“My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty. Mal 1:11
I just love this verse. It has so much good stuff in it.
It talks about a time when God’s name will be great among the nations. The “nations” are foreigners, people other than the Israelites. In other words, they are Gentiles.
God is saying that although at this time only the Jews know him, a time is coming when He will be known more greatly — known in every place on earth.
And He will be revered more greatly than He was by the Jews, revered by the very people who didn’t know him.
He will be revered so much that the peoples of the earth will bring PURE offerings to him, not the second best offerings that the Jews were giving Him.
It reminds me of what Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:21, 23:
“Believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem . . . Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
God’s goal was for there to be a time when people would worship in spirit and in truth. They would not only serve Him in righteousness, they would do it WHOLEHEARTEDLY!
But how would it get this way? How could He bring people who didn’t even know him to the point of wholeheartedness, when the Jews had NEVER been able to do this for long?
Look at this prophesy in Isaiah 11:10:
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.
The people of the world will rally to the Root of Jesse, as they would to a banner lifted on a battle field. We believe the Root of Jesse is Jesus, who descended from David, Jesse’s son. So this prophesy meant that Jesus would have a strong impact on people.
And this is absolutely what happened. As Jesus foretold: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32
Nothing could have the impact that Jesus has had on earth. Think for a moment what the world would be like if he had never come. Now think of all the amazing things he brought. He brought such an example of service to one another, of valuing each individual person, of goodness, of self sacrifice.
It is NO WONDER that God said that His name would be great among the nations. Jesus is an immensely POWERFUL picture of who God is, one everyone could see and experience. His influence has spread far and wide. It has changed innumerable lives.
I think of a couple of examples I’ve seen lately. One of my friends is training her baby to sleep through the night. It is hard to listen to the baby cry. It is hard to go through the dark hours with little sleep. But she said she thinks of Jesus and the way he died for us to save us, and that gives her the strength to do the things her daughter needs.
There is a woman I am studying the Bible with who has had a very tough life. After many years of trials and being mistreated, she encountered an incredible example of a Christian forgiving a group of people who had done egregious wrong. When she saw that, she was profoundly changed forever.
The story of Jesus is POWERFUL. And today, WE are the ones who are impacted by it. We are the ones who will spread the news, so that it will be known to the ends of the earth, and His name will be great among ALL nations.
I am so thankful that God gives me a way to be wholehearted, to worship in spirit and truth. I revel in the example of Jesus. There are so many shining facets of his life that shape me daily.
I can only glorify.
…for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. Gen 49:10
I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles. Isa 42:6