“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”Abraham Kuyper, Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader
God is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for He created all things, and by HIs will, they were created and have their being. Jesus, who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, is sustaining all things by His powerful word. All things were created for Christ! Our study of the Kingdom continues as we first acknowledge that the earth is the Lord’s, everything in it, the world, and all who live in it! (Revelation 4:11, Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Psalm 24:1)
In God’s big story, He created the earth and all that is in it, but then Adam and Eve rejected His Kingship. The serpent made them doubt God, promising they could be like God, but they were in His likeness already. God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden. While the story of the kingdom should have ended there, it does not.
God, from eternity past, had ordained a rescue mission, a mission that would restore His kingdom. The rest of the Bible is about His relentless pursuit to rescue His people from darkness and place them in the realm of the son that He loves! That new movement began with Abraham and the covenant that God made with him in Genesis 12. God promises to make Abraham into a great nation, bless him, and make his name great. The covenant included land, descendants, blessing, and restoration. All the earth would be blessed through Abraham – a foreshadowing of Christ and His new covenant.
Abraham’s children had children and before long, what began as a relatively small family grew to be a large nation. About 70 members of Israel’s family entered Egypt, and when they left Egypt under Moses’ leadership, they were one million strong.
You know the story of how Moses asks Pharoah to let his people go, and Pharaoh says no. God sends plagues so that the Egyptians would know that Yahweh is the one true God. With the tenth plague, Pharaoh tells the people of God to leave. God leads them out by way of a circuitous path that ends at the Red Sea. God demonstrates His authority and power over the sea, over the chaos in their lives, by taking His people across the sea on dry land and destroying their enemies.
I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.Exodus 15, selected verses
Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.
… You stretch out your right hand, and the earth swallows your enemies.
In your unfailing love, you will lead the people you have redeemed.
In your strength, you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
… You will bring them in and
plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling,
the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.
The Lord reigns [as king] forever and ever.
The people of God worshipped God on the mountain that day, and in their worship, they acknowledged for the first time in scripture that God was king! Interestingly, this is the same mountain where God and Moses first met at the burning bush.
And God said, “I will be with youExodus 3:12
And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you:
When you have brought the people out of Egypt,
you will worship God on this mountain.”
After rescuing His people, God makes a covenant with Israel. First, He reminds them of what He has done for them – a beautiful picture of both parent and protector – God’s grace in rescuing the people. All of God, nothing of themselves.
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.Exodus 19:4
Then God promises them that they will be HIs treasured possession if they obey. God values Israel not because they are numerous, better, or exceptional, but because He has chosen them to be His representatives. And the conditional statement isn’t about their salvation – they are already rescued. The condition is about their fulfilling God’s purposes.
This has been God’s plan from the beginning – first to create and then to call out a people who are made in His likeness, in His image, to represent Him on the earth. To be blessed by Him but also to be a blessing to the nations.
Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.Exodus 19:5-6
God invites the nation of Israel to be royalty and priests. He commissions them to represent God to all nations and to advance God’s kingdom among all people. God sets Israel apart for a purpose. With this covenant, He establishes a new nation.
Peter picks up on this language in his letter and applies it to us!
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.1 Peter 2:9-10
Here is our invitation – the creation mandate still in effect!
- Accept the mercy offered to us,
- Live in the knowledge that we are chosen, and
- Declare the praises of Him who has called us into His marvelous light!
God created us to live and thrive under His gracious rule, reflecting His heart and character to the rest of the world as we steward His good gifts for his glory and the common good.Paul Kemp, the creation mandate
Father, thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for choosing me. Thank You for calling me to be Your child and giving me the opportunity to steward Your good gifts. Use the words from the sermon today to draw me closer to You. Help me by your Spirit to submit to Your Kingship in my life. Guide my steps, help me to see where You are at work and to join You in Your work! Always – Your will, Your work, Your way, for Your glory! Amen.
Post Script: Each week, I try to capture the main points of the sermon our pastor preaches. I rarely take notes because I prefer to listen without the distraction of writing. When I sit down to think about what I heard, I review the scripture, do some study on my own, and write the main ideas. I do this to learn more and help the gospel’s truths reach deeper into my soul. I invite you to do the same. During the week, review the sermon you heard. Ask God to use it to draw you closer to Him, to teach you, to help you advance His kingdom.