Don’t be on the outside looking in
Both the Jewish people and the Gentile church are called to the ‘bigger picture’. And the ‘bigger picture’ is all about Almighty G-d, His Kingdom, and His redemptive plan for mankind.
Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, understood this. So let’s look at Abraham’s understanding of the ‘bigger picture’.
Abraham forsook his home, his family, and his way of life to brave unknown dangers - as well as the unknown - because the voice of G-d told him to do so.
In Genesis 12:1-4 we read: “Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him.”
Nowhere in this narrative does it say that G-d appeared to Abraham. Abraham obeyed the voice of a G-d he could not see, and Abraham had no frame of reference; no Bible, no Rabbi, no church leader, no commentary – nothing.
What he did have was amazing faith, and throughout his days, he showed that faith in G-d must manifest itself in implicit and joyful surrender to G-d’s Divine will - even if it meant sacrificing his son of promise, Isaac.
We see in the account of Abraham sending out his servant to find a wife for Isaac that amazingly, Abraham writes over his entire fortune to his son, Isaac – Genesis 25:5-6: “And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.”
However Genesis 24:10 tells us that before this, “the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, for all his master's goods were in his hand.”
Abraham’s servant took all of Abraham’s bounty (which was Isaac’s inheritance) and travelled to Aram Naharayim in Mesopotamia.
There is not even a mention that Abraham demanded some kind of security from his servant.
Yet when it comes to finding a wife for Isaac, Genesis 24:3-6: tells us: “and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?” But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there””
Why is this? Because Abraham understood the ‘bigger picture’ – G-d’s Kingdom and mankind’s redemption.
Abraham made his servant swear by G-d that:
He would not take a wife for his son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom he dwelt.
He would go to Abraham’s country and to his family to take a wife for his son Isaac. He would not take Isaac back to his country lest Isaac abandon the Land of Promise.
Abraham realised that Isaac’s marriage would be an important factor in the fulfilment of G-d’s Divine promise regarding his descendants, the Jewish people, regarding the giving of the Land of Canaan to the Jewish people, and regarding G-d’s Redemptive Plan for mankind.
Abraham was completely unselfish and money meant nothing to him and he always focussed on the ‘bigger picture’.
He always understood that the ‘bigger picture’ was all about G-d’s Redemptive plan for mankind.
You see, G-d showed His Redemptive plan for mankind to one person – Abram. We see this in Galatians 3:8: “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.””
In John 8:56-58 Yeshua speaking we read: ““Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”” This alludes to the fact that Abraham had a clear understanding of G-d’s Redemptive Plan for mankind.
And even though he had no frame of reference, he understood that G-d’s Redemptive Plan would come through the Jewish Messiah.
And G-d’s Redemptive Plan for mankind came about through the greatest Jewish descendant of Abraham, Yeshua.
As servants of G-d, let us always remember that it’s not about us, it’s about the ‘bigger picture’.
And how many church leaders and congregants really and fully understand the ‘bigger picture’? Sadly, not many!
I believe that there are many who believe that: “G-d understands our compromising, so let’s be politically correct and tell the congregants what they want to hear so that we don’t offend them”
I have even had senior church leaders say to me that some church services are too long and the people’s time must be respected. REALLY!!!
It’s ok for people to sit for hours waiting for a football or rugby or baseball match to begin, but to spend 2 hours in a ‘shul’ (synagogue) or a church service worshipping Almighty G-d is too much for people…how incredibly sad.
So, what is our main mission as servants of the Kingdom? And yes, as believers in Yeshua, there are many missions that G-d has for us: Being the light of Yeshua to those around us; praying for the sick; looking after widows and orphans…and others.
However, I believe there is a mission that is first and foremost: I believe that it is building the Kingdom of G-d to usher in the return of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah and Saviour of the world.
And this mission revolves around the ‘Great Commission’ – taking the gospel to all people, beginning with the Jewish people.
When you focus on the ‘bigger picture’, the Kingdom and redemption, like Abraham and his servant, you will joyfully and obediently be able to do all that Almighty G-d asks of you.
Mankind’s redemption began with the Jewish people. It continues with G-d’s current servants – you and me. And it will end with the Jewish people when, upon the return of Yeshua, “all Israel will be saved”.
I want to be an integral part of G-d’s bigger picture. I don’t want to be on the ‘outside looking in’; I want to be part of Almighty G-d’s team.
How about you?