“Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people,” Deut 4:6.
The idea of being a display people is an ancient one. Way back in the early days of the Old Testament God gave this mission to Israel; that they were to demonstrate His wisdom and understanding to the surrounding nations. They were to live in such an “outstanding way” by following His laws and decrees that the nations would see that this could only be possible because God was among them. Their lifestyle would point pagan nations to the wisdom of God. There were of course seasons in Israel’s history when they did this well and times when they failed abysmally. But God never gave up on this vision of having a display people for Himself who would show the unbelieving world that He is an all-wise, all-understanding, powerful God.
However, history proved just how much help His stubborn, self-centred people would need, but fortunately God being who is, knew this would happen. The plan from the beginning was always to strengthen His earthly witness by sending His Son Jesus into the world followed up by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Talk about having a strong bench? We could say that God now had His “A team” in play as His people were fully equipped to be an effective “display people” to show the unbelieving world what an amazingly wise and understanding God he truly is. Paul put it this way, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Eph 3:10-11.
Notice how the role of being a “display people” is now given to the church. How should this make us feel? Quite humble, I think … definitely thankful that we have this powerful privilege of “being a showcase” for God’s wisdom and understanding to all the unbelievers, skeptics and post-moderns in our surrounding communities.
Prayer: Father we honour you today as the all-wise and all-understanding God. Thank you for choosing us, your church, as your “display people”. We pray that we will effectively live up to this high calling of making you known in our communities.