The first five books of the Bible, also called the Law of Moses (Torah) are the foundation of God’s covenant with Israel and very important for the new Israel, the Church. The timeless stories of the Patriarchs, their encounters and covenants with the one true God who seeks to bless all nations through them are very instructive for all those who desire to walk by faith. Through these books we learn what it is to be a “son (or daughter) of the law” (bar-mitzvah, bat-mitzvah), and why God revealed Himself to Moses as Yahweh. We also learn that in the spiritual life, “Egypt” represents all that God wishes to deliver us from and that the Promised Land is the abundant life in Christ every believer is called to enjoy, so that we can walk faithfully in His sight and trust in His Fatherly care.
After an introductory lesson concerning the understanding of the Old Testament, Sister Marie Therese Wright begins this study with "A People's Pilgrimage" which covers the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. These chapters are foundational for the understanding of all of salvation history. The story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his sons is the story of the origins of all people. God chose Abraham, our father in faith, and initiated with him a covenant to bring about His plan of salvation for all people. Sister devotes an additional eight weeks of study and commentary to chapters 12-50 of the book of Genesis and to the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and the twelve sons of Jacob, especially Joseph. These are some of the best-loved stories in the whole Bible!
Sister devotes another seven lessons to the Book of Exodus which is not only important from an historical perspective, recounting the deliverance of God's people from slavery in Egypt and their journey to the promised land, but it is also important for understanding the spiritual life. Exodus shows us the path to redemption from the slavery of sin and from fallen human nature. In this book we learn of the Law that is given on Mount Sinai that is the basis for the covenant of Yahweh with His people Israel. Contrary to popular opinions, this law is still very important for us today for as Christ has said, "I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it" (Matt. 5:17).
The remaining ten lessons are devoted to the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These books recount the lessons that were taught to the Israelites as they made their way through the desert and God prepared to bring them into the Promised Land. The Book of Numbers recounts the stories of long marches, the long stay at Kadesh, the testing of Yahweh at the waters of Massah and Meribah and finally their arrival at the Jordan River. It reminds us that we always have a choice when we face challenges in our lives. We can turn to the Lord with trust and confidence or we can grumble and complain about our lot in life. For those who have faith and confidence in God, all things are possible. The Book of Deuteronomy (the book of "second law") teaches us how to return to the Lord and the tradition of our Fathers and to live in accord with our First Love, which is God Himself.
The Book of Deuteronomy ends with the passing of Moses on Mount Nebo, overlooking the Jordan valley and the entrance into the Promised Land. Here we are reminded that although Moses was faithful in his service of the Lord, he himself did not inherit the promises that God had made to Israel. This sobering fact reminds us that we must not allow anything to deter us from walking in the path of discipleship and following Christ all the days of our lives!
Series II: The Pentateuch contains 28 complete lessons.