Lesson 4

The Nation Israel and The Redeemer

You will learn following topics in this lesson:

What was the background behind the coming of the redeemer?

What is the relation of the nation Israel to the Redeemer?

What are the Ten commandments and what were they given?

What were the prophecies concerning the coming of the Redeemer?


These and many other questions of similar nature will be answered in this lesson.

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1. The call of Abraham

A long time had passed since God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was filled with corruption because of Adam’s sin which passed on to all mankind. God had been continually working in accordance to His plan to send the Redeemer of the world. In keeping with this plan, God chose Abraham, the Mesopotamian, and said to Him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3). God’s plan was to send the Redeemer to the earth through a certain people. God chose Abraham in order to fulfill this purpose. It was God’s plan to raise up great nation through him.

One day God told Abraham to take his wife and go to a strange new land which He would show them. By faith Abraham obeyed God’s command and departed from his country and relatives. God brought this couple to the land of Canaan and promised to give the land to Abraham. Today this land is the country of Israel where Israelis, the descendants of Abraham, rule. Till then, Sarah was barren. Sarah was ninety years old and Abraham was one hundred years old. As promised by God, Sarah at the age of ninety gave birth to a son named Isaac. Nothing impossible with God. God is faithful and keeps His promise. The God, who promised Abraham children as the sands of the sea, was the One who accomplished this miracle.

2. Sacrifice of Isaac

Abraham loved his son Isaac very much. One day, God said to Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:1). Early the next day, Abraham departed to go to the place God showed him in order to sacrifice Isaac.

Abraham did this willingly because he loved God more than anything else. In obedience to God’s command, Abraham prepared an altar at the appointed place and laid his son Isaac upon it. But God immediately stopped Abraham from sacrificing his sin Isaac, and instead, provided a lamb for Abraham to sacrifice. Abraham sacrificed the lamb which God provided in the place of his son Isaac. This great event is a clear foreshadow of the provision of the Redeemer and His sacrifice. Man must die because of sin but God has provided a Redeemer. The Redeemer would die as a lamb instead of man on an altar before God. Because of His sacrificial death, man would not have to die. Man would be saved. All have sinned. The wages of sin is death, i.e. eternal death which is hell. Man’s body must die because of Adam’s sin, but by believing in the Redeemer provided by God, he is saved from the Second Death. How great a salvation for otherwise hopeless man!

3. The Law

This nation was given the name Israel. The nation Israel always figures prominent in the world history. Why? Because God has a special interest in Israel. According to His promise to Israel’s ancestor Abraham, the Redeemer of the world would comes forth from the nation Israel as a Man, because of Whom all the peoples of the earth would be blessed. He Himself would be the Redeemer of the whole world. God never fails to keep His promises. God fulfilled all His promises to Abraham: a great nation, a land, a great name for Abraham, and a great blessing for the whole world in Abraham. This great blessing was the Saviour (Redeemer) of the whole world. Moreover, God was revealing to the whole world through Israel His love, longsuffering, truth and holiness. He gave the Ten Commandments to Israel (Exodus 20). The Ten commandments were as follows:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not murder.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Through these commandments God revealed His standard for righteousness. He is very holy and very righteous. Is it possible for anyone to have never broken any of these commandments? No. Every man has repeatedly broken these commandments, at least in the heart if not also in the body. Israel attempted to keep these commandments but failed. What then was the purpose of the commandments? The purpose was to give a very important message: Man is sinful; man, by his own attempts and his works, cannot be declared righteous. He has a need of the Redeemer Who by His grace can declare him righteous and thus save him.

4. Prophecies Concerning the Redeemer

As time progressed, the plan and purpose of God to send a Redeemer became progressively clearer. God began to give very detailed prophecies concerning the coming of the Redeemer. God announced that the Redeemer would be born of a virgin, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah7:14). (“Immanuel” means” “God with us”. The name showed that Jesus was actually God who came to live among men.) This was an amazing prophecy because it is not possible for any virgin to have a conception. But the Redeemer would be born of a virgin. Then God announced that the Redeemer would be born in Bethlehem in Israel, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah5:2). This was another amazing prophecy, because it foretells the exact location of the Redeemer’s birthplace. Moreover, the personality of the Redeemer, His works, His sacrificial death, His resurrection, His ascension into heaven, His establishment at the right hand of God, His second coming, His glorious reign on the earth, His eternal reign, all were foretold. God is true and His Word the Bible is the truth, because the Bible is the unique Word of God. The Bible is the only writing that God has given to man. We shall study how the Biblical prophecies concerning the Redeemer have been literally fulfilled.

