All the Nations

by J. Randal Matheny
diversepeople.jpgSing to the Lord, all the earth!
Announce every day how he delivers!
Tell the nations about his splendor,
tell all the nations about his miraculous deeds!
1 Chronicles 16:23-24 NET
Every ethnic group has its customs and ceremonies that distinguish it and serve to differentiate its culture from the rest. But the people of God have more.
When the ark of the Lord finally arrived in Jerusalem, it was placed in the Lord’s tent, and a celebration followed. King David blessed the people, gave them food and designated some Levites as musicians.
The first psalm of thanksgiving was sung by Asaph’s group. In the center of the psalm were the words quoted above.
In one of the most distinctive acts of the Israelite people, the singers speak and think of all the nations of the world. For the ark and the tent, which symbolized God’s presence among them, were destined to serve not only as a mark of Israelite culture, but light for the nations.
If this was true of Israel, more so for the church of God.
Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Even the Lord’s supper, that most intimate and distinct act only for the follower of Christ committed to God’s will, serves not only as a reminder of the wonderful price paid for our souls, but as a proclamation to ourselves of the global nature of the gospel and to others that Jesus’ death is the only way back to God.
So the grief we feel for our own sins is overwhelmed by this our song of thanksgiving that rejoices in salvation and extends it to everyone who, as yet, has no right to eat at the Lord’s table.

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