Ch.04 missions in the ot

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  • 1. Old Testament Foundations for Missions Ch.4 – By W. Bryant Hicks
  • 2. God’s Intent through the Ages
    • “ [Jesus] told them, ‘This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’ ” – Luke 24:46-47
  • 3. The Missionary Motif in the OT
    • The crucial perspectives that emerge out of a study of NT authors & Jesus is
      • Jesus is the Isaianic “suffering servant”
        • Mt. 12:17 and Isaiah 52:13-53:12
      • The “suffering servant” will bring the knowledge of Yahweh to the nations
        • Is. 42:1,4; 49:1,6; 52:15
  • 4. Universality in the OT The OT reflects God’s universal concern mankind
  • 5. Genesis and Universality
      • The Creation Narrative – God the creator is related to the entire created order
      • The Flood – God makes a covenant with “every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth”
      • The Tower of Babel – “the whole world” experiences God’s actions of confusion and scattering
      • The catalog of the sons of Noah – includes the peoples of all the earth
  • 6. The Prophets and Universality
      • Oracles of judgment on the nations signal God’s authority over them
      • God uses kings to accomplish his purpose
        • Nebuchadnezzar
        • Cyrus
        • Darius
      • Caution: Isaiah’s universal outlook is mixed with separatism and exclusivity (Ex: Isaiah 14 & 63)
  • 7. Psalms and Universality
    • Repeatedly reflect the theme of the Lord’s universal concern and focus
    • God owns the nations (60:7-8)
    • Rebukes and judges them (9:5; 7:8; 9:8; 67:4; 96:13; 98:9)
    • God guides the nations (67:4b)
    • God will be exalted among them (46:10)
  • 8. The Missionary Intent in the OT
    • Abraham – his descendents to bless the nations.
    • Moses – the first missionary.
    • Solomon – dedicatory temple prayer (I Kings 8:43-46, 60) has the nations in view.
    • Psalms – Israel to make God known to the nations (67:1,2).
    • The Prophets – Clearest in Isaiah 40-55. Israel’s life and message will cause people to worship God alone.
  • 9. Conclusions
    • Missions emerges from the heart of God
    • The Jews never seemed to catch this vision
    • God’s concern for the nations is the seedbed out of which missions grows
    • The prophets foresaw the missionary task, but didn’t connect the Jews to that task
    • During the exile an active program of proselytism emerges
    • Practitioners of Judaism made up as much as 7% of the Roman Empire when Christianity began to spread