Posted On March 25, 2022

God’s Concern for the Nations

by | Mar 25, 2022 | Featured, Genesis

While the Old Testament revolves around the story of the nation of Israel, this does not mean that the other nations of the world are not also a concern. Actually, the revelation first given to the old covenant people of God has a lot to say about the wider world, for this wider world is part of the Lord’s plan to bring about the redemption of His creation.

One of the earliest passages to deal with the nations outside of Israel is Genesis 10, wherein we find the so-called “table of nations.” After destroying all living things, except for those on the ark (Gen. 6:1–8:19), the Lord made a covenant with creation that He would never again destroy the whole earth in a flood. In turn, human beings were tasked with doing justice and with reproducing and filling the earth (8:20–9:17). Genesis 10 lists the descendants of Noah’s sons, demonstrating how the command to reproduce was first fulfilled.

It is likely that this is not a comprehensive list of every single nation descended from Noah but only a representative group, for the peoples listed here would have been of special interest to the ancient Israelites. Genesis 10 lists seventy nations in all. Seventy is a number for completeness in the Bible; thus, it seems Moses (the author) is saying that the nations of the world in their fullness come from Noah — without having to name every single people group. Roughly speaking, the sons of Japheth include those located furthest from Israel, such as the Greeks and other Indo-Europeans. Ham fathered the peoples of Canaan, Africa, and other southern tribes. The Semitic peoples, including the Hebrews and Arabs, come from Shem (vv. 2–31).

Geographically speaking, the ancient Israelites would have been reminded that the Lord placed them in the middle of all these nations, surrounded as they were on every side. Being located in the midst of these nations, of course, was an implicit way of calling Israel to the vocation of being God’s light to the world (Isa. 42:6). From the beginning, then, the Lord was concerned that there would be a witness to His glory for all the nations, a fact confirmed when we see that a mere chapter intervenes between the table of nations and the plain revelation of our Creator’s plan to bless the whole world through Abraham and his seed (Gen. 12:1–3).

Coram Deo

Though we in no uncertain terms disagree with his Arminianism, John Wesley’s sentiment on the need for world evangelization is one that all Christians should share: “I look upon all the world as my parish; thus far I mean, that, in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right, and my bounden duty to declare unto all that are willing to hear the glad tidings of salvation.” In what ways are you making manifest God’s love for the nations?

God’s Concern for the Nations, Copyright (2022), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

Weekly Roundup 5/16/2022-5/21/2022

Weekly Roundup 5/16/2022-5/21/2022

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 5/16/2022-5/21/2022. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts. Monday...

Cut Off

Cut Off

Genesis 17:14, “Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Though there is a certain priority given to Abraham’s natural seed (see Gen. 17:21), from the beginning it is clear...

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by God

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by God

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Did God Really Know Me Before I Was Born? What You'll Hear on this Episode What the Bible Teaches About Life. Helping the Church Be About Life. We Are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” But Need Redemption from...

Why We Need the Puritans

Why We Need the Puritans

Who the Puritans Really Were Horse racing is said to be the sport of kings. The sport of slinging mud has, however, a wider following. Pillorying the Puritans, in particular, has long been a popular pastime both sides of the Atlantic, and most people’s image of...

Native and Foreigner

Native and Foreigner

Genesis 17:11-13, “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share
Tweet2
Email
Reddit
Share