Isaiah 56:6-7 tells us that God’s plan of salvation always included the whole world. Foreigners could come into relationship with God, love and worship Him, and share in His covenant. The covenant gave the terms of relationship between God and man, so that man could please God and receive His blessings. According to these verses, the person who entered the covenant would receive the joy of knowing God and would be completely accepted by God, which means to be forgiven. The temple was intended to be for all the people of the world.
Outward details of the covenant have changed, but the essence has not. In any time or place, the person who puts His faith in God’s plan of salvation receives forgiveness. The heart of God also has not changed. He offers His covenant to all.
Throughout the Bible God speaks of His desire for all peoples of the earth to know Him. One of the Old Testament passages that always calls my attention is II Chronicles 6:32-33.
The occasion is the dedicatory prayer for the temple that Solomon has built. The king himself offers up this solemn entreaty, which God blesses with His glory (7:1-2) and to which He responds (7:12).
In these verses Solomon prays for “the stranger,” the one who is not part of God’s people. When the stranger comes and prays, answer his prayer, pleads Solomon; do what he asks You to do. And the motive of Solomon’s request is, “that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee.” Thus Solomon joins the prophets, the psalmists, and God Himself in expressing the deepest desire of Jehovah’s heart – that people of every nation come to know His saving grace.
Isaiah 42:6, “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;”
God’s plan for His people has always been missional. In forming a redemptive people, their lives together were to bear witness to the character of the God that they served; they were to shine as a light to the Gentiles. The children of Israel didn’t always live the way that God intended. They came to see themselves as privileged people instead of a “covenant people.” They did not live as people who were blessed to be a blessing. In Jesus, the promise to Abraham was fulfilled, “... in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18a). God’s plan, begun in the Old Testament, continues today.
In the Old Testament there is a smorgasbord of Scriptures to choose from. Here is mine: In the Book of the Beginnings (Genesis), we read of Abram’s calling (12:1-3). Verse 3 concludes, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” This verse alludes to the coming of the Messiah and His World Mission! This verse is fulfilled when we read in Revelation 7:9-10 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of ALL nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues [emphasis added], stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Hallelujah for "mission accomplished" through Christ!
Psalm 19:4- "There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."
This verse speaks of the works of God's creation. It is my favorite O.T. missions verse for three reasons: