God that made the world…hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. (Acts 17:24, 26)
The foundation for global conflict lies in God’s promise to Abraham: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3). The son of promise (Isaac) and the son of the bondwoman (Ishmael) are at the crux of the issue (Galatians 4:22-31). In eternity’s eyes, all the petty politics and power plays of the nations are “dust of the balance” (Isaiah 40:15).
Anyone familiar with biblical history will know that God dealt with the nations of the world as tools of influence, reward, and punishment to Israel. After Abraham generated the beginnings of Israel’s enemies through Ishmael, and Jacob began another line of enmity through Esau, the stories of the Canaanite conquest under Joshua and the subsequent 400 years of the time of the Judges relate the conflicts that culminated in the united kingdom under Saul, David, and Solomon.
Nearly half of the remaining Old Testament records the efforts by God to deal with Israel and Judah after the civil war begun by Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. That concluded with the Assyrian captivity and disbursement of the northern 10 tribes and the 70-year captivity of Judah under Babylon.
The nearly two millennia from Abraham to the coming of the Messiah have been followed by two millennia of a spiritual “déjà vu” through the church the Lord Jesus started. God’s promise is that both Israel and the church will find satisfaction and success when He returns to finalize and fulfill the promise made to Abraham so long ago. HMM III
From Days of Praise