Grace Abounding to the Nations

By Mike Henderson

While reading through the books of the Kings, or most of the Old Testament for that matter, I have found myself wondering why God endures with Israel. I often marveled at the seemingly soft hand God had toward them. But what I misinterpreted as a soft hand ultimately was the forbearance of God’s tender mercies. 2 Kings 13:23 is a text that, being buried in the morass of Israel’s hardheartedness, is almost to wonderful to truly discern,

But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now.

It is here, during the rule of Mosaic Law that God’s grace is, as it is now, the reserve of God’s salvation economy, and is so magnificently on display. God kept Israel because of His gracious covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wherein He declares all the Nations will be blessed in them (Gen 22:18). If we turn to Paul in his letter to Galatia we find that this is a Gospel promise, and that the seed is in fact the Messiah Jesus! More over this is a covenant which God entered into with Himself (Gen. 15:17-18; Gal. 3:20)! How wondrous are the mercies of our Sovereign God, that He would forbear the wickedness of His chosen people for the sake of all who would believe in His Son. His Son who was ransomed, who was offered up as the payment for the very sins God the father was overlooking, so that at the present time, He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus the Messiah (Rom 3:26). So when reading your Old Testament I hope you marvel at the gospel presented there, looking forward in the New Testament as it is fulfilled in our blessed Lord Jesus.

  1. I seen a man on the side of the road yesterday; he was alone,but the odd part;he was holding up anti abortion signs!
    10 years ago that man would not of been alone.
    So I stopped and spoke with him for a moment and then I left.
    I wished I would of stayed and helped him with his journey there ,but I have been down the (SIGN ROAD) and I am not sure that it helps.
    Any way I would like your thoughts on the matter ,if you have the time…

    • Hi hisnamejesus,

      I’m going to respond as an individual and not corporately as Humanitas Remedium (although I believe they would probably agree with me in most regards). My thoughts on the signs by the road are similar to that of billboards, paintings, muriels, tattoos, or any work of art or even something within creation (but a step down of course) that is to point to something greater and can provide a means or avenue for opening a door but should never be the only means used for sharing the gospel. Meaning…creation by itself tells man that God exist and displays His power and majesty (Romans 1), but it actually condemns man because it will never cause any heart transformation or repentence. In the same sense, if I continually try to ban abortion, pre-marital sex, or other ungodly behavior without getting to the route of an individual heart it will create moral reformation without biblical repentance which leads to further condemnation (Luke 15:11-32). So basically if this is an avenue to stop cars and share the joy of Jesus Christ and Him crucified then great!, but typically just wanting to stop abortion in and of itself is missing the bigger picture of individuals hating God and creation.

      Those are my initial thoughts and I hope that helps. =)

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