If we hit the pause button here and look at the five books of poetry, we see they are written by David and Solomon. We realize that what God had really longed for was a people that had a living relationship with Him and lived out the covenant in community.
Carrying on in the chronology the kingdom gets divided after Solomon’s death. There’s a civil war that divides them into the north and south. There’s Israel and Judah and Samaria and Jerusalem. There’re 10 tribes to the north and 2 to the south. Now we’ve come to 1st and 2nd Kings. We conclude all the kings are bad in the northern kingdom and there were a few good kings in the southern kingdom. In terms of consistency of the faithfulness to the covenant, they are not faithful, and Deuteronomy 28 works its way out.
During this time the prophets come on the scene and their message is repent from covenant unfaithfulness. We’re tracing all these kingdoms and eventually the Northern Kingdom falls to Assyria in the year 722. The Southern Kingdom makes it a little longer because of the few good kings, but eventually they fall to the Babylonians in the year 586.
So, we’re asking ourselves the question “What about the covenant?” We’ve got Genesis 12:1-3 and we have the Mosaic Covenant that had strings attached, but even during this time there was another covenant that was established by a prophet Jeremiah. It talks about one day there’s going to be a New Covenant with Israel and Judah. It’s New, meaning it won’t be like the Old Covenant. What’s different about this one is God will really dwell with His people, and it will deal once and for all with the forgiveness of sins. That’s interesting because back in the Mosaic Covenant the sacrificial system really didn’t forgive sins. It just reminded that God temporarily postponed judgment.
Now, after this time of judgment, we realize that there was a return. There was another significant message of the prophets, that was not covenant consequences, but blessings, restoration, and hope. We see that at the end of almost all the prophets. Sure enough, after even a time of judgment, God allowed his people to return home. When we get the wrap-up of the Old Testament, it’s dealing with a little bit of hope, but things are not glorious for the kingdom. They’re back together. Some are back in the land. They have rebuilt a wall and a temple, but it certainly is not in the grandeur. They’re still under the oppression of other nations.
So, the question we have is “What about this promise of a people and a land and a blessing to the world? What about the promise to David where there will be an eternal King?” So, when the Old Testament wraps up, it’s a little ambiguous. Genesis 3 hasn’t been solved.