“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
Does God love the nation of Israel more than all the other nations and people groups? And, if so, doesn’t that mean that God is racist?
It may seem that way but, in reality, God’s plan was for the nation of Israel to be a lighthouse for ALL nations living in darkness. How do we know that God had all the nations in mind when He set apart Israel for Himself?
The following are four proofs from the Bible that God loves without partiality.
1. The Abrahamic Covenant
“No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5).
If you grew up in church and Sunday School, it’s likely you were taught the song, “Father Abraham.” The lyrics went like this:
Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord
It’s true! We call God’s promise to Abraham the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised to bless Abraham and make him “a father of many nations.” We are ALL his spiritual children if we have faith in Christ! God’s plan through the Abrahamic Covenant was ultimately to bless all nations.
“So also Abraham ‘believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:6-9).
2. Isaiah’s Prophecies
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isaiah 60:1-3).
Addressing Zion (59:20; 60:14), the prophet Isaiah “told the city and thus the nation Israel that her light has come, putting her in contrast with the rest of the darkened world…. Jerusalem’s light will attract other nations seeking relief from their darkness (2:3)” (John MacArthur).
Again, just like with the Abrahamic Covenant, God’s plan by setting apart, or choosing, the nation of Israel, was ultimately to bring light to all the nations on earth. Here is another of Isaiah’s many prophecies pointing to the Messiah who will bring justice to the nations!
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1).
3. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Gospel is inclusive. Salvation is offered to all regardless of ethnicity, skin color, occupation, language, culture, heritage, economic status, or past failures. In the Bible, recipients of God’s grace are as diverse as the world He created: Africans, Asians, Europeans, kings, queens, the wealthy, paupers, servants, refugees, men, women. His grace and love extends to thieves, prostitutes, homosexuals, the greedy, swindlers, slanderers, liars, adulterers, farmers, prison guards and tax collectors. He sees and cares for shepherds, carpenters, fishermen, lawyers, doctors, land owners, the blind, deaf, lame, widowed, oppressed, slaves, slave owners. The gospel is open to everyone: Jews, Gentiles, sorcerers, soldiers, the religious, non-religious, marginalized, God-fearers, idol worshippers, the demon possessed.
Dark-skinned, light-skinned, those condemned to die, with criminal records, in debt, parents, children, married, unmarried, barren, struggling with infertility, elderly, priests, prophets, prodigals, circumcised, uncircumcised, persecutors, the persecuted, educated, uneducated, healthy, sick . . . the Bible covers it all. And grace covers it all!
The most quoted, most well-known verse in the entire Bible says it all:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God does not love some more than others. He created us all, loves us all, and gave his one and only Son for us all. Jesus laid down his life for us all. Peter backs this up:
“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right’” (Acts 10:34-35).
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The Holy Spirit was given as a gift to men and women from every nation on earth.
“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? … We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’” (Acts 2:5-8, 12).
Peter preached a sermon that day and the crowd responded by asking him, “What shall we do?” Peter replied,
“’Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:37-41).
Those 3,000 saved were some “from every nation under heaven.” Our God is the God of the nations!
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
God won’t even allow the end to come before all nations have a chance to turn to Him.
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
And when the end does come, the nations will gather around the throne of God and declare that salvation belongs to Him and Him alone!
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9-10).
No, God is not racist. He is the Hope of the Nations!
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Kristi Walker has been a missionary in Berlin, Germany for over 15 years working with an international church as the Director of Student Ministries. She is the author of two books – Disappointment: A Subtle Path Away from Christ and Convinced. Applying Biblical Principles to Life’s Choices.