“‘Sing and rejoice, oh daughter of Zion. For behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the Lord. ‘And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day and shall be my people.'”
So the reason I read these two verses is as one small example, which I hope if you listen to this Pray The Word podcast often you see this over, and over, and over again, but I just want to remind you. Here we are in Zechariah seeing this picture of God speaking through the prophet Zechariah to his people centuries ago, in light of specific circumstances there as they were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. But we see this theme over, and over, and over again in the Bible, that the great commission is not the only passage in Matthew 28:19 to 20, that talks about missions. It’s all over the Bible.
The Lord gathers his people together around his throne.
The purpose of God is to bring all the nations to be a part of his people. That’s what Zechariah 2:10 and 11 say, “Rejoice, oh daughter of Zion.” He’s talking about his people. “‘I’m going to dwell in your midst,’ declares the Lord. ‘And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord.'” That’s a promise that God will draw the nations to be a part of his people. “They shall be my people.” And it’s over, and over, and over again from Genesis all the way to Revelation, and everywhere in between, including Zechariah chapter two. In fact, when you look at these minor prophets, you read over, and over, and over again, we see God’s promise to draw all nations to himself. God’s passion, his love for people in all nations. And it’s exactly where all the scripture is headed.
Revelation chapter five, Revelation chapter seven, every nation, tribe, people, and language gathered around the throne of God, singing about his salvation as his people. This is why, this is why we pray. And I would encourage you to pray every single day. We do it a lot on this podcast. But regardless of whether or not it happens on this podcast to pray every single day for the nations to come to know Jesus, to be a part of the people of God. When we think about the world, don’t just think in terms of 200 or so geopolitical entities, when you hear nations, like United Nations. No. Picture peoples, tribes, languages, these are the words that the Bible uses, what we often call people groups.
That’s why we pray for not just the people of Egypt, for example, today. So yes, the people of Egypt that nation, but for the Beja people in Egypt. Pretty much 100% Muslim people group. It’s actually a mixture, a diluted form of Islam. It’s mixed with black magic and sacred fire that they believe wards off spirits that cause sickness and accidents. And so we pray. We’re about to pray for the Beja people to be drawn, to be a part of the people of God, for disciples to be made, and churches to be planted, and brothers and sisters to be born among the Beja people. Talking about born again through faith in Jesus. They might be around the throne in Revelation chapter seven in the end.
This is the purpose of God in the world. It’s the purpose of God for his church. It’s the purpose of God for our lives. We see it all over the Bible, not just here and there. This is why we cannot compartmentalize missions into some program over here and the church. We cannot take the purpose of God in history, in the world, in the church, purpose of God for our lives and turn it into a program in the church.
So we pray, God, does it. We pray, based on your word, that you would draw all the nations to be your people, all the nations, not just some of them, not just certain ones of them. God, you are Lord over all the nations. So we pray that you would bring all the nations to bow the knee and confess you as Lord, to confess you, Jesus, as Lord. Revelation five, you died to purchase men and women for God, from every nation, tribe, language and people. So bring it about, we pray.
Cause the gospel to go to the Beja of Egypt, we pray. Cause Christians to go as missionaries spreading the gospel to the Beja. Raise up laborers for this harvest field in Egypt for this people group that doesn’t have any believers. God, please draw them to faith in Jesus, to the proclamation of the gospel, through your people that they might become your people, that there might be brothers and sisters in Christ among them. Beja, they might know your salvation. They might be glad in you. Let the nations be glad. Let the Beja be glad in you, that you be in their midst, churches planted in their midst, as a display of your glory. Draw Beja to trust in you.
God keep us, we pray, as your church from compartmentalizing your purpose into a program for a select few people. God, help us to pray day in and day out, and to give our lives, and to work, and to support, and to do whatever you call each one of us uniquely to do, so that your gospel and your glory are made known among all nations. And they’re all, all of them, brought into the fold as your people. May it be so, we pray. Hallowed be your name in all the earth. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.