“These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies in their nations. And from these, the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.”
So this verse comes at the end of a long chapter known as the generations of Noah or the table of nations. And when you hear nations there, don’t think countries, like 200 or so countries in the United Nations today.
The gospel is for all people in all nations among all ethnicities.
Now, what we see in scripture is humanity, people as a whole divided into people, groups, subgroups, ethnic groups, and there’s different words we see in both The Old Testament and The New Testament to describe these people groups. Sometimes you see nations, sometimes tribes, clans, families, peoples languages even. So this is why we use terms like people groups today. It’s our best effort to look at the world today and say, all right, here’s distinct ethnolinguistic groups, groups that share common languages, common cultural characteristics. And this is why when we think about the world, we don’t just need to think about 200 or so countries. Instead, we need to think about people groups, tribes, languages, like the Bible talks about these things.
Now, we don’t know for sure that we have the best classification for people groups to our best attempts to do so, but some identify over 11,000 people groups in the world, some identify over 16,000 people groups. It depends on where you distinguish one group from another, but many more than 200. And this is why we pray continually for the gospel to go to every single people group, because that’s the word that Jesus uses in Matthew 28:19, when he says, “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” He’s not saying countries there, he’s saying ethnic groups. Go make disciples of all of them. We know that all of history is headed toward the day when revelation chapter five or relationship or seven, make clear that every nation, tribe, people, language will be gathered around the throne of God, singing his praises for his salvation. This is Matthew 24:14, “The gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
So when we read Genesis chapter 10, verse 32, we’re seeing a picture that’s going to carry throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament, where we see different people groups, and God loves every single one of them. And God desires salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus, to be made known, and enjoyed, and celebrated among all of them. God deserves glory from every single people group. We have been commanded then as his church to make disciples among every single people group, not just among a lot of people in the world, not even just among as many people as possible. We have been specifically commanded to make disciples of all the people groups among every single people group in the world.
So then when we read about the Yumean people of China, 225,000 of them who live in remote mountains, very hard to get to, where they worship a patron ancestor deity, and other ancestors and spirits, and the gospel has never gone to them. There are no followers of Jesus right now among the Yumean people of China. In light of what we read from Genesis 10:32, all the way to revelation chapter five and seven with Matthew 28:19, right in the middle, we pray for, and go to, and give, and work so that the gospel go to the Yumean people. And right now about 7,000 other people groups who have little to no access to the gospel, just feel that. Out of 11, or 16, or so thousand people groups in the world, there are still over 7,000 of them that have little to no access to the gospel.
This is why we pray regularly on this podcast. And I would encourage you to pray every day in your life for the spread of the gospel to unreached people. You can find out more about different people groups. Download the Joshua Project app, Unreached of the Day. That’s what I use when we pray on this podcast for unreached people groups. We’re just praying for the specific people group from that day. And this is something we must do as followers of Jesus. We must pray, we must work, we must give in our lives, our families, our churches, so that all the nations of the world know the goodness and glory, grace of our God. So, God, we pray today specifically for the Yumean people of China. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel in those mountains and to this remote people group. And God, we pray that the good news of Jesus would be heard, and received, and believed and embraced there.
God, we pray that you would send workers to Yumean people from our families, our churches, from churches around the world, from somewhere, God, send somebody to go to the Yumean people. God, we pray for that in every single people group in the world, every single nation, tribe, language, people, God. Cause your grace to remain known among them all, cause your glory to be exalted and enjoyed among them all. We pray that you’d help us to be faithful to the commission you’ve given to us.
God help us not just to look right around us and say, “Let’s just focus here.” Help us to live for your glory right where we are, help us to share the gospel today right where we are to lead people to Jesus. And then God, help us not to neglect people who have no Christians around them, have no gospel anywhere near them, who don’t have any translation of your Bible, any translation of your word, any access to the good news of your grace and your love in Jesus. God, we pray that that would change. We pray that you would use our lives to change that, our families to change that, our churches to change that, that it might not be said in our day that there were 7,000 people groups who’d yet to be reached by the gospel. God change that and use us to do it, we pray, for your glory among the nations in light of Genesis 10:32. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.