BLIND TO GOD’S PLANS
And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” Romans 15:12
The first announcement that there would be a Savior to the world came in Genesis. The Psalms are full of revelation that all nations will praise the Lord. Psalm 117 is the shortest Psalm in the Bible, only two verses long, but it has one of the broadest outlooks. The nations of the world are worshiping God because of His love and His faithfulness.
Paul’s quote in today’s scripture comes from Isaiah 11. Through the line of King David (Jesse was his father), a king will come and bring universal blessing. This will be the messianic age when lions and lambs will live together without the urge to kill and without the fear of being prey.
If God’s plan was to include all nations in His plan for salvation, how did the Jews miss it? They had the Torah and had memorized it. Yet, their bias against God sharing His blessings outside their borders were expressed strongly down through the centuries.
It makes me wonder today what I’m missing. Is my Gospel inclusive? It is easy to be standoffish with those I don’t understand, with those whose culture is so unlike my own. I am repelled by their violence, their practices, and shake my head in disbelief when I see their stories portrayed on the evening news. They are so far from God and the gap seems insurmountable. Yet, God is revealing Himself to modern-day Sauls; to those who kill Christians and to those whose passion is to destroy every vestige of Christianity. He appears to them in dreams, in visions, and they wake up exclaiming, “Lord Jesus!” Do I rejoice over such stories? Am I surprised over the power of God?
God is the Savior of any who want Him, of any to whom He grants the power to believe. It may be a Rabbi of a rural town in Israel. It may be an Imam in Pakistan. It may be a Chinese government official who, at this very moment, arrests pastors in his village. And it may be American teenagers who, at this moment, are so infected with the darkness of our age that their spiritual condition appears hopeless. God’s plan to be the God of all peoples prevails. My heart must adjust accordingly – humbly – to rejoice in such unbiased love. And my heart must hope in a God powerful enough to touch the one I consider most unlikely to believe.
Give me global eyes and a global heart. Amen