The Gospel in Torah

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:2-3

  1. After the fall of Adam and Eve and the fall at the Tower of Babel, God chose Abram (Abraham) to be the father of a special nation (Genesis 12:1-3,22:15-18)
    • What do you notice about the blessing in these passages? Who receives blessing?
  1. Basic history: Abraham’s grandson Jacob is later renamed “Israel” by God (Genesis 32:28). One of Jacob’s 12 sons is sold into slavery, but eventually God establishes him as high-ranking official in Egypt. During a famine, Jacob’s family journeys to Egypt (with 70 people—see lesson #3) where Joseph ensures they are cared for. After over 400 years, a new Pharoah is in power, and the descendants of Jacob are no longer respected. They are subjected to harsh slave labor (Exodus 1:8-14). God raises up Moses as a deliverer. After many plagues, the Pharoah lets Moses’ people go, only to change his mind and pursue the fleeing people. God delivers the Hebrews through the waters of the Red Sea and crushes the Egyptians when they dare follow (Exodus 14:10-31).
    • God delivered his people out of this nation, a system of the world, and brought them into a nation of his own.
  1. He then gives them the Law, which totals over 600 different commands. However, it is not meant as a list of “dos or don’ts,” but rather a way of living that would be his shining example of his Kingdom to the world.
    • What do you think the world would look like if God’s reign was recognized by all?
      • Leviticus 19:9-18
      • Deut 15:1-11
      • Deut 16:18-20
    • How does this communicate the Kingdom of God?
      • Exodus 19:3-6
      • Leviticus 19:2
      • Deut 4:1-9
      • Numbers 24:1-9
    • Was the vision of God’s Kingdom meant to only impact Ancient Israel?
      • Leviticus 19:33-34
      • Exodus 12:38,48-49 (Numbers 9:14)
      • Numbers 14:21
    • How do the commandments ultimately point to Jesus?
      • Hebrews 9:11-28
  1. Israel’s relationship with God is a constant roller coaster of obedience and utter failure, but God was continuously faithful to his covenant promises. Why do you think God exercised such gracious and steadfast love for such a “stiff-necked” people (Exodus 33:3)? What encouragement does that give us today?
    • Exodus 34:6-7
    • Joshua 21:44-45
  1. Don’t miss what the Pharisees missed. Jesus summed up the heart of the Law with Matthew 22:37-40 – “And He said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” God doesn’t get mad at the Israelites for wearing a polyester blend or lighting a candle on the Sabbath. Rather, he gets mad at them when they aren’t loving God, when they aren’t loving their neighbors, and when they are being greedy, cruel, or unfair.
    • God’s laws in the Torah for his people were meant to bring them to an understanding of his love, grace and mercy. They were a shadow of the life to come under Christ the King—the ultimate sacrificial lamb who is seated at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:1-12).

(Click here for referenced Scripture printout.)