TODAY’S READING: Genesis 1–3
God is a missionary God, and the Bible is a missionary book.
From Genesis to Revelation the Bible presents God’s goal: representatives of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation glorifying Him, enjoying Him forever.
Missions is not a theme introduced in the New Testament, it is THE unifying theme of the Scriptures. Walter Kaiser writes, “The fact remains that the goal of the Old Testament was to see both Jews and Gentiles come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah who was to come. Anything less than this goal was a misunderstanding and an attenuation of the plan of God. God’s eternal plan was to provide salvation for all peoples” (emphasis mine). The opening chapters of Genesis are “decidedly universal in scope,” with Adam and Eve being the original human couple not assigned or restricted to any one ethnicity.
In the same way that the Spirit of God hovered over what was without form and void (Gen. 1:2), so God’s Spirit now hovers over all the peoples of earth, including the 7,000 people groups yet to be reached with the gospel. In the same way that Adam was made in God’s likeness (v. 26), so too are the Arabs, Malay, Turks, and Somali. In the same way that Eden encompassed rivers in Arabia (see Gen. 25:18) or India (Pishon in 2:11), Sudan (Gihon in 2:13), and Iraq (Hiddekel and Euphrates in 2:11, 14), so too will the Spirit flow to all nations of the earth. In the same way that Adam and Eve sinned, so too did the curse spread to all humans everywhere, and in their seed (3:15), so too will all nations be blessed.
Genesis 3:15 “guaranteed that the coming man of Promise, from the male line of Eve, would once and for all settle the issues that the sin of Adam and Eve had raised.” Charles Wesley, both theologian and hymn writer, wrote in the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”:
Come, Desire of nations, come!
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness now efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place;
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
So it was in the beginning—God’s plan to redeem all peoples of the earth, for He is the desire of all nations. So it has been and is now—He is the conquering seed. So it shall be in the end—we shall be like Him, representatives of all tribes, tongues, peoples, and nations around the throne (Rev. 5:9, 7:9)—worshiping the Lamb, reinstated in His love. Maranatha! Let it be.
 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Mission in the Old Testament: Israel as a Light to Nations (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2000), 10.
 Ibid, 15.
 Ibid, 16.