Today’s Bible passages are Exodus 19, Job 37, and Psalm 67.
This devotional is about Exodus 19 and Psalm 67.
The Old Testament is largely about Israel and God’s relationship with her. From the call of Abraham onward, God promised blessings to Israel and called the people of that nation to believe in him and obey his commands. God’s promises and commands to Israel were not for Israel alone, however. God’s plan was to work THROUGH Israel to reach people all over the world with the knowledge of him.
Even here in Exodus 19, where God revealed his power and holiness in a dramatic way, he also emphasized the global impact that Israel’s faith was supposed to have. When God said in verse 6, “you will be for me a kingdom of priests” this is what he was talking about. Priests stand between God and humanity. They teach God’s word to his people and they make atonement for their sins.
But Israel was to be an entire kingdom of priests. Why? So that they could mediate to the whole world God’s love and God’s truth.
This theme is also described in Psalm 67 which we read today. Notice:
- “so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations (v. 2)
- “May the nations be glad and sing for joy” (v. 4)
- “May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you” (v 5)
- “May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him (v. 7).
Ultimately, these promises came to fulfillment in Christ. Israel could never trust and obey the Lord enough to inherit these promises apart from Christ. But, by God’s grace, Jesus came into the world through the nation of Israel and now he is calling people all over the world to the faith in him that Israel never had. These promises will eventually be fulfilled when Jesus establishes his earthly kingdom. Until then, however, we are here to be part of calling the world to faith in him. This is why we send and support missionaries; it is also why we are called to make disciples ourselves, baptizing and teaching them to observe the commands of Jesus (Matt 28:20).
Are you giving to support the work of the gospel through world missions–either our missionaries or others? Are you looking for ways to begin conversations about Jesus with others?