THE KINGDOM OF GOD: The Birth Of A Nation by R. Alan Streett

Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now

The Birth Of A Nation by R. Alan Streett

From: Heaven on Earth

The Exodus is the pivotal point in Israel’s history, marking its birth as a free people.  It paves the way for the Mosaic covenant, which forms the Hebrew people into a new society.  At Mount Sinai God enters into a covenant with Israel and gives Moses this instruction:

Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.  Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples.  Indeed, the whole Earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.  These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites. (Exodus 19:3-6)

The late Methodist theologian Georgia Harkness denotes, “The concept of the covenant between God and his chosen people underlies the concept of kingdom.”  When Israel enters the covenant, the people pledge their allegiance to God and his kingdom.  Yahweh is the rightful ruler over the creation, but most nations refuse to acknowledge his sovereignty.  Only God’s people recognize God as their King.  According to God’s promise to Abraham, (Genesis 18:18), his people will constitute a holy nation.  Israel will serve as an alternative to the surrounding nations by conducting its affairs according to the divine principles of justice, servitude, and mercy.  The blessings it will receive from living under the benevolent reign of Yahweh will be in sharp contrast to the nations living under the domination of tyrannical rulers, where exploitation and enslavement are the norm.

Israel will additionally serve as a priestly kingdom representing Yahweh to the surrounding nations, who will see what it is like to live under the reign of God and enjoy the blessings of his provision.

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