Day 175.
It is easy to forget that most in the church today would have been excluded in Old Testament times. God’s plan did not fully open to the nations outside of Israel in terms of blessing until Christ came to accomplish his work. This should humble us greatly, especially since we tend to take our position for granted as though God owed it to us.

But at the same time it was always in view. Isaiah gives such a clear picture of the fuller scope of God’s plan to reach the nations:

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
and holds fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.”
The Lord God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
“I will gather yet others to him
besides those already gathered.” (Isaiah 56:6-8 ESV)

Why did God wait so long to include the Gentiles? On the one hand redemptive history points to the nation of Israel as a whole as a mediator of God’s grace to the world. Abraham was to be a blessing to the nations. It was never God’s position to abandon the world, but to work though a mediator. Even in the curse upon Israel, or perhaps because of the curse upon Israel the nations are blessed. In this role Israel foreshadows Christ.

Why did God do it this way? Some things remain a mystery as Moses explains,

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV)

McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Dt 29, Ps 119:49-72, Is 56, Mt 4

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