Israel and the Missionary Call
It is extremely easy to get mixed signals in regard to Israel’s relation to foreign nations in the Old Testament. There seems to be a tension in whether God’s blessings are for Israel alone or for the entire world through Israel. I believe that the Old Testament has much evidence that would point to the fact that Israel is chosen by God the Father to not only be content being the chosen elect of God, but also to act as a sort of “missionaries” bringing God’s blessing to the world.
I believe that if the Old Testament is read outside of the canonical context than one would clearly assume that the Old Testament is focused on Israel alone. When reading scripture, one must read the entirety of the word to truly understand the point of focus that is being made. Through out scripture, Old and New Testament, there is a concern with humankind as a whole, or people of all nations. For example the Old Testament begins with talking about creation of ALL humankind. Through Adam and Eve, all were created, not only Israel. “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” (Gen 3:20) And if you fast forward to Revelation scripture seems to end with this same focus on all nations “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.” (Rev 14:6) It would only make sense that if Scripture begins AND ends with a concern for all mankind that likely, everything in the middle would ultimately point to the same focus.
Many people believe that there is no specific call to spread the word of God throughout the world claiming that in contrast to the New Testament, the prophets in the Old Testament were simply passive examples of God’s message rather than active missionaries. However, in order to truly see the call to evangelization, we must realize that the Old Testament is a kind of story-book with a bunch of...
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