We are continuing our study verse by verse through the book of Romans. This week we are using Romans 1:2 to take a peek back through time to see that the gospel (good news) about Jesus was preached even in the Old Testament.
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Romans 1:2 reads,
the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.
From this verse we understand that Paul was not preaching a new message in preaching the gospel (good news) about Jesus. He may have been bringing some new information to the table but the message was an ancient one. Yesterday we talked about how the message was first preached by God Himself in the Garden of Eden.
Today we turn to the end of the story of Noah to see how God used the first savior of mankind to proclaim some more information about the Savior Of Mankind.
I think we probably all know the story. Even many non-Christian societies have flood epics that are written into their cultural ethos but for the sake of making sure we are all on the same page I will share a brief summary of Noah’s history.
Noah was deemed by God to be the last righteous man on the face of the Earth.
God determined that He was left with no choice but to destroy the world by flood.
God told Noah to build a boat which would save himself, his immediate family and a small number of animals from the destruction to come.
Noah built the boat.
The flood came,
The world was destroyed.
The waters receded.
Noah and the animals got out of the boat.
The world started going back to normal, which was a bad thing.
Noah, a man of the soil, proceededa to plant a vineyard. 21When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”
26He also said,
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.” Genesis 9:20-27
It may seem a small thing and maybe even to the listeners this father’s curse may have seemed nothing more than a Dad getting mad, but there was something of the prophetic being uttered here.
God was singling out the line of Shem to be the dominant among the three brothers. And while the whole world and even the hosts of Heaven may have missed it, God was singling out Shem’s family to be the genetic line of Messiah. Canaan (the son of Ham) was to be totally supplanted by Shem and to become Shem’s slave and Japheth was to find his protection in the tent of Shem.
Ten generations later God is speaking to one of Shem’s great- great and so forth grandsons, Abram. God says, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.a
3I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”b
4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspringc I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
Did you note the words “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” ? Did you note that Abram was being given the land that belonged to the Canaanites (the sons of Canaan the son of Ham)?
What was going to happen in Abram’s life that would bless the whole world?
Many years later God would develop the promise a bit more and the promise of Messiah would begin to be seen more clearly than ever before.
Tune in tomorrow for more of the Old Testament Gospel.