Being a part of God’s community and not of wickedness any longer.

The Passover meal was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile and by the others in the land who had turned from their immoral customs to worship the Lord, the God of Israel. – Ezra 6:21

The temple construction was complete. The people were excited and wanted to celebrate it’s grand reopening. In order to commemorate this grand occasion, the Jews celebrated Pesach. They even allowed those non-Jews, who had turned from their former vile practices, to join them in the Pesach celebration.

All throughout the Old Testament we read of where the Jews separated themselves from the pagans around them. In fact it was God himself who had ancient Israel to wipe out entire clans and groups of Canaanites in the land of milk and honey prior to their possession of the land. One would think that God hated all non-Israelis back then, but that was not the case. Even from the days of exodus, foreigners were allowed to eat the Paschal lamb if they had been circumcised and shown their allegiance to the God of Israel. Then much later we read from the prophets that God said his house, the temple, would be called a house of prayer for all nations. We can go way back if need be to Abraham, who God told, the nations of the world would be blessed through him and  would be the father of many nations. Jesus even said prior to his execution that there were sheep not yet of the fold that he would bring into it that were not of the house of Israel.

So, you see, it was God’s intention from the beginning to have the entire world be a part of his family. Israel never did understand that they were supposed to be the world’s first evangelists to bring people to God rather than turn them away from God. They were separated from the rest of the world to show the world what it would be like to live in covenant relationship with the God of the universe, but they failed miserably in the past and still haven’t grasped the concept. They don’t understand that Jesus not only WAS Messiah but IS Messiah!

So I am grateful that throughout the history of Israel we see these little glimpses into the hidden mysteries of God where he intended for us goyim (gentiles) to be a part of his family. Paul said it best that Jesus tore down the wall of separation between Jew and goyim when he died on the cross and rose from the dead. Why? Because God so loved the world that whosoever should believe on Jesus would not perish but have everlasting life. Then at the house of Cornelius the Roman officer, Peter experienced the goyim receiving the same baptism of the Holy Spirit that he’d received in the upper room in Jerusalem. God approved of both Jew and goyim as his children. Thank you Jesus and Holy Spirit and Father!

Father, thank you for your majesty and holiness. You rule from heaven over the lives and affairs of men on the earth. You decide who rules and who falls. You make the sun to shine and the moon to glow. You give the rains and the winds. You are the source of it all. Thank you for choosing that none should perish but come to repentance. We know that not all people will be a part of your family, but thank you for making me one along with all the others who are. You don’t discriminate people who come to you with their whole heart and being and want to be loved by you and love you in return. You are so awesome! Thanks for letting me be your son! In Jesus’ name, Amen!!