ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 11

Introduction to
of how our world that’s gone wrong is being
made right again. God’s creation was intended to be beautiful and
harmonious, but due to the deception of evil powers and human disobedience, the creation became broken and disordered—cursed. Yet
ever since the Fall, God has been working patiently and carefully to
restore humanity to his presence and the whole creation to its lost
beauty and harmony.
The biblical narrative of restoration and renewal takes a significant
step forward every time God establishes a covenant. These covenants
are God-initiated sets of promises and obligations that establish a binding relationship between God and his people. In our day, we are more
familiar with contracts: agreements enforceable by human law. But in
the ancient world, people made covenants, which carried the expectation that God would bless them for keeping the covenant’s terms or
curse them for breaking them. And as a full participant in the covenants
he makes, God actually puts himself under his own curse should he
break the terms.
The goal of these God-initiated covenants is to gather people into
communities that will live the life he intends for everyone. Through
communities deeply connected to their Creator, this life will spread
outward to other people as well. Starting with chosen individuals, then
a family, and then a nation, God moves in the interest of winning back
all things in heaven and on earth. The first five books of the Bible tell
the story of the first three covenants God makes with Noah, Abraham,
and Moses—who act as humanity’s representatives.
The first nine books of the Bible, Genesis through Samuel–Kings, are
actually one c­ ontinuous narrative. Sometimes referred to as Israel’s primary history, this saga covers the story from the birth of the world to
the painful account of God’s people being exiled from the Land of

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