Royalty and Ruin


Isaiah’s “Good News” for All the Nations

Isaiah was commissioned to make very plain to Judah that many who were not physical descendants of Abraham were to be numbered among the Israel of God. This teaching was not in harmony with the theology of his age, yet he fearlessly proclaimed the message and brought hope to many a heart reaching out after the spiritual blessings promised to Abraham’s descendants. RR 133.1

Isaiah “is very bold,” Paul declares, “and says: ‘I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.’” Romans 10:20. Often the Israelites seemed unable or unwilling to understand God’s purpose for the heathen. Yet it was this very purpose that had established them as an independent nation. God had called Abraham, their father, to set out for the regions beyond, so that he might be a light bearer to the heathen. The promise to him included descendants as numerous as the sand by the sea, yet it was for no selfish purpose that he was to become the founder of a great nation in Canaan. God’s covenant with him embraced all the nations of earth: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2. RR 133.2

Shortly before the birth of Isaac, the child of promise, God again made plain His purpose for all humanity: “All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.” Genesis 18:18. The all-embracing terms of this covenant were familiar to Abraham’s children and grandchildren. The Israelites were delivered from Egyptian bondage so that they might be a blessing to the nations and God’s name might be made known “in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16. If obedient, Israel was to be far in advance of other peoples in wisdom. But this supremacy had only one purpose: that through them God’s design for “all the nations of earth” might be fulfilled. RR 133.3

The miraculous events connected with Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and their occupancy of the Promised Land led many of the heathen to recognize the God of Israel as the Supreme Ruler. Even proud Pharaoh had to acknowledge His power: “Go, serve the Lord,” he urged Moses, “and bless me also.” Exodus 12:31, 32. RR 133.4

The advancing armies of Israel found that news of God’s mighty workings had gone before them. In wicked Jericho a heathen woman said, “The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:11. By faith “Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe.” Hebrews 11:31. And her conversion was not an isolated case. The Gibeonites renounced their heathenism and united with Israel, sharing the blessings of the covenant. RR 133.5

God recognizes no distinction of nationality, race, or caste. All people are one by creation; all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple courts, so that every person may have free access to God. His love is so broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere. It lifts out of Satan’s influence those who have been deluded by his deceptions and places them within reach of the throne of God. “All the ends of the world,” the psalmist was inspired to sing, “shall remember and turn to the Lord, and the families of the nations shall worship before You.” “Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God.” “The nations shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory.” “From heaven the Lord viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” Psalm 22:27; 68:31; 102:15, 19-22. RR 134.1

If Israel had been true to her trust, all the nations of earth would have shared in her blessings. But as Israel lost sight of God’s plan, they came to look on the heathen as beyond the reach of His mercy. So the nations were left under a veil of ignorance. The love of God was little known, and error and superstition flourished. RR 134.2

This was the situation that Isaiah faced. Yet he was not discouraged, for ringing in his ears was the chorus of the angels, “The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3. And his faith was strengthened by visions of God’s church in glorious conquests when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9. RR 134.3