31 Mar 2008

Joining God’s Mission, 2

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Hebrew Bible, Hermeneutics, Kingdom, Ministry, Mission
As we noticed last time in this space God has called his covenant people to be a blessing to his creation. God used Abraham to spread his good favor to those he came in contact with throughout his life. He sometimes brought hurt as well (cf. Gen 20).
The descendants of Abraham, Israel, were also to be a blessing to all creation. They were to bless the lives of each other by being truthful and merciful to each other, respecting property and the integrity of each individual and honoring the covenant of marriage. But more than that they were to be a blessing by witnessing to the awesome love and majesty of Yahweh himself to his rebellious human imagers.
According to the prophet, God intended Israel not only to bless her own citizens but the “Gentiles” too (Isaiah 49.6b). The nation of Israel had been given a mission to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. But she failed. She interpreted God’s grace to mean that she was better than the rest of the nations. To Israel being chosen was something that was somehow deserved. The privilege was not matched with humility and obedience. 
But Moses destroyed the former notion (cf. Deut 7.7-9). Isaiah smashes the elitist attitude of the second. Israel was chosen to be a blessing to and for the world. Not just so she could keep Yahweh’s grace to herself. She was kingdom of priests not for her own sake but for the sake of the world. Some scholars look at Jonah and believe he is the personification of the reluctant servant of God called Israel. God dragged Jonah/Israel kicking and screaming to be a blessing to the Gentiles of Ninevah.
The Prophet, however, calls Israel God’s “servant” (49.3). Israel has been graciously chosen by God to be his instrument of blessing to all creation—but she refused.
Today Yahweh, the Father of Jesus, continues to call Israel to be his servant. Luke quotes Isaiah 49.6 in Acts 13.47 and says that we are still to be God’s blessing. God has called Christians by his grace to be exactly what Israel was in the Hebrew Bible—a blessing from God to and for the world. That is our purpose for existing as a covenant people.
We sing “how beautiful the feet that bring the sound of good news and the love of the King” because it is true. Those who want to share God’s amazing grace with others are a blessing to the nations.
Are you a blessing? Are we? God has called PaLO VErde to be a blessing in Tucson, Arizona, the USA, and the world. He delights to give us grace (Micah 7.18-19) but he desires that we freely share what we have freely received. Let’s continue to join the mission of God.
Bobby Valentine

6 Responses to “Joining God’s Mission, 2”

  1. preacherman Says:

    Wonderful post Bobby.
    I really enjoyed this series as always.
    Reading your blog is always a true blessing for me as I am encouraged to think, grow in my faith, and relationship with God.
    May God’s blessing fall on your life brother!
    In Him,
    Kinney Mabry

  2. Danny Says:

    Enjoyed chatting with you today Bobby.

    You do have my prayers.

  3. Gardner Hall Says:

    What a responsility we have!

  4. dbbjavance Says:

    This series is a great summary of God’s hope for the world and our calling and mission to be a blessing and to bring God’s blessing. And what can I say, “One Love” was clearly the better choice over “Country Road”.


  5. Cheryl Russell Says:

    This is a really good series! Peace to you.

  6. Matthew Says:

    You are helping me write my covenant concept paper. Keep it up.

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