<b>Print This</b> Print This

God’s Time Line

I find that many children know a lot of Bible stories, but they have little idea of when they actually happened, or how they fit into God’s plan of redemption. Therefore, when teaching Bible stories, I always like to put them into context and so give the children an understanding about where each particular story (or event) fits into God’s overall plan for this world. In fact, with each new class I take, I always like to start by giving them an overview of the Bible – God’s plan of redemption – by talking about God’s time line.

Draw out a time line for the children to view as you talk about it. Begin at Creation, and continue to the present. (You can consult a Study Bible to find the dates of some of the more important events). Include as many events as you wish, but the time line shown below is one I have used. Later in the year when I am telling a Bible story (especially one from the Old Testament), I will refer back to my time line to show where it fits in. (I often intend to go through the year telling the Bible stories in chronological order, but Curriculum considerations – and the fact that in the New Zealand school year, Easter always comes before Christmas! – usually prevent it).

Idea. Get a book of Children’s Bible stories that has pictures of all the major characters. Decide which of these you wish to include in your time line. Tape the pages together in such a way that when you now ‘flick’ through the book you will reveal only the desired characters, and in the right order. You can then use this as a visual aid as you go down the time line.

Introduction. The Bible is the most amazing, wonderful book in the world because it was written by God, Himself. In contrast, every other book has been written by ordinary human beings. The Bible is important to us for four main reasons.
1. It is a book about God. There have been thousands of books written about God, and many of them are very good. But no-one knows God like He knows Himself! So, if you want to know what God is really like, read the Bible.
2. It is a book about ourselves. No-one knows you better than God does, because He made you. So, if you want to know what you are really like, especially on the inside, read the Bible.
3. It is an instruction book for life. God knows what is best for you, what is right and what is wrong. If you let the Bible guide you as you journey through life, it will keep you going the right way and stop you getting into trouble.
4. It tells us how we can become God’s forever friend, through faith in His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And that is more important than anything else in the whole world.

As well as all the above, the Bible is the most exciting, amazing book that has ever been written. It is all about God’s plan for the world, and how He used ordinary men, women and children, who were simply prepared to be obedient to him, to do amazing things, perform miracles and overcome much stronger enemies and great obstacles. But what makes the Bible even more exciting is that all the stories in it are true. With most other books, the stories are fiction – they were made up from the imaginations of the authors. But the Bible stories really happened.

Over the year we will be looking some of these amazing stories in more detail, because God caused each one to be written down, so that we could learn something from them. (Some of the stories, I won’t have time to tell you. But there is no reason why you cannot read them for yourselves). Firstly though, we are going to have a look at God’s time line. The Bible is a record of the history of the world. The Bible records all the major events that have ever happened, or indeed will ever happen, and this time line will give you an idea of what order the events took place in, and how long ago they happened.

Time Line.

Creation. (The Bible indicates about 4,000 BC). God made a perfect world.
Adam and Eve. The first people disobeyed God, and brought sin into the world.
Noah. (2,400 BC). The earth had become so corrupt, that God destroyed it with a flood.
Babel. The origin of different peoples and languages.
Abraham. (1,900 BC). God had a two part plan to make things perfect again. Part 1 was to choose a special people (The Israelites) to be an example of how to live the right way towards God and to others, and also to prepare the way for the coming of His son. He began with Abraham. The rest of the Old Testament is a history of the Israelites. When they were obedient to God, He helped them, did some amazing things through them, and caused them to prosper. When they were disobedient, He allowed things to go wrong.
Joseph. Abraham’s Grandson. God caused Joseph to become Prime minister of Egypt, so when there was a famine in Israel, he was able to invite his family (about seventy of them) down to live near him where there was plenty of food.
Moses. (1,400 BC). About four hundred years later the Israelites, now numbering about two million, were still in Egypt, but living as slaves. God used Moses to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them back towards their own (promised) land. He also used Moses to give us the Ten Commandments. These are God’s rules for life which, if we obey them, will prevent us from hurting ourselves or others.
Joshua. He actually led the Israelites back to the promised land. He is best known for his part in the battle of Jericho.
Gideon. Another great hero who God used to defeat a great army with just a few men.
Samson. The strong man who lost his strength when he was disobedient and had his hair cut off. But he was still able to defeat God’s enemies when his hair began to grow longer again.
Samuel. Who God spoke to in an audible voice while he was still only a young boy.
David. (1,000 BC). Who God used to defeat the giant, Goliath.
Elijah. Who was able to call down fire from Heaven to burn up his sacrifice, and defeat the worshippers of false gods.
Jonah. His disobedience led to him being swallowed by a large fish.
Captivity. (700 BC). Because of their disobedience, God allowed many of the Israelites to be taken captive to Babylon. It seemed as though they were in great danger of becoming extinct, but God still had a plan for them.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They were thrown into a fiery furnace because they refused to worship the king’s golden idol. But God rescued them.
Daniel. He was thrown into a lion’s den because he refused to stop praying to the one true God. But God rescued him.

The entire history of the Israelites was a whole series of ups and downs as they were in turn obedient, then disobedient to God. But God remained committed to them throughout the entire 1,900 year period. Eventually, the time was right for God to put Part 2 of his plan into operation.

Jesus. (Year 0). God came to earth Himself as a man, to defeat sin, death and evil. (You could mention some of the miracles that Jesus did).
Crucifixion. (30 AD). This means we can be forgiven and become God’s forever friends.
Resurrection. This means God’s power is now available to change us and to enable us to live lives of power and love that are pleasing to Him.
The Disciples. (30 AD to Present). Beginning with people like Peter and Paul, ‘Believers’ began to share the Good News about Jesus, and continue His work on earth. This continues today.
The return of Jesus. Sometime in the future, when He comes back to complete the job of making everything perfect again.

by Maurice Sweetsur, http://objectlessons.blogspot.com/

Leaders who enjoyed this article also liked these...

Easter in a Nut Shell

Under His Wings


Downloadable Now!
A CMT Exclusive!