|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Series:||Illustrated Bible Handbook Series|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||11 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
365 Great Moments in Bible History
Key Events that Affected Humanity's Future
By Ed Strauss
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
1. CREATION OF LIGHT \\ GENESIS 1:1–5
Light isn't the first thing God created—"the heavens and the earth" predate it—but the Bible places light within the first day of Creation.
"Let there be light" are God's first recorded words, and they immediately brought definition to the primordial world. Until light appeared, the earth was "formless and empty" and "darkness was over the surface of the deep" (Genesis 1:1–3 NIV).
Suddenly, though, half of creation was bathed in a glowing energy that God called "day." Though darkness would remain (as "night"), everything that God would later bring into existence could now interact differently, more effectively, with the rest of Creation. That's undoubtedly why God "saw that the light was good" (Genesis 1:4 NIV).
Light travels at an incredible speed (more than 186,000 miles per second in the vacuum of space), and it takes sunlight between eight and nine minutes to reach the earth. But it's interesting to note that there was light before the sun existed—God made the sun on Creation's fourth day.
Light's importance is that it allows us to see and understand the physical world around us. Jesus, as "the light of the world" (John 9:5 NIV), illuminates the spiritual realm.
2. CREATION OF THE EARTH \\ GENESIS 1:1–2, 6–10
The Bible opens with these sweeping words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty" (Genesis 1:1–2 NLT). Not only was the earth initially formless and empty, but the entire universe was a chaotic mass of unformed energy and matter. Even the stars hadn't coalesced yet!
We live in what is called "a fine-tuned universe." Even secular scientists are forced to admit that the laws of the universe seem deliberately designed to make life possible and are therefore proof of an intelligent Creator.
But at this early stage, only the raw stuff of creation existed—from which all of God's order and structure and beauty would spring. No place in the universe was yet fit for life. But God had a plan to create a habitable world for mankind.
"For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos" (Isaiah 45:18 NLT).
Do you enjoy life? You ought to! God carefully designed everything to make life on earth possible.
3. CREATION OF PLANTS \\ GENESIS 1:11–13
By the third morning of Creation, the earth was fully formed. That's when God caused the entire planet—from east to west, from the north pole to the south—to burst forth with a dizzying profusion of plant life.
Perhaps you've heard of the Cambrian explosion, when a plethora of life forms suddenly and inexplicably appeared in the fossil record. This was the Genesis explosion.
The Lord created all plants, from delicate orchids in the sun-dappled jungles to mighty redwoods towering along fog-shrouded coasts. You get the definite impression that Almighty God had a great deal of fun being creative. But He had immensely practical purposes in mind as well.
"The living God, who made the heavens and the earth ... has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy" (Acts 14:15, 17 NIV). God created plants not only to awe us into silence with their beauty, but to serve as food. They nourish our bodies and give us energy.
But underlying this basic human need and woven throughout the fabric of God's plan was His desire to fill our hearts with joy.
4. CREATION OF ANIMALS \\ GENESIS 1:20–25
On the fifth and sixth days of Creation, God designed every imaginable kind of animal—from colorful clownfish nestling among sea anemones to jaguars lurking in steaming rain forests; from pterodactyls soaring above windswept cliffs to monarch butterflies fluttering over delicate flowers; from thundering herds of shaggy bison to reclusive mountain gorillas.
Animals filled the rivers and the seas, the forests and the plains. In fact, every gram of soil on earth swarmed with millions of microscopic life forms. Even heat vents at the bottoms of the oceans and rocks far beneath the earth's surface were not forgotten. The entire planet Earth teemed with an astonishing variety of life.
God filled every crack and corner of the globe with living creatures, great and small. He had commanded, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures" (Genesis 1:20 NKJV, emphasis added). All the earth hastened to obey God's commands and filled with a bewildering abundance of fauna.
After God had created all these myriad species, He stamped every single one of them with His personal blessing—a blessing He intended to endure until the end of time: "And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply'" (Genesis 1:22 NKJV).
5. CREATION OF MAN \\ GENESIS 1:26–28; 2:7
Finally, God finished creating all animal life. The pale blue globe called Earth was overflowing with an unbelievably rich diversity of flora and fauna. The planet's entire interdependent ecosystem was up and running. Everything seemed complete. But it wasn't complete.
