This collection of Bible story summaries highlights the simple yet profound truths found in the ancient and enduring stories of the Bible. Each of the summaries provides a brief synopsis of Old and New Testament Bible stories with Scripture reference, interesting points or lessons to be learned from the story, and a question for reflection.
The simple truth of the creation story is that God is the author of creation. In Genesis 1 we are presented with the beginning of a divine drama that can only be examined and understood from the standpoint of faith. How long did it take? How did it happen, exactly? No one can answer these questions definitively. In fact, these mysteries are not the focus of the creation story. The purpose, rather, is for moral and spiritual revelation.
Noah was righteous and blameless, but he was not sinless (see Genesis 9:20). Noah pleased God and found favor because he loved and obeyed God with his whole heart. As a result, Noah's life was an example to his entire generation. Although everyone else around him followed the evil in their hearts, Noah followed God.
To build the Tower of Babel, the people used brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar. They used "man-made" materials, instead of more durable "God-made" materials. The people were building a monument to themselves, to call attention to their own abilities and achievements, instead of giving glory to God.
The people living in Sodom and Gomorrah were given over to immorality and all sorts of wickedness. The Bible tells us the inhabitants were all depraved. Although God mercifully desired to spare these two ancient cities even for the sake of a few righteous people, none lived there. So, God sent two angels disguised as men to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Learn why God's holiness demanded that Sodom and Gomorrah be put to ruin.
In a dream with angels ascending and descending a stairway from heaven, God extended his covenant promise to the Old Testament patriarch Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. Most scholars interpret Jacob's ladder as a demonstration of the relationship between God and manfrom heaven to earthshowing that God takes the initiative to reach down to us. Learn the true significance of Jacob’s ladder.
Moses, one of the most prominent figures in the Old Testament, was God's chosen deliverer, raised up to free the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Yet, analogous to the Law, Moses, in the end, was unable to fully rescue the children of God and take them into the promised land. Learn how the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Moses foreshadow the coming of the ultimate Deliverer, Jesus Christ.
Using a burning bush to get Moses’ attention, God chose this shepherd to lead his people out of bondage in Egypt. Try putting yourself in Moses' sandals. Can you see yourself going about your daily business when suddenly God appears and speaks to you from the most unexpected source? Moses' initial reaction was to get closer to inspect the mysterious burning bush. If God decides to get your attention in an unusual and surprising way today, will you be open to it?
The crossing the Red Sea may be the most spectacular miracle ever recorded. In the end, Pharaoh's army, the most powerful force on earth, was no match for almighty God. See how God used the crossing of the Red Sea to teach his people to trust him in overwhelming circumstances and to prove that he is sovereign over all things.
The Ten Commandments or the Tablets of the Law are the laws that God gave to the people of Israel through Moses after leading them out of Egypt. In essence, they are a summary of the hundreds of laws found in the Old Testament Law and are recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. They offer basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living.
The battle of Jericho featured one of the most astounding miracles in the Bible, proving that God stood with the Israelites. Joshua's strict obedience to God is a key lesson from this story. At every turn Joshua did exactly as he was told and the people of Israel prospered under his leadership. An ongoing theme in the Old Testament is that when the Jews obeyed God, they did well. When they disobeyed, the consequences were bad. The same is true for us today.