Words are the expression of who you are. The Bible expresses who God is. As we now understand the Godhead to be a trinity of Persons, so too can we now see the Bible as a trinity of expressions.
Before the Law, 2,500 years of human history are recorded in Genesis 1 – Exodus 19. The Bible starts with God’s revelation of Himself before Law.
The little amount of material shows God’s lack of emphasis on human origins and development. We often get so caught up with the questions of our origins that we miss asking the question of our destinations. Scripture puts more emphasis on the afterlife than our beginnings.
The Bible starts with God’s revelation of Himself before the Law. That means the book of Genesis sets the tone for the rest of God’s written revelation. That makes the rule of first mention very important.
Whenever you find the first occurrence of a word or precept in the Bible, its initial use forms the basis of interpreting its meaning in the rest of Scripture. For instance, we understand the covenant of the Law by the first covenant found in the Bible given before the Law (Genesis 6:18; 9:9-17).
The covenant with Noah forms the basis for you to understand what is meant by the word covenant when used later in connection with Law.
Separating the content of Scripture by time periods help to identify universal principles. By universal is meant a given precept encouraged by God throughout His written revelation. They remain in force through the progressive covenants that follow the Edenic story.
Tithing – the practice of giving a portion of your income to God, was introduced before the Law (Genesis 14:20; 28:22). It than became universal under the Law (Numbers 18:24-28). It is encouraged after the Law (1 Timothy 6:19 c/f Malachi 3:8-10). It is one of the universal precepts of Scripture.
In the next article, we will see the Law as the soul of the Bible.