Mission in the Old Testament

Missions in Scripture, Part 1

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series. Part 2 is Jesus, the Great Missionary. Part 3 is Paul, the Cross-Cultural Missionary.

God Sends

In the Old Testament, God is a sending or missionary God. There are hundreds of references to God sending. He sends Moses, angels, prophets, commandments and he sends his word. 

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And so it goes on. God has a dynamic involvement in the world of men and women. God sends. This forms the backdrop for our understanding of mission and evangelism. 

God of All Nations

In the Old Testament, God works in and through Israel in a speical way, yet he is still the God of all nations. At times it would appear that Israel had an exclusive relationship with God. However Israel as the servant had a clear missionary role with the nations. There is a priority on the Jews but at the same time the whole world was in view.

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Jesus summed up this Old Testament perspective as "Salvation is from the Jews" (John 4:22). Yet the Old Testament breathes with the expectation that this would change. Micah put it this way: "many nations will come and say 'Come let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob'" (Micah 4:2). Zechariah wrote, "many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty" (Zechariah 8:22).

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God's Plan

God's sending action can be summarised like this:

  • God sends his word and covenant to one man: Abraham.
  • Abraham's heirs were the recipients of God's word.
  • Israel was the nation who were called by God. Despite Isreal's failure, God preserved a remant who would remain faithful to him.
  • Within the godly remnant there would be an individual, a servant, who would make the way open for all to hear the word from God.

So at the beginning with Abraham and finally with the servant, God purposed that the whole world of men and women would be the recipients of his saving word.


What does this Old Testament outline mean for us? It profoundly shapes the way we think of God. From the very beginning God was sending his message and his salvation to all, through Abraham. Israel was blessed to be a blessing. God has always had a missionary purpose! He was fixed in this purpose; it is for this very reason that his people, at all times and places, are called to live out God's mission.



Awesome,thought.God always send his missionary's with a purpose.During each era,he had a chosen people.Like God blessed Israelites and through them nations were blessed.When God bless,nobody can curse you.God called Abraham,to leave his people,and go to the land which he is going show.God called Moses,and send him with a mission to save Israelites.God have to equip Moses for this great task.Like wise God is still looking for men &women who can be send with a mission.Before he send you with a mission he always equip and prepare you.

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