Your study and teaching have more meaning when you see how it all fits into God’s plan for man on earth. That’s where teaching principles along with a Bible timeline adds power and excitement to your teaching. And a Biblical timeline chart with World history is even more useful. You see His hand directing all of the world events and the Bible set against that background. Let’s start with first things first.
Here are the five steps. Study or teach
1. The Biblical Principles
2. The Order
3. The Overlap
4. The World
5. The Why
The Principles: Most of us know the stories included in the Bible are there to teach us principles. Unfortunately we often just grab a story when we need to teach or learn a principle and just go for it. But that leaves a lot of questions. When did Ruth live compared to Esther? Or how about Daniel and Solomon? Who was first? Some of us don’t know, even after years of Bible study classes. When we know the order of events in God’s overarching plan the principles gain greater meaning cardinal sins.
The Order. The order and the timing of people and events. Most people have no idea how much time passed between Adam and Noah or between Noah and Abraham. Using a timeline makes it visual. You can literally see the passage of time; long, short or in between. A comparatively long time between Adam and Moses (about 2500 years), a short time from Moses to Solomon (about 500 years) and in between length of time from Solomon to Christ (about a 1000 years). Now the 2000 years from Christ to today is seen in a much larger context.
The overlap. What can we get from that? When we actually see, using a timeline, that Enos, grandson of Adam lived until Noah was in his 90’s and that Noah lived until just before Abraham born we get a leap of insight. The leap that tells us Abraham, or members of his family, may have heard about the flood and Adam’s story of the garden from people who either lived through it or knew people who did.
Other world events. Most of us have bits of history floating around in some kind of hazy mess; like looking at an out of focus picture with some parts less blurry but the picture doesn’t make sense. Using a Bible timeline with World history on it as well brings it all into sharp focus. We see the whole not just random bits.
When we discover that Daniel and Confucius lived at the same time, or that the Greek poet Homer and Solomon lived in the same century, we begin to connect all those bits of history into a solid map in our minds. These aren’t isolated events happening “somewhere in time.” History is a series of connected events. More than that – they are a quilt of events all interconnected. All under God’s direction.
Why. We see God’s hand dealing with all of His children, the descendants of Noah, scattered across the globe. Some parts of his vineyard receive more attention than others from history but all are known to Him and play a part in His plans to bring about the saving of the human family through Jesus Christ. That’s your why. We see His hand orchestrating major events to bring about prophetic promises of blessing or cursing. Especially now during the wrapping up years as the entire world is in contact and relationship with each other. Now we see His hand played out on a world stage, all of that history coming together into one grand finale. A Bible World History Timeline gives us that whole world view of God’s plan.
There are your five steps.
1. Teach or study your principle.
2. Orient the story in time. Place it in order on the timeline.
3. View the overlap and what that tells us.
4. Consider other events going on in the world at the same time.
5. Why. See it all as part of the God’s great plan for man.
Now that’s powerful study and teaching.