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Participation in giving the gift of the “nations”

Psalm 2:8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

When I read through the Book of Acts, I can’t avoid viewing what’s recorded there as the beginning of the fulfillment of the conversation that God has permitted us to listen in on in this amazing verse.

Through these few words we are given the privilege of hearing God the Father invite God the Son to ask Him for the inheritance that the Father longs to give to Him.

But that’s not all.

It goes on to make clear what the Son’s inheritance is, the gift of the “nations”.

To fully grasp the ramifications of this gift-giving between the Father and the Son,  it’s crucial for us to understand two important truths.

First, we must know what the word “nations” was actually referring to in the original language this verse was written in.

In Hebrew, the vast majority of the uses of this word did not refer to nation-states, countries, or political entities–the very things we think about when most of us hear the word “nations”.

In reality, a majority of the times that Hebrew word is used, (including Gen. 12:2, 17:5, 18:18, and many others) a better translation of the word would be ethnicities, or better–ethnic groups.

When the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Greek and also in the Greek used in the New Testament, the Greek word used for the Hebrew word is ethne or ethnos.  If that sounds familiar, it’s because our words ethnic and ethnicity are derived almost directly from the Greek.

Second, as Psalm 86:9, Acts 17:26, and Rev. 21:26, make clear, the diversity of ethnic groups that exist and from which ever person draws a portion of their identity, were created by God Himself and each ethnic group reflects His glory in it’s own God-given and unique way.

Knowing these two crucial truths, I believe we’re on solid biblical ground if we view the Book of Acts as the beginning of the Son receiving the gift of His inheritance.

But what’s even more astounding, encouraging, and challenging for us today, is the fact that just as God permitted His followers in the Book of Acts to participate in the beginning of the giving of the gift of the ethnic groups, He has given us the same privilege!

When those that God calls to go to the nations, and those who pray, give, and care for them all work together to get the message of the Gospel to people from all the ethnic groups that He created, right where the bulk of them live, the Father permits us to be His co-workers and the bearers of the gift that is the inheritance He promised to give His Son.

Photo by Lina Trochez on


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