God has his own agenda, ideas and purpose for the creation of every single nation, country, ethnic group, tribe, nationality, colour, island, etc. Each one of these diversities are meant to serve their individual purposes as only God sees best.
PELEG… This is a word that might be unknown to even some of the most ardent students of the Bible. Graduates of schools of theology, seminaries and Bible schools might not have a clue into the meaning and significance of this word.
If we however wish to understand the mind of God concerning nations and continents, there is no way we can bypass Peleg. This five letter word might hold the key to understanding the structure of our world. It could be a major key in understanding the makeup of the geographical map of the world. But even more important is the fact that Peleg could give us insight into the future of nations and continents as we know them today.
I wish to deviate meanwhile into a more detailed analysis of the centrality of our topic today – THE PURPOSE OF NATIONS. I would definitely come back to a full and detailed discussion about the supposedly mysterious word, Peleg.
It is expedient for every man and woman in our world today to know that he or she is not a product of accident. What I am trying to say is that, your origin matters, your nation matters, your culture matters, your ancestry matters, your country matters.
Sometimes the idea that we are living in a global village could create a sense of loss and confusion, in the sense that you don’t think any more in terms of where you are coming from. What your origin is. What your roots are.
Most of the time, especially as believers, we tend to think that these things don’t matter anymore, especially to God. We hear people say that if you are in Christ it doesn’t really matter who you are or where you are from. Yet, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that people are different. People have different skin colours, pigmentation, shapes and colours of the eyes, cultures, and traditions.
Even though we might all be in Christ, we speak different languages and relate to different cultures better; we belong to different races etc. What that tells me is that being in Christ does not obliterate diversity in cultures, traditions and even races.
A glaring proof of this hypothesis is seen in the New Testament. When the Holy Spirit poured out upon the disciples in Acts Chapter 2, God in his infinite wisdom had made arrangement for all people groups under the sun to be present at this historic and monumental event.
When the Spirit was eventually poured out on the disciples, the standbys from different nations of the earth testified to have heard the disciples speak in the various languages represented.
“And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.’ So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘Whatever could this mean?’” Acts 2:6-12.
What that tells me is that even God recognises every single tribe, nation and ethnic group he has created. That is why he had to make that statement clear and loud, even in the New Testament; meaning the new thing God is doing in the New Testament belongs to all nations, tribes, people groups and all nationalities, no matter the differences.
Notice that there were no conditions for these people to become witnesses and participants to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t need to become Jews, they didn’t need to be circumcised, they didn’t need to be baptized, etc. God just poured out his Spirit upon all flesh, signifying the fact that all flesh were made by him for his purposes.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Col. 1:16
Hence, God has his own agenda, ideas and purpose for the creation of every single nation, country, ethnic group, tribe, nationality, colour, island, etc. Each one of these diversities are meant to serve their individual purposes as only God sees best.
I hope what we have observed so far has begun to awaken our interest in the importance of nations in God’s purposes.
Going back to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts Chapter 2, it is however important to note that despite the recognition of the diversities of nations and cultures represented on that Pentecostal historic day, yet there is another significant thing that happened which we must pay attention to.
The Spirit that was poured out is meant for all flesh, it is one and the same Spirit. Notice there was no different outpouring of the Spirit on the Jews, while a different Spirit on the Gentiles. There wasn’t a different Spirit for the educated and a different Spirit for the uneducated. It was the same spirit that was poured on the Jews that was equally poured on the Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, etc.
God thereby makes a very loud statement by saying that no matter our differences – culturally, ethically, racially, etc., we are all united by one Spirit. The message is clear: it is the spirit of God that makes us one. It is in God that we are all one and equal, yet not cancelling our diversities. ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT – A CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY!!!
Coming back to our main message in this write up, what I am going to focus on is that every nation, every ethnic group, every culture, and every country under the sun has a definite purpose for their creation. That is however not the most important thing that I want to point out today. More significantly, it is essential that each one of these nations, discover their purposes. Let me quickly point out that there are general purposes for all nations, as well as more concrete and specific purposes for each nation.
In regards to how to discover the specific callings and purposes of each nation, that would be a discussion for another day.
Following the events of the aftermath of the flood, according to Genesis 10:5, “From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations”.
After the flood, when the survivors began to grow, increase and multiply, God almighty saw the need to distribute nations by territories, lands, languages, families, tribes and nations. Obviously, this distribution and separation into lands and territories, happened only after the event of the Tower of Babel as recorded in Genesis 11:7-8, when the languages were first divided.
“’Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.”
Even though the events leading to the division into languages at the tower of Babel was indeed a tragic one, yet it is obvious that God had a place in his heart originally for nations, languages, continents and diversity in general, especially since as seen above in Gen.10:5, God had intentionally divided the people by their languages to their various lands, territories and nations.
Why was God doing all these? Anyone who has studied the acts of God would tell you that our God is not a chaotic God. He is not confused, disorganised, disorderly or unthoughtful in his actions and deeds. Which means everything he does is well thought out. If he decided to create diversity through nations, people groups, tribes, nationalities, then he definitely has a purpose for it. He has a purpose for every tongue, a purpose for every tribe, a purpose for every ethnic group, a purpose for every nationality and a purpose for every country and nation.
At this time my friends, have you started wondering what the purpose is for your nation? What the purpose is for your tribe? What the purpose is for your people group? Is there any purpose for Nigeria? Is there any purpose for our composition? Could there be any reason why we all came together to become a country? Is there any place and purpose for every tribe? Each language? Each nation?
Sunday Adelaja is a Nigeria born leader, transformation strategist, pastor and innovator. He is based in Kiev, Ukraine. He can be contacted at email@example.com.