The Lord Desires That ALL…

My Christian education has led me to believe that, for the most part, the Old Testament is the story of God’s oversight toward his chosen people – specifically the people of Israel and Judah…and no one else.  And that it wasn’t until the book of Acts in the New Testament that we begin to see God’s providence open up to the Gentiles (that is, non-Jewish peoples).  The verses below prove me wrong.

“You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel.  You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.  In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance,” declares the Sovereign LORD.  — Ezekiel 47:21-23

Here is a clear and early indication that God was willing to accept people outside of the traditional circle of Israelite nations.  No doubt, a condition of their acceptance was the circumcision of “heart and flesh” found back in Ezekiel 44:5-9.  But it is very telling about God’s nature that He was willing to accept these foreigners as full, “native-born Israelites” – without any distinction from the original chosen Jewish nation.  But why should this surprise me?  I keep pointing out that God’s nature has not changed since the beginning of time, and that the Old Testament is simply a pointer to His overall character – which has never wavered.


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