The Making of a Nation

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1. The Reasons for Migration. 2. The Prophetic Stories about Abraham. 3. The Meaning of the Early Prophetic Stories about Abraham. 4. The Prophetic Portrait of Abraham. 5. The Tendency to Idealize National Heroes. 6. The Permanent Value and Influence of the Abraham Narratives.

STUDY VI. THE POWER OF AMBITION. Jacob the Persistent, Gen. 25:10-33:20

1. The Two Brothers, Jacob and Esau. 2. The Man with a Wrong Ambition. 3. Jacob's Training in the School of Experience. 4. The Invincible Power of Ambition and Perseverance. 5. The Different Types of Ambition. 6. The Development of Right Ambitions.

STUDY VII. A SUCCESSFUL MAN OF AFFAIRS. Joseph's Achievements, Gen. 37; 39-48; 50

1. The Qualities Essential to Success. 2. The Limitations and Temptations of Joseph's Early Life. 3. The Call of a Great Opportunity. 4. The Temptations of Success. 5. The Standards of Real Success. 6. The Methods of Success.

STUDY VIII. THE TRAINING OF A STATESMAN. Moses in Egypt and the Wilderness, Ex. 1:1-7:5

1. The Egyptian Background. 2. The Making of a Loyal Patriot. 3. The School of the Wilderness. 4. Moses' Call to Public Service. 5. The Education of Public Opinion. 6. The Training of Modern Statesmen.

STUDY IX. THE ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF LAW. Moses' Work as Judge and Prophet, Ex. 18:5-27; 33:5-11

1. The Needs that Give Rise to Law. 2. The Growth of Customary Law. 3. The Authority Underlying all Law. 4. Moses' Relations to the Old Testament Laws. 5. The Development of Modern Law. 6. The Attitude of Citizens toward the Law.

STUDY X. THE FOUNDATIONS OF GOOD CITIZENSHIP. The Ten Commandments, Ex. 20:1-17

1. The History of the Prophetic Decalogue. 2. Obligations of the Individual to God. 3. The Social and Ethical Basis of the Sabbath Law. 4. The Importance of Children's Loyalty to Parents. 5. Primary Obligations of Man to Man. 6. The Present-day Authority of the Ten Commandments.

STUDY XI. THE EARLY TRAINING OF A RACE. Israel's Experience in the Wilderness and East of the Jordan, Num. 11-14; 21:21-31; 32:39-42

1. The Wilderness Environment. 2. Influence of the Nomadic Life upon Israel's Character and Ideals. 3. The Influence of the Wilderness Life Upon Israel's faith. 4. The Significance of the East-Jordan Conquests. 5. The Significance of Moses' Work. 6. The Early Stages in the Training of the Human Race.

STUDY XII. A NATION'S STRUGGLE FOR A HOME AND FREEDOM, Israel's Victories over the Canaanites, Josh. 2-9; Judg. 1, 4, 5.

1. The Crossing of the Jordan. 2. The Canaanite Civilization. 3. The Capture of the Outposts of Palestine. 4. Ways by which the Hebrews Won Their Homes. 5. Deborah's Rally of the Hebrews. 6. The Final Stage in the Making of the Hebrew Nation.

INTRODUCTION

THE REDISCOVERY OF THE BIBLE

In the early Christian centuries thousands turned to the Bible, as drowning men to a life buoy, because it offered them the only way of escape from the intolerable social and moral ills that attended the death pangs of the old heathenism. Then came the Dark Ages, with their resurgent heathenism and barbarism, when the Bible was taken from the hands of the people. In the hour of a nation's deepest humiliation and moral depravity, John Wycliffe, with the aid of a devoted army of lay priests, gave back the Bible to the people, and in so doing laid the foundations for England's intellectual, political and moral greatness. The joy and inspiration of the Protestant Reformers was the rediscovery and popular interpretation of the Bible. In all the great forward movements of the modern centuries the Bible has played a central role. The ultimate basis of our magnificent modern scientific and material progress is the inspiration given to the human race by the Protestant Reformation.

Unfortunately, the real meaning and message of the Bible has been in part obscured during past centuries by dogmatic interpretations. The study of the Bible has also been made a solemn obligation rather than a joyous privilege. The remarkable discoveries of the present generation and its new and larger sense of power and progress have tended to turn men's attention from the contemplation of the heritage which comes to them from the past. The result is that most men know little about the Bible. They are acquainted with its chief characters such as Abraham, David and Jesus. A few are even able to give a clear-cut outline of the important events of Israel's history; but they regard it simply as a history whose associations and interests belong to a bygone age. How many realize that most of the problems which Israel met and solved are similar to those which to-day are commanding the absorbing attention of every patriotic citizen, and that of all existing books, the Old Testament makes the greatest contributions to the political and social, as well as to the religious thought of the world? National expansion, taxation, centralization of authority, civic responsibility, the relation of religion to politics and to public morality were as vital and insistent problems in ancient Israel as they are in any live, progressive nation to-day. The gradual discovery of this fact explains why here and there through-out the world the leaders in modern thought and progress are studying the Bible with new delight and enthusiasm; not only because of its intrinsic beauty and interest, but because in it they find, stated in clearest form, the principles which elucidate the intricate problems of modern life.

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