By Ernest O'Neill


By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Now loved ones, the Bible is absolutely different. This book is history. It is written in terms of history. It isn't written in terms of never-never land. It is written in terms of this earth, in terms that can be checked, with facts that can be corroborated. That is one of the great differences between the revelation of our Creator that you get in this Bible and the revelations that are claimed for Hindu scriptures, Mohammedan scriptures, Buddhist scriptures, Confucius, or Zoroaster. When you look at the Bible it talks always in terms of history. For instance in Matthew 22:31. You’ll see the language is absolutely contrasted with the language of the fairy tale. "And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living."

Jesus says, "Look, the God that I believe in and the God that has dealt with me, He is the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob." You and I talk about the things Jesus has said about our Creator every Sunday morning. Those things were said 2,000 years ago by Jesus. Jesus is saying to us, "Look back another 2,000 years before me. Look back to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the God who showed Himself to them. Examine him and compare him with the God who has shown himself to me." He is really saying, "Don't take my word on the things I have said about our Creator. Don't accept just my opinions. Check out the lives of historical men, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob. Compare them with the contemporary record that you get of a king like Hammurabi and make sure that the things really happened to them. Then compare those things that happened in their lives to the things that happened in my life, compare the actions our creator did in my life with the actions he did in their lives, then decide for yourself what your God is like." Jesus never says, "Just trust me, trust my insight and the subjective vision that I had while I sat under the bow tree. Trust what I know is true." He doesn't! He says, "Examine my life. Examine my death and resurrection, then go back another 2,000 years and examine the mighty things that happened in the lives of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and decide for yourself what your Maker is like. Compare the facts against the facts."

That, loved ones, is the atmosphere of the Bible. Over a period of 4,000 years, God revealed Himself consistently as the same person through actions which He did in people's lives over 1,000s and 1,000s of years. That is why you get all the ‘begats’ in there. You know those interminable genealogies that as kids we hated, ‘so and so begat so and so’. I thought if anything proves the Bible is dumb that proves it. Why all those 'begats'? If this were written by God, why would he bore us to tears with all the ‘begats’. Of course, the point is obvious. God wanted us to know where the people came from that he had dealt with and that he had revealed himself to. He didn't want us dealing with these ephemeral kinds of half-legend, half-myth personalities that suddenly popped into existence from nowhere and then disappeared to nowhere. He wanted us to be able to check historically on the people to whom He revealed Himself. He wanted us to be able to tell who their father and mother was, where they lived and when they lived, what happened to them and to their sons and daughters. He wanted to ensure there was a continuous, unbroken chain of witnesses down through the centuries of people to whom He had revealed Himself, who would pass that information on to you and me today. That is the importance of those old genealogies. They are a vital part of the Bible because the Bible as opposed to all other scriptures says, "This is history. This was done in time and space. You can check on it." You can check whose father this man was and whose mother this man was. You can check where they lived. You can compare them with the contemporary records of that time with other nations and you can be sure that these things happened. That is why when you ask the question "Does God exist?" you may as well ask the question: "Do the Jews exist?" Jewish history is impossible if God did not do and say the things that the Jews say He did and said. You can't separate the two. One depends on the other.