The Great Commission—in the OLD Testament?

You know, 1 Kings 8 really is a great chapter in the Bible!  Solomon had just finished building the Temple.  And as he was dedicating it--and making a TON of sacrifices—he prayed something remarkable--and often overlooked--in front of a huge crowd of people.  Look at verse 43…

 “…so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you.”

And then again, in verse 60…

so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.”

Wow!  Good for Solomon…

Jesus knew that normally fish don’t jump onto the shore at our feet; usually we need to go to them and find them.

I mean, this isn’t quite the Great Commission.  It’s not as direct as telling folks to get on their camels, and ride straight for Ninevah: To preach to the people there about their need to repent to the one true God, like God told Jonah to do a few hundred years later.  In fact, what Solomon is envisioning here is that people from all over the world will come to them, instead of us going to them.  But it’s definitely a step in the right direction, isn’t it? 

A lot of times, people have this impression that the Old Testament people were really only about preserving the heritage of their nation.  And in many cases, that was accurate.  But we get these glimpses, enough of them, in here and in other passages, to remind us that God’s big vision for the nation of Israel was for them to be a light to the nations, so that all nations would be blessed through them. 

Remember, God promised that to Abraham way back in Genesis?  Apparently, Solomon read his Bible, because he was pretty much prophesying the same thing.

Here’s the deal:  A thousand years after Solomon envisioned people from all nations coming to Jerusalem—to the Temple—Jesus told us to go to them, in the real Great Commission.  And 10 days after Jesus told us to go to them, they came to the disciples—at the Temple, in Jerusalem—just like Solomon prophesied!  I love seeing prophecy fulfilled…

Most of the time—on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—when I mention Jesus’ name in my posts, I often add these four little words that infuriate many people:  “the one true God.”  But Solomon did that too, didn’t he?  “So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.”  Hey, if Solomon—the ultimate "wise guy"—said it, I figure I’m in pretty good company!

Jesus knew that normally fish don’t jump onto the shore at our feet; usually we need to go to them and find them.  That’s why the Great Commission He gave us is about us going.  But sometimes—rare, special times—the world does come to us, just like Solomon said.  And when they do, let’s be ready and thankful that Jesus just saved us from having to buy a plane ticket!

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