IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
The central line in the entire Bible is God’s expression. In Genesis there is the record of nine great men who are landmarks in the human history: Adam, Abel, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Adam was first, and he became fallen. Abel came back to God taking God’s way of redemption and salvation. Following him was Enosh, who realized that fallen man is so weak, fragile, and good for nothing. So he had no trust in himself, but he called on the name of Jehovah. To call on the name of Jehovah means that you put your trust in Him. You realize that you are fallen and sinful and weak and poisoned and corrupted and fragile in doing anything for God. So what shall you do? You have to forget about yourself, and call upon the name of Jehovah. This is not just to call on the name of God. Jehovah is Jesus in the Old Testament. So Enosh became a landmark in human history because he began to call upon the name of the Lord. For me to call upon the name of the Lord indicates that I realize I am nothing, that I can do nothing, and that I am good for nothing. Because I have no trust in myself, I trust in the Lord. I call upon His name.
The fourth landmark in human history was Enoch, who walked with God. This indicates a little improvement. This is not just to call upon the name of the Lord, but to walk with Him. The fifth landmark in Genesis is Noah. Noah not only walked with the Lord, but he also worked with the Lord and worked for the Lord. He built the ark with the Lord and for the Lord.
Abraham, the sixth landmark, was called out of the idolatrous land. His son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob, continued after him. With Jacob something happened as a further development of God’s expression. When he was escaping from his brother he slept in the wilderness using a stone for a pillow (Gen. 28). During the night he had a dream in which he saw a ladder reaching into the heavens with the angels descending and ascending upon it. Jacob called that place the gate of heaven and the house of God, Bethel. That was God’s dwelling place. The next morning he anointed his stone pillow with oil and called it Bethel, the house of God. This is very meaningful. God gave this wanderer a dream showing him that God desired to have Bethel, a house on this earth. Humanly speaking nothing can express you so much as your house. When you look at people’s dwelling places, right away you can realize what kind of people they are. God wants a dwelling place on this earth to express Himself.
The ninth landmark in Genesis was Joseph who ruled on the earth for God’s expression. Eventually all of Jacob’s descendants fell into Egypt. After four hundred years, God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to Mount Sinai where He revealed the tabernacle to them. God wanted them to be His dwelling place that God might be expressed among them and through them. Later, that tabernacle was enlarged into a temple. The tabernacle was a traveling house of God, but the temple became a settled house upon this earth. This covers the entire Old Testament. First of all God had nine men from Adam to Joseph who expressed Him in a limited way. Then in the second book of the Bible, Exodus, God got a collective people who became His expression in a full way.
(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)