The Bible is one of the most significant books of Western Civilization. Its first book is Genesis, the first part of which narrates the creation of the world and the fall of humankind. Even though there are many accounts of the creation of the universe, Scripture recounts how God created it in seven days. He did not create all of it at once, but different parts of what we see around us at a time, giving them His blessing as He saw they were good. After making Nature, he made man and woman in His likeness so that they could rule over the wild animals. He put man in the Garden of Eden, giving him the rule that he could not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. One can interpret verse 3:15 as being one of the promises that God gives to humans, separating Satan from them and destroying him through a son that Eve would beget.
Another promise that God would make is the famous covenant with Abraham. He was the patriarch that God chose to begin the nation that would fulfill the promise that God had made before. Worshippers know him mostly because his faith and obedience were exemplary, although they were not completely so at first. God gives him his first challenge when he asks him to go to Canaan, leaving behind all that he knows; he accepts to do this and God changes his name from Abram to the one people know him by today. Even though he had other children, he had not had any with Sarah, with whom God said he would have the Savior. After many years, they had Isaac; Abraham had had a son, but with another woman, showing his lack of faith so God did not bless this one. However, God put Abraham’s faith to test once again, asking him to go up a mountain and sacrifice his beloved son. An angel gives Abraham the message that he should not go through with the deed, that God had seen enough and that He would provide the sacrificial lamb Himself. He would do this in the form of the Christ, figure accepted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While there are many other religions that ask for sacrifices, Christianity is one of the few where God freely sacrifices himself for men; this turns around what people generally think the relationship between divinity and worshippers should be. This is important even today because many people do not see the importance of sacrifice and faith in their lives. One can see how grand these two qualities made Abraham, and it is imperative that one take them up in one’s life as well.
Besides Abraham, one of the most significant and famous characters in the Old Testament is Moses. Even though all his life was very interesting and important, the event at Mt. Sinai is particularly engaging and instructive. Following the exodus from Egypt, the followers of Moses arrived at the Desert of Sinai, protesting the lack of food that was there. However, God provided everything that they needed, from food to physical protection, making them have more faith in Him. One can see many important themes in this like God’s generosity, protection even through miracles and the conversion that the Israelites undergo; faith, again, shows up as one of the most important attributes of a believer and his relation with God. He offers them further special treatment if they accept to follow some rules that He sets down, which they do without even knowing what they were; God would hand them down to Moses at Mount Sinai. They were to camp at the food of a mountain without touching it no matter what happened until they heard the ram’s horn, which permitted them to go up. Only Moses goes up the hill, where God descends in the form of fire, giving Moses the Ten Commandments and he rest of the Torah. Here one can see God’s majesty and power, as well as His love of His worshippers.
All relations with God in The Bible are very important. However, one of the most important ones is the aforementioned bond between Abraham and God, mostly due to the specialness with which they both treat each other. As one can read above, there are three basic moments in the relationship between them. The first of these is the decision to leave everything he knows behind in order to serve God at Canaan. God then names him, showing a special bond between them. Then, He gives Abraham and Sarah a child that would lead the descendants towards Jesus Christ. God anoints him as the leader of His people, as Abraham’s descendants would then lead to Jesus Christ himself.
David is one of The Bible’s most monumental characters. He appears as the main character in many of its books and it tells many details of his life. His character is grand in nature, with such benevolence and grandeur that one feels miniscule in comparison. Two of his most salient characteristics are his humility and his selflessness. Even though he was a great artist and poet, which he evidenced with his harp playing and the Psalms, he did not want fame from this, preferring an unassuming life in the field and joining the ranks of the soldiers. In addition, one can see his selflessness in many merciful and sacrificial events in his life, like his refusing to kill King Saul, a person who had tried to murder him numerous times before. Nevertheless, he also possesses some traits that are not so honorable. For example, he was wont to in order to escape trouble, as he conspired to and did with Jonathan against the latter’s father, the aforementioned king. Both Saul and David were great kings anointed by God and felt His spirit. However, Saul kept a communion with God through His people, while David’s was more personal; Saul did what he believed to be right, while David did audacious acts with a lot of faith in God. Saul acted more out of fear than out of faith, disregarding his commands in events such as the offerings before the Philistine conflict, as well as not killing the Amelek king and livestock. Samuel was the man that anointed both of these kings, who were the first to reign over Israel; unlike them, he was a prophet. Both he and David had a very strong bond with God, but He talked to Samuel directly. The latter was a wise man, more spiritual, quiet and unassuming than David, who was a fighter, a ruler and very powerful.
This royal character had a very special relationship with God. Two of the most important events are his blessing as a child and his divine covenant. After Samuel has fallen out of grace with the Lord, Samuel goes out to look for his replacement. He goes through many children, but none satisfies him, until he sees David and hears God pick him out as being the chosen one; Samuel anoints him afterwards. Another important episode between them is the moment that God establishes that His son will come from David’s descendants. Like Abraham before him, the Lord, please with David’s faith and obedience, decides to bestow this important honor on him and his whole family. Likewise, he is finally able to conquer Jerusalem in the name of Israel, making it the nation’s capital.
This character is one of the great leaders in The Bible for many reasons, not least of which was his submission to God. He allows the Lord to take control of the actions and decisions; as He is omniscient and infallible, this cannot go wrong. He did this throughout his life, taking courageous but somewhat risky decisions, such as fighting a giant without armor; nevertheless, his faith and trust in God always led him to success. He gained many followers because of this even before taking office as king. One can also see his respect towards God’s government in his decision not to kill Saul, who was still the king even though Samuel had already anointed David as king. Another intelligent decision was ignoring his own men when they gave him bad advice, or when it contradicted what God had told him. This submission to God’s plan allowed him to triumph and lead his nation towards the correct path, including the conquest of Jerusalem, mentioned before. One can also see this submission to the will of God, rather than to that of man, when he commits his lustful sin. Even though he was condemned and he knew it, he still confessed, waiting to be given the death sentence. However, God intervenes and forgives him because of his confession. One can see this recounted in Psalm 51, where he praises God’s forgiveness of sin, even though it is in human’s nature. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. / Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place” (Psalm 51:5-6 New International Version). This gives another important benchmark in the story of The Bible as a whole, as it begs for the forgiveness of original sin that will finally come with David’s heir, the Christ.