Throughout the Old Testament of the Bible, God has used man and his imperfections to teach mankind many lessons, oftentimes using nations and lands outside of Israel to fulfill His divine purpose. Whether it is the Egyptians in the time of Moses, the Philistines in the time of David, the Babylonians in the time of Daniel, or the Persians in the time of Esther, God used His people – the Jews – to achieve mighty works that would serve as examples of faith to future Hebrew generations and as warnings to outside nations that worshiped false gods and opposed His people. But this is not the full picture. God often worked within His own camp – the people of Israel – to expose their corrupt nature, punish them, purge them of their sins, and bring them back into His mercy and blessings. With Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Job, Noah, and others figures in the Old Testament, God used traumatic or catastrophic events in order to steer man back on the right path of godliness and submission to Him.
The best place to start when examining how God used the people and places of the Bible is the book of Genesis, which means “origins” in Greek and “in the beginning” in Hebrew, (Hamilton 1). And the genesis of mankind, of course, dates back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a perfect paradise on earth devoid of any of the toils or strife that we experience every day on earth. But when God put Adam and Eve in the midst of this unblemished land, corruption was speedily on its way. ...