By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #38 ~
As people living in the 21st century we need to know how God has been working in the world with regards to the nations, and I’m not talking from a geopolitical perspective. I’m not talking about what the United Nations says, that weak body of leaders that will never bring unity or peace to this world. I’m not talking about what Presidents, prime ministers or politicians say, and surely not what the news media says. I’m talking about a Biblical perspective, a Biblical framing of the nations, past, present and future. What does God’s word say about the nations? Where in the world are things headed?
Genesis 10-11 tells us that the nations of the world are divided into two main groups – the Gentile nations, from Noah’s sons, Ham and Japheth, and the nation of Israel, from Shem, Noah’s other son. The promise we must never forget is what God said to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3, “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you… and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Do you see this, that all true blessing in this world, both spiritual and physical, comes through Abram and his descendants, through Israel?
The main theme of most of the Old Testament, specifically Genesis 12 – Malachi 4, centers on the nation of Israel. You can only understand the Old Testament as you understand God’s sovereign and special working with Israel and how that affects the rest of the world. God’s dealings with all the other nations relate directly to their relationship with Israel.
Psalms 1-2 says that God works through individual people and nations. Psalm 1 tells us about individuals, the righteous who will be forever blessed (remember that God wants to use your life for His purposes), and the unrighteous who will perish, and be eternally punished. Psalm 2 talks about Gentile nations taking their stand against God. In their defiant pride they fail to see that Christ is King, and that He will inherit the nations and then begin His reign from Zion, from Israel. And if nations, kings and people don’t worship and serve the Lord and King, then they will be utterly destroyed.
Revelation 12:1-3 says that Satan has been strongly opposing the nation of Israel from the beginning. His devilish work has especially been seen in these “beast” nations – Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome I and Rome II. The Bible tells us how God has continually rescued and preserved this nation of Israel and, in the future, will enable them to help fulfill His plans. Psalms 33:10-12, Isaiah 40-66, Esther
God’s judgment of the nations for their sin is a major theme in the Bible, and is described in great detail, particularly in the prophets. Yet, God shows extreme patience with sinful nations, and for over 1500 years we see this with Israel, but His patience has a limit. In Isaiah 1:4, 26, God promises to judge Judah, “Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt… I will turn my hand against you.” Isaiah goes on to declare God’s wrath against Moab, Babylon, Ethiopia and Egypt. In Hosea 9:7, God says to Israel, “The days of punishment have come”. Obadiah tells us about God’s judgment against Edom.
Every nation has been judged or will be judged by God. The Bible and world history make this very clear. And since we’re now in the end times then it won’t be long before God’s wrath will be poured out on both people and nations. God’s global judgment is most sobering, a divine, devastating wrath that takes place right after the rapture of the church, but right before Christ’s reign over the world. Joel 3:2 tells us, “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.” Psalm 9:5 informs us, “You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked.” Revelation 8-9, 16
In these days before Christ’s return, God must realign the nations of this earth. (Ezekiel 36-38:1-6, Daniel 2:31-45). God has brought the Jews back to Israel, and He’s getting other nations ready as well. Yes, this world is rapidly changing, but you look at countries like Israel, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Russia and the United States, and it’s obvious that we’re not there yet. And Antichrist’s 10 nation kingdom hasn’t even come to power, but it will. Yes, Christ is coming soon, but many more things still need to take place before we see Him return in power and great glory. Matthew 24:27-41
God is holy, but He is also merciful. During the Old Testament days Israel was to be a light to the nations. In Psalm 96:2-3 the Jews were told, “Proclaim good tidings of His salvation… Tell of His glory among the nations.” But in these days the church is to let her light shine, and is to “make disciples of all the nations… even to the end of the age,” and then Christ will return to reign over the entire world. Matthew 28:19-20, Revelation 11:15
After the church age, the great glory of God will be seen in the nations during the millennial kingdom. Psalm 47:8 – “God reigns over the nations.” Psalm 67:2,4,5 – “Your salvation among the nations… let the nations be glad… You will guide the nations on the earth.” Psalm 86:9-10 – “All the nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. You are great and do wondrous deeds.”
P.S. Next week I will be sharing about the present and continuing decline of the United States, and how in the near future, she will no longer be the leading world power. She must go down, and then sooner or later, God will raise up the Antichrist’s kingdom.