Monday, June 16, 2008

the desert tribes will bow before him

He will rule from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The desert tribes will bow before him...

All kings will bow down to him
and all nations will serve him.
(Ps. 72:8-9, 11)

Have you ever had your vision of God and his world expanded?

We live in such a small world: a world of consumer goods, plentiful food, and climate controlled houses. We keep the rest of the world at the safe distance of the evening news.

Yesterday, at our church, our friends spoke of their vision to share Jesus with the desert tribes. They have been captured by God's promise that the "desert tribes will bow before him."

The desert tribes will bow before Jesus, not just because he is powerful, but because he is a king of compassion and mercy:

For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.

He will take pity on the weak and the needy
and save the needy from death.

He will rescue them from oppression and violence,
for precious is their blood in his sight.
(Ps. 72:12-14)

The tribe they are going to nomads who live in grass-mat tents on the sand. They heard the story of Jesus only once, and were so captured by it that they promised to build a tent for the messenger if he returned. At the age of 8, our friend, who grew up near this tribe, volunteered to be that messenger.

We forget that the "desert tribes" were the first to become God's people. That he called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, wanderers in the desert, and made them his own. The culture of the Old Testament stories will be deeply familiar to this tribe.

A huge proportion of people groups who haven't heard the gospel are desert tribes. Our friends are small parts of a big dream: that all nations will hear the story of Jesus and receive blessing.

All nations will be blessed through him,
and they will call him blessed.

Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.

Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.
(Ps. 72:17-19)

The desert gazelle can go its entire life without drinking, for it gets enough water from the dry desert plants it eats. If God can create such a remarkable animal to thrive in this inhospitable land, surely he can raise a church for himself in the desert.

This is a summary of the talk our friend gave last night. If you're interested in supporting our friends, please email me.

No comments: