Pastor Brian finishes looking at Job and spends time dwelling on the beginning of Exodus – specifically on the period of time when the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians and consider how this painful part of Israel's history played a tremendous role in shaping both their identity and their ethics.
Pastor Brian finishes the book of Genesis and considers how the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was much bigger than any of them could imagine. He also examines how God uses dreams, pagan kings, and even evil plans to bring forth good purposes.
Pastor Brian closely examines the covenant God established with Israel, and how it set the parameters for a special relationship between God and the people of Israel, which sometimes involved God's comforting presence, sometimes involved God's silence, and sometimes involved wrestling with God.
Pastor Brian preaches from the stories of Abraham and Sarah. Although Abram and Sarai appear to wander aimlessly through the land, one can think of the characters in this story as representative of their "nations." Abram's movements around Canaan function as an introductory tour to the nations of the world to how God's nation operates differently. For example, rather than engaging in land grabbing or mercenary profiteering, the chosen people put their faith in God as protector and provider.
The opening chapter of the Bible is so familiar to us in the modern era that we can easily overlook the profound claims that it makes. In this sermon, Pastor Brian explains how counter-intuitive it was and is for Genesis to proclaim that the world is orderly, purposeful, and good.