April 18, 2008

The Incredible Expanding Kingdom

Isaiah 9:1-3

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light …
Isaiah 9:2


The history of God’s redemptive plan is shaped like a funnel. The history of God’s people is that of twelve tribes reduced to only two. And then the hope of the nations becomes focused on a single shoot from David’s line. The light of God concentrates, as through a magnifying glass, into one brilliant point of light.

But in our passage for today we see God’s saving purposes explode back out into the world. That brilliant point of light, the Messiah, will enlighten not just Israel but also the whole world! Through the Messiah, the door to the kingdom of God opens for people everywhere. “On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

Isaiah was commissioned to announce a judgment on the northern kingdom—“Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.” But along with that came a message of grace that expands the boundaries of God’s rule. “You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest.” The kingdom of Immanuel is open to all tribes and peoples.

And here is the invitation to those who are already within this incredible expanding kingdom: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers” (Matthew

9:37-38). Have you been out in the harvest fields lately?

O Lord, please keep my eyes focused on the great expanse of your kingdom throughout the world. Help me to work in your harvest field and bring others to you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Victor Atallah

Rev. Victor Atallah is the broadcast team leader for The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry and the general director of Middle East Reformed Fellowship. These meditations are based on texts of Arabic broadcasts aired a few years ago and an Arabic commentary on the book of Isaiah prepared for publication. Rev. Atallah and his wife, Lisa, live in Larnaca, Cyprus, where The Back to God Hour Arabic ministry is based. The ministry reaches Arabic-speaking people throughout the Middle East and North Africa, introducing them to Jesus Christ, Savior of the nations.

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