Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
31 October 2012
How to read ALL of the Bible # 3 - Exodus to Judges
However the Israelites don't put their trust in God. They disobey Him and grumble against Him. So they are sent to wander in the desert for forty years until there is a new generation ready to enter the Promised Land under God’s leading. After forty years in the desert God again explains His laws through Moses - that is, how to live as God's people in their new land - and then they are ready to enter the Promised Land.
The Israelites enter the Promised Land and their first job is to take it over. They have been told how far their territory will extend and where the borders will lie. They have been instructed to take it over completely. And God promises to be with them every step of the way. However they fail to take it over as instructed, leaving pockets of unconquered land - and within it, communities who follow other gods who lead the Israelites astray.
They live for many years in the Promised Land but it isn't as it should have been. At times they follow God and live under His rule. But then they fall away, get into all sorts of trouble and finally call out to God for His help. He sends someone to lead them out of their bad situation and they live in peace under God for the length of the life of the sent leader. Following the death of the leader they fall away again and so the cycle goes on and on and on, ever worsening with each cycle.
This diagram is from Gospel and Kingdom: A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament by Graeme Goldsworthy, page 32. (Published by Paternoster Press in 1982)