God's Passion for the Nations (Zechariah 8:20–23) - Radical

God’s Passion for the Nations (Zechariah 8:20–23)

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’ Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'”
-Zechariah 8:20-23

God has a heart for people from every nation and tongue.

Ah, I think I said in a previous episode that Zechariah 4:6 is probably my favorite verse in Zechariah. It’s an awesome verse, but so are these. These might be my favorite too. Zechariah eight, 20 through 23. This picture, did you hear it? We prayed through this in Zechariah two, but I want us to pray to it again is to show you again this keeps coming up. It’s making clear when we see something repeated over and over and over again in God’s Word, we need to open our eyes.

God is passionate about bringing all the nations from every tongue to be among his people and that’s the picture. I love particularly verse 23 here. “Thus says the Lord of hosts. In those days, 10 men from the nations of every tongue.” So all nations, this is the picture. 10 men from the nations of every tongue shall take a hold of the robe of a Jew’s covenant people of God in the Old Testament. But here’s all these Gentile nations of every tongue taking a hold of the robe of the people of God saying, “We want to go with you for we’ve heard that God is with you.”

That is in a sense Great Commission picture here in the Old Testament. Make disciples of all the nations. Go to all the nations that they might see in you the spirit of God, the love of God, the grace of God, and the gospel of God that they might go with you. Picture it this way. Here we are you and I who are followers of Jesus on a road that leads to eternal glory to heaven, to a place where there’s no more sin and no more sorrow and no more suffering and no more death. We will be with God in perfect harmony with God, with all people who have trusted in Jesus, a new heaven and a new Earth. That’s where we’re going.

We’re on a road that leads there. And on the way, Jesus says, “Go make disciples of all the nations.” In other words, go to all the peoples of every tongue, Zechariah 8:23. And introduce them to the love and the mercy and the grace of God in Jesus so they might go with you because they know God is with you. They see where you’re going and they want to be a part of it. And Revelation seven says It’s going to happen one day. All the nations, all the tribe, all the tongues, all the languages, people from all the nations will find themselves at the throne of God, sing his praise for his salvation.”

So we pray. God, please bring it about. We pray this day after day after day just like you taught us to pray. Jesus, our father in heaven, hallowed be your name and all the Earth. We want all the Earth to know you are great. We want all the Earth to know you’re gracious and glorious. All the Earth, all the tongues to sing your praise. We want all the tongues to sing your praise. So God, we pray for the Kurmanji Kurds in Iraq, 3.4 million of them. As far as we can tell and know, there are hundreds of followers of Jesus among the Kurds of Iraq. I think about churches. I know among the Kurds in Iraq.

We praise you for the presence of the gospel there. God, we pray that the gospel would spread through them like wildfire. The good news of your grace and your mercy. Cause it to spread specifically among Muslim Kurmanji Kurds, who are blinded to the glory of Jesus right now. And they believe false things about Jesus. God open their eyes to the truth of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for their sin and draw them. We pray to faith to you to salvation in you. We pray that Kurmanji Kurds would see followers of Jesus in churches there in Iraq. And they would say, “We see the Lord is with you.” And they would say, “We want to go with you where you’re going.”

God, we pray for that reality among the Kurmanji Kurds and among thousands of other people groups right now who don’t know the good news of your love in Jesus, God bring about we pray Zechariah 8:20-23 and use our lives toward that end. Our prayers right now, God bless our prayers for the accomplishment of this mission we pray. And bless our use of every gift of grace in our lives for the spread of your glory in the world. Let me pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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