“Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and become My people.” Zechariah ii.11
The God of the Bible is no respector of persons. He does not show partiality. He loves people of all nations and desires that everyone should be saved. No people group can rightfully claim exclusive rights to God or special favours from Him.
The people of the Old Covenant, namely, the Israelites, failed to understand the magnanimity of Yahweh’s heart. God had indeed chosen their ancestor Abraham out of all the peoples of his day in order to raise a godly nation. That wasn’t an end in itself. God’s purpose was to bless “all the families on earth” through Abraham. (Genesis xii.3) Forgetting this global scope of God’s mission, ethnic Jews behaved as if God had placed them on a special pedestal for their own advantage.
God had to rebuke Israel on several occasions. Prophet Jonah’s reluctance to go to Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, on a special mission to lead them to repentance is well known. God rebuked prophet Jonah and taught him how much he cared for the 120,000 Ninevites. On another occassion, God had to tell arrogant Israelites that they were no more special in His sight than the Philistines or Ethiopians they loved to hate! (Amos ix.7; Numbers xii.1)
The last thing the Jews wished to hear was about the elevation of Gentiles to the position of “God’s people.” But that’s what God spoke through Zechariah: “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day and become My people.” This was indeed a prediction about God’s global mission through Jesus Christ. From the beginning God had intended to save people from all nations. He did not keep this a secret. The Jews were blind to this truth. Jesus said to some Jews who’d rejected him, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”(John x.16)
Christians too can make the same mistake as the Jews. They might forget that God saved them and made them His people in order to lead many others to salvation. We can get too comfortable in our little worlds that we forget God’s purpose for our lives. Or, we might become too selfish and keep the gospel within our national or ethnic boundaries. May we never forget the fact God took the kingdom of God out of unfaithful Israel’s hands to give it to us, expecting us to yield fruits for Him (Matthew xxi.43). This is the day of salvation. Let’s proclaim it to all nations.