1 Sam. 13:14
1 Chron. 29:14
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
When God created Adam and Eve, He set them in charge of the garden, the animal kingdom, and all things belonged to them: “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Gen.2:15). He entrusted him with responsibility, and God would use the things done to bring Him glory and to fulfill His purposes. “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field”(Gen.2:19,20). God would work through mankind to maintain His beautiful creation; but then mankind was disobedient, rebellious, creating tension and disrupting God’s purposes.
Regardless of the disruption, however, God would continue (and still continues) to work through human beings to take care of His creation. Humankind is assigned to take care of the land, animals, each other. God worked through Abraham to form a people unto Himself, a people of faith, through Abraham’s faith passed on to others, who would propagate the earth, believe in Him, and replenish and multiply, passing on to all generations their belief, faith in Yahweh: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”(Gen.12:2,3). God would work through Abraham the blessings that would be passed on to others.
Following the same theme/principle throughout New Testament times, Yeshua sent His followers out to continue the work He’d begun:
“Yeshua summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, so they could drive them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness” (Matt.10:1)
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with tzara’at, drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give” (Matt.10:8).
“Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature” (Mk.16:15).
“Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you” (Lk.10:19).
And Paul reaffirmed:
“We are therefore ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Cor.5:20).
Humankind was created for God’s Glory, for HIS purposes, not for their own hedonistic pleasure. Initially set over all creation, then assigned to bring reconciliation and redeem the fallen world. Called to do His bidding, to be His ambassadors – whatever form that might take for each individual, the required response is obedience.
God selected Moses to do the work of deliverance to set the Hebrew people free from enslavement to Egypt. “Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt”(Ex.6:13). God then performed various miracles through the hands of Moses and Aaron. He could have done this all without them, of course; but God elected to work through His creation, wanting the companionship, desiring a people who would choose to follow Him. Why a great and mighty God would want to bother with humans remains a mystery; what is clear is that right from the beginning, He did. He wanted humankind to participate in the operation of His creation.
We can see how He invested in King David because “he was a man after God’s own heart” (I Sam. 13:14). Nowhere is God’s focus on the relational aspect with His created beings demonstrated more fully than in the story of King David. There was such intimacy and reciprocal sharing, despite the major errors and flaws in David, that it clearly emphasized the importance God placed on relationship, and on the heart of the individual. Even David is mystified by God’s special attendance to him, illustrated when he says: “But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You” (I Chron. 29:14). He cannot understand why God would bother with him at all, not to mention giving special privilege/status to him. But God has always had a people; and He has always sought out an individual through whom His will could be done: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him”(2 Chron.16:9).
God spoke to His people through His prophets, elected priests to do His work, and selected Kings for the people. He selected Esther, a young Jewess, to marry a heathen king, so that His people could be spared from annihilation. He appointed Mary, a young Jewish virgin to provide a prenatal environment through which the Son could be birthed to lead humankind back to Himself.
Yeshua Ha Messiah then appointed disciples that would follow Him and point the way to the Father as He Himself had done. Just as His Father had done with the early Hebrews, relationship was important to the Son. He appointed disciples and spent three years in constant companionship with them. In spite of much blundering, floundering, and failings, the disciples followed Him, and God used them to provide a foundation for all who would follow after them. Throughout all history, God has had a following, a people unto Himself, through whom His will could be done, His love, mercy, grace, and power released upon the earth. All the many events combined, provide a vehicle by which we are able to piece together somewhat of a picture of how God works, and what is the role of humankind.
What about today? Does He still have a people? Does He still work through His people?
It began with what is commonly referred to as the great commission and continues today: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen”(Matt. 28:19,20). God chooses, by His sovereign will, to employ mankind to effect His purposes on earth. He appoints His followers as ambassadors who would represent Him and effect His purposes upon the earth, to redeem humankind who had fallen from grace.
© 2015, revised 2016, 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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