5. The Coming of the Redeemer

About 2000 years ago, an angel brought an astounding message to a virgin named Mary in the city of Nazareth in Israel, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women” (Luke1:28). The angel said to the startled Mary, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:31-32).

Upon hearing this amazing announcement, Mary replied, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” And the angel gave the reply, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Then Mary understood God’s purpose and said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

Thus it was announced that the Redeemer would be born of the virgin Mary and His name would be JESUS. The meaning of the name JESUS is “Saviour”. He was about to come from God to be the Saviour or Redeemer of the world.

Mary conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. But Mary was espoused to a man named Joseph. And Joseph. And Joseph was surprised that Mary was already pregnant, and decided to forsake her. But the angel of the Lord said to him, “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:20-23).

Then Joseph did as commanded by the angel, and took unto himself his wife. Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth. But the prophecy concerning the Redeemer was that He would be born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was far away in southern Israel. How then could Jesus be born in Bethlehem? It was an impossibility.

This is what happened in those days. The Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus ordered that everyone’s name should be recorded. Everyone went to their own ancestral towns for their names to be recorded. Joseph too, went forth from Nazareth with his wife to Bethlehem, because his ancestors were from Bethlehem. And while they remained in Bethlehem, Mary was ready to deliver her Child. Thus the prophecy that the Redeemer would be born in Bethlehem was fulfilled. Isn’t that amazing? God knows beforehand the events of the future. His promises are sure. With the long passage of time, people might think that God will not keep His word; that He is not interested in man. But that is not so. God has been continually working out His plan and program for man. For God a thousand years is like one day. We have need of patience.

6. The Infancy of Jesus

It is a marvellous fact of history that God became a man by being born in human form. He grew up from childhood just as a man. How great is the love of God! Concerning His coming, it is written, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Thus Jesus came into the world to give Life, i.e. salvation, to man. God’s great love is thus revealed.

When Jesus was born, angels gave this announcement at night to shepherds who were in the fields watching over their sheep, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12). These shepherds then hurried and came and found the baby lying in a manger with his mother nearby. Thus these humble and simple shepherds were the first to learn the news of the birth of the Saviour, and they themselves preached this good news to all around. How amazing are the ways of God! He did not choose be born in a palace, but in a stable. The good news was first announced to these simple people.

Now, it is necessary to be reminded that there are spiritual beings in existence among which some are evil. Satan and his demons always oppose God’s plan. While the birth of the Saviour was being preached everywhere, Satan planned to destroy Jesus. Herod who ruled Israel for Rome plotted to kill Jesus. But how could Herod ever succeed against God? Before Herod’s soldiers arrived to kill Jesus, Joseph and Mary had already taken Him to Egypt. Who can describe the horrible slaughter ordered by Herod in and about Bethlehem as all children under two were killed by the sword? This sad event had been prophesied in the Bible many, many years before.

After King Herod’s death, Jesus was brought back from Egypt and He spent His childhood in Nazareth. Though Herod had tried to ruin God’s plan of sending a Redeemer, he had failed. What man or what other can successfully fight against the living God and win? Jesus was growing up in Nazareth in submission to His guardians. As a Man, He was in the process of normal growing. When He was twelve years old, as in previous years, His guardians went up to Jerusalem. Jesus went alone with them. “And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. (Note: The religious leaders were so amazed because, though He was only 12 years old, Jesus had more wisdom than anyone else on the earth. This was only possible because He was God Himself in human form.) And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them” (Luke 2:43-51).

Jesus’ true Father was God. It was to do His Father’s work that Jesus came to earth. The Father sent the Son to show men their need of salvation, and to invite them to come to Him for salvation. He needed to die sacrificially bearing the penalty of man’s sin and to rise again from the dead the third day as foretold. How great is the plan of God!

The next lesson will furnish further details concerning the Saviour. May God’s plan be fulfilled in your life.

Thank you for completing Lesson 4. Now, you can fill out the worksheet and submit it. Thank you!

Worksheet #4

The Nation of Israel, The Redeemer
Please answer the following questions:
1. The Call of Abraham
2. Sacrifice of Isaac
3. The Law
4. Prophecies Concerning The Redeemer
5. The Coming of The Redeemer
6. The Infancy of Jesus