Friday, July 10, 2015

God Wants ALL the Nations {Reflections}

"And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us."
Acts 17:26-27

©CreationSwap/Wendy Aros Used with Permission

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Not only does it show us that God's heart is for all nations* to know Him, but it proves His sovereignty in the making of countries and people groups (*"nations" actually refers to each individual ethnic group, not just a country). He determined their periods and and the boundaries of each people group's dwelling place! The world isn't the world by accident. Just think about how awesome that is.

When sociologists study cultures, they determine that each culture's values and ideals falls into one of three categories-good, bad, or neutral. Even in this age of universalism, most people see truth in these categories. Most people would agree that a cannibalistic tribe's practice of eating other people is bad. But perhaps this same tribe also values family and will do anything to protect their loved ones. Most would agree that is a good value. Maybe this tribe also has a practice of using the "bathroom" in dirt and then covering it with leaves and mud. That practice isn't bad or good. It may be strange to you, but there's no moral value to it. Therefore, it is neutral. 

I believe there is truth to these categories as this Bible verse shows us. Yes, there will be bad and immoral values in every culture because we are depraved humans who desecrate everything in which we are involved. We live in a fallen world. 

But, there will also be good and moral things in EVERY culture- ideals and values God in His sovereignty has graciously preserved to show Himself to that nation.  
  
"having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him."

Then there will be those things that are simply neutral. This is also why it is ridiculous to assume your culture is better than any other. 

I will use American culture as an example because it is my culture. Americans have some moral values that reflect God's character-justice, fairness, equality, concern for the welfare of other human beings to name a few (we are usually one of the first responders to world disasters.) However, we also have many immoral values which reflect our sinful nature-individualism, materialism, and arrogance to name a few. And then there's the neutral-we are obsessively clean, like cheeseburgers, pee in porcelain bowls, and prefer a democratic form of government. Other countries may act differently, but that doesn't make these practices good or evil. 

God in His mercy did not leave ANY nation to themselves. If He would have, all of our values would be immoral and mass chaos would ensue. He preserved each nation and left hints of Himself so that all may find feel their way toward Him and find Him.

The thought of it just blows me away!

If you ever have the privilege of experiencing a culture different from your own, I highly encourage you to reflect on which values points to God. It is fascinating and I believe it will show you a glimpse of how huge and sovereign is the Lord God Almighty.

 Linking To

 Spiritual Sundays
Mom 2 Mom with  
My Joy Filled Life, The Purposeful Mom, Proverbial Homemaker, Diamonds in the Rough
Titus 2 Tuesday with Cornerstone Confessions 
SDG Connections with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood 
Women with Intention Wednesdays with Women With Intention
Thought Provoking Thursday with 3D Lessons For Life
Faith Filled Friday with Missional Women
Blessing Counters with Counting My Blessings

4 comments:

  1. You are a neighbor at Spiritual Sundays. Yes, God does love every Nation and He is not partial, but all are special. This was revealed to Peter in the book of Acts, that even upon the Gentiles was poured out the Holy Spirit. Times are changing and cultures change, but Jesus never changes and is the same yesterday, today and forever.

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  2. Hi, I'm stopping by from Mom 2 Mom Link up. :-) This was a great post. I've been blessed to get to know many people from various cultures because my in laws have participated in an international ministry at our local university for many years. I love seeing folks of all cultures worship and come to learn more about God.

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  3. What a great reflective post, April. I so agree with you. God so loved the WORLD...He is calling every tribe and tongue to a saving knowledge of the finished work of Jesus Christ...and we are His hands and feet to go and TELL...many blessings to you.

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  4. I often think of that great day when people from every tribe and tongue will worship before God's throne.

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