A Forecast for Missions in the Old Testament

There is an attribute of God called immutability.  It means “unchangeable” and comes from a Latin root which means “not changeable”.  From eternity past to creation of the world and on through to the present age God does not and cannot change.  He is the great I AM that is always in the present.  It is only because of the progressive revelation of who He is as He revealed Himself in the annals of time, interacting with human-kind through the Scriptures that we might get confused on this issue.  As God involves Himself in the tangled complexity of human decision and the ramifications of those decisions throughout history we are fortunate enough to see the depth of His being.   On this we must contemplate and even meditate.  For therein is the beginning of comprehension into the heart of God.  To consider the God of the Old Testament a god of wrath and vengeance contrasted with the God of the New Testament as the god of love would be a serious mistake.  We cannot cut away a portion of who God is simply because we see different aspects of His being.  For proof, finish reading the New Testament.  There is a coming time when God will be wrathful against sin…again.

 One Old Testament passage in Isaiah permits us to see inside the compassionate heart of God as it relates to the nations (people groups).  Chapter 42:1-9 initiates a description of the Chosen Servant whom the Lord will use to represent a new covenant relationship with the entire world.  This Chosen servant is, of course, Jesus Christ…

5Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7     to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols. (ESV)

Notice the qualities of God we can glean from this marvelous passage;

  • Creator (vs.5a)
  • Giver of Life (vs.5b)
  • Standard of Righteousness (vs.6a)
  • Pledge Provider (vs.6b)
  • Light Giver (vs.6c)
  • Enlightenment Enabler (vs.7a)
  • Freer of Captives (vs.7b)
  • Rightfully Supreme (vs.8)

…How foolish we are if we consider God as one dimensional in


qualities!  19 years ago, I stood before the Malaumandan people for 5 ½ months declar

ing in their language these and many other qualities of God so that the light mentioned in verse 6 could dawn in that nation.  What a privilege it was! God’s heart has always been that all peoples of the earth would know Him.  It was in God’s heart and mind when He spoke the world into existence, spoke through the pen of Isaiah, and in the words of the Savior when Jesus commanded us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19).  Time has unfolded to where we are today.  Now, because of the Scriptures, we have time-unfolded, detailed knowledge of who God is.  We have been promised God’s presence and power to communicate it.  We only need to choose to go and share it.

Want to join efforts with the movement of God’s heart past, present and future? The blind are waiting to see and the captives are waiting to be freed (vs.7).  Join the cause! Let’s share light for the nations (Isaiah 42:6) and commit to communicating this eternal truth to all the peoples of the earth.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (ESV)
John 8:12