Duration: 365 days
OUR GLOBAL LEAD, DAY 4
Today’s reading is drawn from Psalm 79:1-7.
God cannot be limited by tribalism or nationalism. He is Lord of the whole world and all its people, and He rules with love, power, justice, and sovereignty.
The Book of Psalms reflects this international scope of God’s activity and involvement with the world. One of the book’s primary themes is His rule over creation (Ps. 8:1; 19:1–6; 24:1, 2). A related theme shows His heart reaching beyond Israel to other tribes and nations (96:1–10; 100:1; 105:1). Sometimes God judges the nations (2:1–9), especially for their mistreatment of His people (79:1–7; 124:1–8), but His wrath results from His justice and righteousness. He demonstrates the same character toward the Israelites when they turn from Him and engage in habitual sin (50:4–23; 78:21, 22).
During the centuries following the Jews’ return from captivity in Babylon, God’s people suffered an increasing spirit of separation that interpreted the world in terms of “us against them.” By the time of Jesus, this national isolation and antagonism toward outsiders had become entrenched in the Israelites’ cultural identity. It took the power of the Holy Spirit to break this barrier so that the gospel could spread throughout the world.
The psalms display wonderful humility about the fact that the Israelites are not the only people God loves. Every nation is invited to worship and serve Him. The Book of Psalms anticipates both the global message of Jesus (John 3:16, 17) and His final rule over all the peoples of the earth (Rev. 5:9–14).