The time of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph displays relatively small breakthroughs of witness to the surrounding nations even though the central mandate to restore God’s relationship with all nations is repeated twice again to Abraham and once each to both Isaac and Jacob.
Even Pharaoh recognized that Joseph was filled with the Spirit of God. But this was not fully the intentional missionary obedience God had wanted.
When Jesus appears, it is an incriminating visitation. He comes to His own —
He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him. – John 1:11
Jesus is well received in Nazareth until He refers to God’s desire the Gentiles. At that precise moment and explosion of homicidal fury betrays the fact that this chosen nation – chosen to receive and to mediate the blessing has grossly fallen short. There was indeed a sprinkling of fanatical individuals —
“Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte (convert to Judaism), and when he becomes a convert, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. – Matthew 23:15
But such outreach was not so much a blessing to the other nations as it was to sustain and protect Israel. And they were not always making sure that their converts —
So circumcise [that is, remove sin from] your heart, and be stiff-necked (stubborn, obstinate) no longer.
Natural branches were broken off while other unnatural branches were grafted in. But, despite the general reluctance of the chosen missionary nation – typical of other nations later – many people groups were in fact blessed due to the faithfulness and righteousness of some.
The Greeks didn’t have to become Jews – undergo physical circumcision, take over the Jewish calendar of festivals or holy days nor even observe Jewish dietary customs – any more than a woman had to be made into a man to be acceptable to God. What was necessary —
It is through Him that we have received grace and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the Gentiles
Beyond the agony of the Western world we can only pray that there will be the defeat of Satan’s power holding millions hostage in thousands of people groups —
“The people who were sitting (living) in [spiritual] darkness have seen a great Light,
And for those who were sitting (living) in the land and shadow of[spiritual and moral] death,
Upon them a Light has dawned.” – Matthew 4:16
And we know that there is no basis in the past or in the present for assuming that things are out of control of the Living God.
How much better not to focus on how to retain God’s blessing for ourselves, but rather to strive intentionally to extend, that marvelous blessing!
And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3
This is the only way we can continue in God’s blessing. The expanding Kingdom is not going to stop with us —
This good news of the kingdom [the gospel] will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end [of the age] will come.
God can raise up others if we falter.