Preaching through Genesis has had me spending more time thinking about the narrative structure of the Old Testament lately. Last week as I was studying to preach Genesis 20-21 it struck me again that one of the main points of the whole Old Testament is also one of the simplest:

There is no human saviour, only humans who need one.

One of the very first things God does when humans sin is announce that he has a plan to bring  a saviour, who will be born of a woman, so that right from the beginning our hopes are raised. With each new covenant and each new child miraculously born in the line of promise we’re to ask in anticipation: Is this the saviour?

But the narrative structure of the Old Testament makes it clear again and again that no human can be a sufficient saviour. Every spiritual climax soon descends into disaster and the heroics of faithful men are quickly followed by failure.

Think about the pattern:
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