Back in Malachi today. I’ve been reading it over and over for a couple of weeks now. What a great book! Anyway, in chapter 1, verse 11, God speaks of people around the world knowing him, holding His name as great, and bringing offerings to Him. The NIV translates this as a future event, but Peterson on the Message makes it a present tense thing. I know, I know, big deal.
But if it was like Peterson has it, then there were people worshipping God outside of Israel in the Old Testament times. I know the Bible speaks to that in other places too. But it just pushes the boundaries of how I understand our faith to see people worship the true God without the temple or the law. God is known. God is loved. God is God worldwide.
Now I’m not going down the all roads lead to heaven path. There is a lot of false beliefs. But the idea that people can know God outside of the Israel story is so cool.
Or maybe Peterson is just way off base. I haven’t found out yet. But Romans speaks of how people know God by what they see and experience in the world around them. It just encourages me as a pastor that God is working and has been working, both in the system and “outside” of the system since the beginning. Somehow, it sets me free a little.