The triune God already enjoyed eternal communion. And God had created millions of angels before the first star came into being. When He "laid the earth's foundation ... all the angels shouted for joy" (Job 38:4, 7 NIV). But even communion with angels wasn't enough. God longed for sentient physical beings to share His Creation with.
"God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness' ... 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" (Genesis 1:26; 2:7 NASB).
Adam was created on the same day as the land animals, but though he had a physical body like them, he also had an eternal spirit. And this spirit was made in the image of God—literally designed for communion with the Father.
"For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit" (John 4:24 NLT).
6. CREATION OF WOMAN \\ GENESIS 1:27; 2:18–24
God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day, and like man, woman is also a spiritual being—made in the image of God. "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27 NLT).
However, Eve was created differently than any other living being. Every male and female animal was made from the earth. God said, "Let the land produce living creatures." And man was created "from the dust of the ground" (Genesis 1:24; 2:7 NIV). In contrast, the first woman was formed from a rib taken from the man's side.
Why did God create Eve in such a unique way? Because men and women are not simply animals, creatures of the earth, and God intended their relationship to be more than a physical union driven by sexual instincts.
Very likely, the female was taken from the male because human beings were created to have a relationship with—and spiritual union to—not only God (1 Corinthians 6:17), but each other. Men and women become "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24 KJV), but they are also to experience intimate spiritual union.
7. FALL OF SATAN \\ ISAIAH 14:12–15; EZEKIEL 28:11–17
Angels, archangels, and other mighty heavenly beings called cherubim and seraphim were created before the physical universe came into existence—and they rejoiced at Creation. They worshipped God and gave Him great joy. But some of them weren't content with their places in His kingdom.
A highly exalted cherub named Lucifer ("Light bearer") had a position of great majesty and authority. But he was envious of God and aspired to be worshipped in His place.
Ezekiel describes his rebellion, saying, "You were the anointed cherub.... You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.... Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God" (Ezekiel 28:14–16 NKJV).
Isaiah declares, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" (Isaiah 14:12 NKJV).
Satan didn't rebel alone. And he didn't fall alone. He led one-third of the angels of heaven in his great rebellion, and they were cast out with him (Revelation 12:3–4, 7–9).
When Lucifer fell, he became known as the devil or Satan (the Accuser), and when his angels fell, they became known as evil spirits or demons.
8. TEMPTATION OF EVE \\ GENESIS 2:15–17; 3:1–7
Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, a breathtakingly beautiful paradise. They simply picked their food off the trees. They should've been content—and they were until the serpent deceived them and made them dissatisfied.
God had told Adam that he was free to eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, including the fruit of the Tree of Life. But they were not to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve knew this command. She also knew that the punishment for disobeying was death.
But one day the serpent tricked Eve. He told her that God was withholding the best from them, that if she would eat the fruit of this tree, it would make her wise. She would know good and evil just like God. He convinced her to disbelieve God—she wouldn't actually die.
This serpent was none other than "that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray" (Revelation 12:9 NIV).
Eve was deceived, and she not only ate the forbidden fruit herself, but gave some to Adam. And their disobedience brought physical and spiritual death upon humanity.
9. GOD CURSES THE EARTH \\ GENESIS 3:8–24
Because Adam and Eve sinned, several curses overwhelmed the world. First, their once-perfect physical bodies became mortal. God informed Adam that he would "return to the ground ... for you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19 NASB). This would fulfill God's warning that eating the forbidden fruit brought death.
Their disobedience also brought a curse upon the entire natural world. God said, "Cursed is the ground ... thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you" (Genesis 3:17–18 NKJV). Paul tells us that as a result, all creation came under "bondage to decay" (Romans 8:21 NIV).
Up till then, they'd had an easy life. But God now told Eve that she would only give birth by "painful labor," and He now told Adam that he would only produce food by "painful toil" (Genesis 3:16–17 NIV).
Amazingly, a promise of redemption was made when God cursed the serpent. God told the devil that there would be war between him and a descendant of the woman—the Messiah: "You will strike his heel [seek to kill Jesus]" but "he will crush your head [deliver a mortal blow]" (Genesis 3:15 NIV). (See also 1 John 3:8.)
