom worship foreign gods. God takes off. The north is overrun by Assyria, its land annexed and its people exiled. The prophets call the invaders God’s instruments.

The Southern kings are more faithful. Their kingdom lasts longer. Later, they are unfaithful. Babylonia overruns them. Many of the people are exiled. The Temple is destroyed.

The Jews are confused. Their faith was based on having one land, one people, one temple. They decide one out of three is pretty bad. The prophets say it’s their own fault. They repent.

Persia conquers Babylon. Its king Cyrus allows the Israelites to go home and rebuild the Temple. The Israelites like him.

Later, the Romans take over. The Israelites revolt. They win. Then they lose.

Jesus is born. He heals people, has dinner with sinners and says the Kingdom of God has begun. Jewish authorities disagree. They have him killed.

Three days later, he rises from the dead. His followers start a new sect of Judaism based on his teaching. Eventually, it’s called Christianity.

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