Monday, June 21, 2010

Earth gathering

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 66:7-24

TO CHEW ON: "'…It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. 
19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 
20 Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,' says the LORD, 'as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.'" Isaiah 66:18b-20

One of the most moving parts of the recent Winter Olympics was the parade of nations during the Opening Ceremonies. As nation after nation entered B.C. Place led by their flag-bearer, its members decked out in the outfits that often incorporated national colors and ethnic designs and symbols, it was hard not to think of the parade of nations described here in Isaiah and in other places in the Bible. Only, this parade will not assemble athletes to compete in physical games of sport, but peoples from every nationality and language to worship God.

The theme of the nations of earth worshiping God spans the Scriptures.
- David predicts it in the Psalms (Psalm 22:27).

- Isaiah describes a time when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).

- God's presence in the nations will bring with it a welcomed justice (Isaiah 42:4).

- Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of theSon and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).

- The Holy Spirit was poured out on Christians at Pentecost for the express purpose of expediting our witness "to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

- The gathering we see in Isaiah 66 when "all flesh shall come to worship before me (66:23) reminds us of other prophetic scenes. The one in Revelation 7:9-10, for example: "I looked and behold, a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands saying 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!'"

- But we're not at that time yet. Jesus has promised to delay His return until the gospel has been preached "in all the world" (Matthew 24:14).

I ask myself, what am I doing to make the parade of worshiping nations a reality? What are you doing?

PRAYER: Dear God, I bow to You as ruler supreme. May the day when these scenes of every nation and tribe gathering to worship You come soon. Amen.

MORE: Interceding for nations

Dick Eastman in his book Love On Its Knees devotes a chapter to praying for nations. He says:

"Because the Bible tells us redeemed humanity will come from every tribe, tongue, people and nation, we know that we are interceding in God's will when praying for all four of these categories systematically in our prayers."

He suggests four types of prayers based on the four categories:

1. Interceding for "every tribe": "We must pray for frontier evangelism."
2. Interceding for "every tongue": "We must pray for translation evangelism."
3. Interceding for "every people": "We must pray for national evangelism."
4. Interceding for "every nation": "We must pray for systematic evangelism."

from Dick Eastman On Prayer: Love On Its Knees, pages 106-109.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...