In the first book of the Torah, Genesis, we see God create a good and perfect world. God then creates humans, who are to be God's representatives on Earth. But humans tragically rebel against God and choose to define good and evil for themselves. From here, things spiral out of control, and God eventually chooses to wipe out human evil with a flood and start over.
This opening narrative is the beginning of God's mission to rescue and restore his world. God begins with making a covenant with a man named Abraham, promising him that through his descendants, all of the nations of the world receive God's blessing. Though Abraham’s family is far from perfect, God continues to work through them as his covenant partners.
This brings us to the second book of the Torah, Exodus. Here, the Israelites are enslaved to the Egyptians, and the first half of the book focuses on how God raises up Moses to deliver his people from the Egyptians. God saves his people, but now they are a nation without a home, wandering in the desert and unsure of why God saved them in the first place.
From this point forward, we see God begin to try and restore his presence among his people. He comes down on Mount Sinai, gives Moses the Ten Commandments, and gives instructions on how the Israelites should build a temple—a place where God will be able to live among them.
After the Israelites construct the tabernacle, a place where they can be in God’s presence, Moses is unable to enter into God's presence. How are impure and sinful people going to be able to coexist with a pure and perfect God? This problem is what the book of Leviticus sets out to solve. In Leviticus, God gives his people the instructions they need to purify themselves so that they can enter into God’s holy presence. To us, these instructions can seem a little strange, but they all have a purpose—to keep the Israelites in a state where they are able to commune with their God.
Now that God has given his people access to his presence, it's time for him to deliver them to the land he promised them. This is the story we see unfold in the book of Numbers. But what should be a two-week trip to the promised land turns into a forty-year trek thanks to the Israelites' unfaithfulness. But despite their constant rebellion, God stays true to his promise of deliverance and provision.
In the final book of the Torah, Deuteronomy, Moses gives a final speech to the people of Israel before they enter the promised land. In this final speech, Moses pleads with the people to not follow in the steps of the Exodus generation. He promises them that if they listen to God, love God, and love one another, they will receive all of the blessings that God has promised.
Moses dies at the end of Deuteronomy, but the speech he gives serves as an exclamation point for the Torah and sets the scene for how the nation of Israel will go on to carry out God's ultimate plan—blessing all nations through the line of Abraham.
Exodus 1-15 Exodus 19:16-19 Genesis 3 Genesis 1-2 Genesis 12:3 Exodus 35-40 Exodus 32 Exodus 32:7-14 Exodus 40:35