Thursday, September 20 , 2018, 2:02 am | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: How to Personally Experience the Rest of the Story

One of the greatest storytellers of the last century was well-known broadcaster Paul Harvey. I didn’t pay much attention to his wisdom through words in my early years, but truly appreciated hearing him end his broadcasts by saying “And now you know the rest of the story.”

When some people talk, we’d be wise to listen. Others just provide idle chatter. I trust that what I write in these columns will not fit this last category. Now, let me tell you the rest of the story.

The story we’ll be discussing is fairly widely accepted by the majority of the world to be true, and it’s been proved archaeologically in the last few centuries. There’s been much written on this particular story from many writers and historians going back to the times of Jesus of Nazareth.

The first written account of this story starts with the Septuagint, which was written many years before the birth of Jesus. It’s the oldest Greek translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew. The first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century B.C. and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century B.C.

“The Translation of the Seventy” as it’s known comes from a story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas, which tells us that Ptolemy II requested these scrolls be translated for the purpose of providing Greek versions of these documents to Alexandrian Jews who were fluent in Greek. The Hebrew canon in Rabbinic Judaism translations of the Torah into Greek by early Jewish rabbis have only survived as rare fragments.

Let’s get back to the rest of the story on the history of the human race. It starts with God creating all things in Genesis, the book of beginnings. We find the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, being deceived in Genesis 3 when the serpent slyly convinces them to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil opened their eyes to this world causing them to be removed from the Garden of Eden so they could not also eat from the tree of life and live forever.

In time, God caused a great flood once the inhabitants became so wicked that the Lord needed to basically start all over with just Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives surviving on the ark. This was a new beginning and we all have come from one of his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth.

During this time, we are told that our lifespan has been reduced greatly as we find in Genesis 6:3 in which we’re informed, “Then the Lord said, ‘My spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

In time scripture introduces us to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob is later called Israel, and we’re introduced to his 12 sons. The 11th son, Joseph, is sold into slavery and lands in Egypt where he becomes second-in-command to Pharaoh. During a famine, Israel and his 11 sons and their families all move to Egypt, where they greatly multiply over the next 400 years.

Moses is born and ends up being raised by Pharaoh’s sister, and then departs for the desert after killing an Egyptian soldier. Forty years later, God sends him back to Egypt to free His people from bondage.

After 40 years in the desert, the Israelites finally enter their Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. We once again see the disobedience of God’s people during the period of Judges followed by the reign of many kings, including Saul, David and Solomon.

When the kingdom was divided, the people were exiled to Babylon for 70 years. This was followed by their eventual return to Jerusalem, where Ezra and Nehemiah restored the temple and rebuilt the wall around the city of God. Unfortunately, some of the darkest days in Israel occurred during the four centuries before the birth of Jesus, culminating in Roman rule in 63 BC.

Now let’s get to the rest of the story. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the prophecies of a Messiah were being fulfilled ending in His eventual death on a cross 33 years later. But that’s not where the story ends.

His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven allows all who believe and trust in Him to eventually join Him in Paradise. In the meantime, we can experience His rest here on earth. Please join me in experiencing the rest of the story!

Passages to Ponder

» 1 Kings 5:4

» 1 Chronicles 22:9

» Psalm 16:9-11

» Psalm 91:1-2

» Isaiah 11:10

» Jeremiah 6:16

» Matthew 11:28-30

» Revelation 14:13

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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