God's Purpose for the Nations (Isaiah 66:18–20) - Radical

God’s Purpose for the Nations (Isaiah 66:18–20)

“For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and shall see my glory. And I will set a sign among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard my fame or seen my glory, and they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries to my holy mountain, Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.”
– Isaiah 66:18–20

Oh, what a picture, and specifically to read and pray according to these verses, at least in my country, on the day when we celebrate independence and freedom as a country, as a nation, to read about this picture of the day when God will bring all nations, all tribes, all peoples, people groups, all tongues, all languages, “They shall come together and see my glory,” God says. “They shall declare my glory among all the nations. They will all be brought in. All of them will hear of my fame and see my glory.”

What a picture. This is God telling us what his purpose is in all of history, not to receive praise and honor and glory from one nation or one type of people and one language, but to receive glory and honor, and to be famous for His glory among all the nations of the earth. Huh. This is where all the Bible is headed. This is where all of history is headed.

Isaiah 66:18–20 Shows Us Where All of History is Headed

And if this is where history is headed, and you want your life to count on this earth, then live for this purpose. Live, pray, give, go, do all that God is calling you to do, me to do, to make disciples who make disciples of all the nations so that they all hear his fame and they all see his glory, so that they all come and see the glory of our God, so that they all declare his glory among all the nations.

God, we pray for the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:18–20. We want to see all the nations praising you, all the people groups of the world, including the Madiga people of India, 9 million of them who have yet to hear your fame or see your glory in the gospel. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to the Madiga people of India and 7,000 other people groups like them who have not heard your fame or seen the glory of Jesus.

Isaiah 66:18–20 Prays for the Glory of God Among the Nations

God, we pray, make his glory, his name famous among all the nations. We ask for the sin workers in the harvest field to proclaim your glory. God, use our lives and our prayers right now, and our giving and our sending and our going right where we live among the nations right around us, to the ends of the earth, God, we pray.

Even as I think about on this day, God, I am so grateful for what you’ve done to provide freedom in my nation and the freedom I have to pray like this on a podcast and not have fear of imprisonment or persecution for it. God, I thank you for this privilege that you have given followers of Jesus in the United States of America. Help us to be faithful with this freedom to proclaim your glory in our nation, to proclaim your glory to the nations that are here.

This Verse Reminds Us of the People Groups Brought to the Nations

I think about all the nations, the people groups that you have brought here. God, help us to be faithful to make disciples of the nations here, and not to stop here. God, we don’t ultimately want to make our nation great, we want to make your name great among all the nations. So help us to live for that end, help us to die for that end, God, we pray, making your glory known among all the nations of the earth so they all see and know and hear your fame and behold your glory and give you the praise you are due. We long for the day when Isaiah 66:18–20 will be fulfilled.

Revelation 7:9–10, “A multitude that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, tongue, gather around your throne, giving you praise.” God, bring it about, and please use our lives and our families and our churches to hasten the coming of this day. In Jesus’ name we pray, according to Isaiah 66:18–20. Amen.

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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