This means that Israel and the nations are deeply connected in the context of the Great Commission.
We are commanded to go to the nations,
because that was the plan all along.
This profound truth is
grounded in Scripture
and carried forth by historical events that
God put in motion.
And He will continue working in every generation,
until His Word comes to pass,
and His promises come to
The Great Commission in the Old and the New Testament;
By looking to Abraham – but not only him; think even as far back as Adam or Noah – we are reminded of omnipotence of God.
The Old Testament and the New are
not separate books.
They were always meant
to be studied together.
And so, the themes, including God’s commandments and His blessings, intertwine throughout the entire Bible. There are undeniable links between key passages in the Jewish Tanach (OT) and the Christian New Covenant (NT).
“We will discover the Great Commission has its roots in the Old Testament. It is not a new command, but part of the progression of God’s redemptive work.
In the same way, Israel’s story does not end with the Old Testament.
It’s an ongoing story that depends on the
nations to come to fulfillment,”
What does the Bible Say?
This is always the right course of action.
Check everything with the Word of God.
Does the Bible give us a clear picture of what God thinks or feels about any given matter?
‘All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.’ (2 Timothy 3:16)
God revealed Himself, in large part, in the context of relationship. This explains why the Bible is composed of stories and not just attributes of God’s character.
We learn them too, but the Creator revealed His heart mainly through His interactions with humanity.
In light of that, we need to be honest with ourselves in answering the question, which relationship God established and described in His Word to serve as an example. Is it the nations in general? Or does He choose a specific nation to meet with, talk with and even dine with?
As Whitfield put it:
“God designed His interaction with Israel and the nations to
reveal who He is.
Israel in particular is a gift of God to the nations to instruct us in the knowledge of who God is and who man is. Therefore, we study Israel to better understand the knowledge of God.”
Israel’s story is ultimately about Israel’s God, and His glory is at stake in her story:
‘Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name.’ (Ezekiel 36:22)
The chosen people set the context for the life of Jesus.
Consequently, it also means that Israel sets the context for the church.
And with that, it involves both in the Great Commission.
“If we make Israel the primary point of the Bible, we will get off track.
But if we keep Jesus central in Israel’s story, we will avoid a number of errors and receive the full benefit of Israel’s role in
the redemptive story."
What God Teaches Us Through Exodus;
It had been over 400 years since Jacob and his sons went to Egypt.
In the midst of slavery,
God had not forgotten His people and knew them more than they realized.
This is what God is like. It's not so much about God’s power to overcome Pharaoh and a superpower nation.
It is more about God remembering His promise to a family that He loved.
In the midst of their suffering,
He knew their names and was sending a deliverer
to lead them back to Himself!
Exodus Meaning and a Deliverer:
The same character trait is seen at the beginning of Jesus ministry.
As Jesus’s disciples were first meeting Him,
Jesus already knew them and what they were like.
In John 1:42, when Jesus spoke to Simon, He named him Peter. After some time had passed, He explained why He did so, and we can read it in Matt 16:15-18.
In another instance, Jesus said two words to Phillip — “Follow Me.”
This impacted Phillip so deeply that he told Nathanael: “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (John 1:46)
The Comfort of Being KnownJ;
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”
Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, when you were under
the fig tree, I saw you.”
Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” – John 1:47-49
Nathanael experienced great comfort in the fact that
Jesus knew him.
And what is more important, he also
recognized that Jesus was the Messiah.
When times are hard, we often feel forgotten by God, but this is not the case. Regardless of where we are or the time that time that has passed,
any great deliverance happens because
God knows our names.
He calls us by name and comes for us, just as He did for Israelites in Sh’mot.
The real meaning of Exodus then is
not just going out,
but going after!
Ultimately it is a two-way return,
and It is God going after His children.