A Scepter, a Washbasin, and Sandals

God is so great that even the heavens cannot contain Him. He exults in power and authority over the nations whether they are His enemies or not. There is the image in Psalm 60:7-8 and 108:8-9 of Israel as His scepter (symbolizing royal authority) and of Moab and Edom as His washbasin and a place to toss His sandals (gestures of contempt or of ownership). With Ezekiel as our prompt and the support of the Psalms and the prophets, the following statements can be made about the nations:

  • God is sovereign over all nations. He is in absolute control, and His purposes will prevail. Satan indeed is alive and active among the nations, but he is not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnipotent.
  • God has and does and will continue to display His glory among all nations. His revelation of Himself is obvious to those who believe, and it will ultimately be recognized by unbelievers as well.
  • The nations, though they may rebel against God, have no adverse effect on God. We’re shown the image of Him being amused and the reality that He is progressively judging them.
  • God has specific purposes for and a special relationship to the nation of Israel. This is not based on any merit on their part! Because Israel broke their covenant with God, He has chastened them, at times using their enemies in the process. But eventually, God will keep His promise to Israel by regathering and restoring them. (This will be discussed further in the next post)
  • God desires that His eternal gospel be proclaimed to all nations so that they may participate in His final and complete restoration of the cosmos.