God’s plan of redemption was set into motion through the calling of one family. God called Abraham (the prominent figure near the panel’s top) to leave all he knew to follow God with the promise that from Abraham would come a great nation and a blessing for the whole world (Gen 12:1-3).
Although his wife Sarah was barren, God promised that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen 15:1-6), and even in their old age, the couple received God’s blessing through the birth of their son Isaac (Gen 17:15-21; 21:1-7). God established a covenant with Abraham through the shedding of blood (Gen 15:7-20), depicted by the bloody path seen in the center of the image.Abraham’s faith was tested at the near-sacrifice of his son and God’s provision of a ram to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place (Gen 22). Here again God’s covenant is confirmed and His ultimate provision for the redemption of creation is foreshadowed. His blessing continued through this family as Isaac’s son Jacob wrestled with God in an encounter that changed his name to Israel and shaped his identity (Gen 32:22-32). Years later, God preserved Jacob’s family through the providential placement of his favored son Joseph as a leader in Egypt (Gen 37; 39-47). The scene in the lower right corner depicts Joseph (pictured in white) revealing his identity to his eleven brothers who many years before had betrayed him. Yet through his hardships, Joseph affirmed that God remained at work (Gen 45:1-11).
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