The word “nations” is mentioned more than 300 times in the Bible. It first shows up in Genesis 10, and its final mention is in Revelation 22:2: “The leaves of the tree [of life] were for the healing of the nations” (NKJV). It is fitting that God’s last word to us in the Bible about nations has to do with their healing. Only a compassionate God would send such a message of hope that, in the end, even the nations would be healed!
Our world has endured and still endures many hardships—war, famine, natural disasters, economic upheaval. Geopolitical maps change regularly. We hear of mounting casualties due to world leaders’ struggles for power. Terrorism is a fact of life around the globe. In some respects, no place seems safe today.
Two simple thoughts occur to me today. First, God said that, at the end of time, He would bring healing to the nations. I don’t know how He will bring about their healing, but His promise to do so brings me great comfort.
Second, Jesus told the disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20).
You and I get to play a part in God’s plan. We are to get the word out and to let our lights shine, to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us. We are to love our enemies as well as our neighbors. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit those in prison. We are to proclaim the Good News to the captives, to build up one another and to forgive. We get to teach the nations the Good News that Christ has come to redeem mankind.
God’s plan for the nations is simple and clear. He will heal the nations, and we get to teach and baptize them. We plant, and we water, but He is the closer. It is His strategy, and it will work.
Today it is so much easier than ever to reach the nations; in fact, the nations have come to us. People from all over the world have moved into our neighborhoods and cities; they are in our schools and universities. They are in the grocery store lines and in the restaurants where we eat. In other words, they will cross our paths as we go about our daily lives.
Let’s make a commitment that we will speak to them, befriend them and tell them about the hope that is within us. Trust in God’s plan to reach the nations. He is counting on us!
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news” (Isa. 52:7, NIV).