13 Jan 20

If you look at the blessings upon Israel (which are in today’s readings), Kings and Nations were to come from him, and this is often taken as being fulfilled in the Davidic Kingdom, then the dual Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the restoration and then the Maccabean revolt leading to the Sanhedrin and a scribal theocracy, and even the current State of Israel, though officially secular.

But the blessings on Abraham Issac and Jacob go beyond that tribe and nation, to all people. This shocked the early Christians, who were Jewish, and saw Jesus as the Christ, come, risen, and saving them… but had difficulty with Samaritans hearing the gospel.

Let alone pagans. But Christ wants all people and all nations to be saved.

Acts 10:44-48

44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

At Church today we had a very challenging sermon on how business and bondage can rob us of our joy. A young man, trained in Western Australia, but who returned to Botswana to found a church there. We have men and women of God in almost every nation: for the gospel is for all of us, in all times, and for all seasons.

Let us continue to live in the joy of the Lord. This world works instead by fear. Instead, in all things pray, fix your vision on the authentic and true, and base your worth not on yourself, but on Christ, who died for the joy of your salvation.