THE GREAT HOPE

“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name”.

Ps 66:4 NIV

One of the great factors in the world today is the state of relations between the various nations. How are China and the United States working out? What is going to happen in Israel? Or the European Union?

Despite their profound self-consciousness at being called and chosen by God to be his special people and of being favoured and loved by him, the Israelites had such a deep sense of God and of his immense power that they cherished a secret hope that one day they would become such a great and powerful nation that other nations would queue up to join them in order to worship their God. In contradiction to this they also considered Gentiles “unclean” to mix with, a sense that became sharper as the centuries slipped by.

So superior to all other gods did they consider their God to be that they pictured the various nations arriving in Jerusalem to worship God in the temple. It was a forlorn hope. But it was a beautiful dream.

When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost the end result was that the apostles were inspired to spread the news of Jesus to the Mediterranean world. Led by Paul they preached their way through Syria and what is now Turkey. People were converted to Jesus all along the way, many abandoning their Jewish faith in the process. From Turkey they went to Greece and eventually to Rome. Three hundred years later the Christian faith became the official faith of the Roman Empire. Some Christians still hope that one day people of all nations will come to know and worship Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, I pray that all nations will come to know you.