10. CAIN AND ABEL GIVE OFFERINGS \\ GENESIS 4:1–7
Adam and Eve had two sons, whom they named Cain and Abel. Cain worked the soil and grew vegetables, fruit, and grain. Abel spent his days watching the family's sheep.
When it came time to make an offering, Cain offered some of his produce. God was still speaking to humanity (Genesis 4:6, 9) but didn't acknowledge Cain's offering. However, Abel "brought of the firstborn of his flock" (Genesis 4:4 NKJV), and "God spoke well of his offerings" (Hebrews 11:4 NIV).
Why? Though God would later command animal offerings, as Abel provided here, Cain apparently made his offering from inappropriate motives.
"It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel's offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man" (Hebrews 11:4 NLT).
Why did Abel obey God and Cain disobey? Because that's what they were in the habit of doing. "Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous" (1 John 3:12 NLT). May we, like Abel, continually obey God.
11. CAIN MURDERS ABEL \\ GENESIS 4:5–16
When God refused to accept his offering, "Cain was very angry" (Genesis 4:5 NIV). He was seething with indignation.
Knowing where such anger could lead, God warned him: "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it" (Genesis 4:6–7 NIV).
Peter warned that "your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV). In Cain's case, the devil was no longer prowling around. He had found someone to devour. Thoughts of violence were even now crouching at the door of Cain's heart.
Rage desired to overcome him. The solution was to exercise self-control. This Cain failed to do. The result was the world's first crime. Cain murdered his brother then buried him to cover his evil deed. But God had seen everything.
Cain was banished from the very thing that had given him his sense of worth. From then on, he would no longer till the soil, but be a restless wanderer. "There is no peace ... for the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22 NKJV).
12. WICKEDNESS INCREASES ON EARTH \\ GENESIS 6:1–13
In the second generation from Adam, "people first began to worship the LORD by name" (Genesis 4:26 NLT). Life was difficult, and mankind was painfully aware of what they'd lost. So some began seeking God's presence and His favor.
A few generations later, Enoch walked so closely with God that He literally took him from the world (Genesis 5:23–24). But Enoch was the exception.
As human beings began to multiply, they increasingly followed their own selfish desires. By Noah's day, society had become thoroughly corrupt.
"The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time" (Genesis 6:5 NIV). In fact, "the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence ... for everyone on earth was corrupt" (Genesis 6:11–12 NLT).
Finally, people became so depraved that, so it appears, they broke the most basic rules of God's natural order and began having intercourse with fallen angels (Genesis 6:1–4). The result was giant offspring called Nephilim. God had blessed man and woman and told them to have children—but these actions brought a curse.
13. GOD CALLS NOAH \\ GENESIS 5:28–29; 6:6–10
The world was so wicked that God regretted that He'd even made mankind. So He determined to destroy all life on earth with a colossal flood.
But hidden in a corner of this corrupt world was one righteous man. Noah had been raised in a family who'd had a rough time of it. When Noah was born, his father said, "May he bring us relief from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed" (Genesis 5:29 NLT).
But despite Noah's hard upbringing—or perhaps because of it—he sought God.
"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." Because he obeyed God and communed with Him daily, "Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:8–9 NIV).
Noah chose God, so God chose Noah—and decided to spare him and his family and thus preserve a remnant of mankind.
In a world that seems to have gone crazy, don't think that God ever overlooks or forgets about you. "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3 NKJV, emphasis added).
14. NOAH BUILDS THE ARK \\ GENESIS 6:13–22; 7:1–9
God told Noah to construct a ship "450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high" (Genesis 6:15 NLT). It needed to be that huge to hold pairs of every land animal on earth, as well as food to last for over a year.
Noah was likely living beside a forest, because such an ambitious project required untold tons of cypress wood.
Many people believe it took 120 years to build the ark because Genesis 6:3 (NASB) says that mankind's "days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Finally, the day came when Noah was finished, so he took the animals on board. Then he and his family boarded.
Excerpted from 365 Great Moments in Bible History by Ed Strauss. Copyright © 2014 Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.