If you’re anything like me, you might be a little sad that another Olympic Games has come and gone. It seems like international news consists mostly of negative stories about conflict and destruction, so it’s always a welcome change when the Olympics roll around to celebrate countries coming together for a little healthy competition. But beyond the water polo and fencing, the hurdles and horseback riding, the Olympics ought to remind us of a very important biblical truth: God’s great love for the nations.
- God loves the nations – Throughout the Scriptures, one of the themes that rings most true is that God loves all the nations of the Earth. From the call of Abraham in Genesis 12 to the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to the throne room of the Lamb in Revelation 7, God makes it clear that he is working out a perfect plan to bring a remnant of every people group into redeemed worship- and love-relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ. Anyone who thinks God only cares about a few ethnic groups doesn’t understand the full message of the whole Bible.
- God loves both genders – Along the same lines, the Olympics remind us of God’s wisdom and creativity in making men and women. It only takes a few minutes of watching basketball or balance beam to realize that men and women are very different, but that doesn’t mean God counts one gender as more important or valuable than the other. In fact, Genesis 1:27 tells us that when God made humans in his image, he made men and women each to reflect special aspects of his character. Together, acting in unique, equal and complimentary roles, men and women can glorify God and represent his goodness to those around them.
- God will be worshipped in beautifully diverse ways – Why does God love the nations so much? And why did he make men and women so differently? Because God loves to be glorified in unique and diverse ways. One day, men and women from all the people groups of the Earth will gather in the most diverse and magnificent worship of all time. That day will make the best Olympic opening ceremonies look like a low-budget office party, and the redeemed in Christ will get to take part in it with great joy. The Olympics are but a small taste of the great international celebration that is to come.
I’ve heard it said that every good thing that comes to an end in this life is only meant to make us look forward to something better that will never end. So as we look back on these Olympics and look forward the next, let us take the opportunity to praise our great God who loves all the nations and peoples of the Earth.
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(Trip Smith is the web and social media strategist for TWR. From time to time, he’ll blog his reflections on current events and how they point to biblical truth. Check back soon for more posts like this one)