God laid out His plan before time began and gradually revealed it through those Old Testament prophets. Little by little He unfolded all that He had in mind. His plan was the perfect plan from the perfect Planner. How blessed we are to know that plan. How blessed we are to be in that plan!
He longed for the reconciliation of mankind to Himself, but mankind did not long for that relationship. The descendants of Adam who walked in the steps of Cain far outnumbered those who walked in the footprints of Abel. The perfect world God created soon became unbelievably corrupt. “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Gen. 6:6). Thank God for His grace toward Noah!
After the flood it really did not get that much better. God’s plan involved the selection of Abraham, whose faith was especially unique because his father was an idolater (Josh. 24:2). A further illustration of the spread of sin is found in one of the reasons for the giving of the law. “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions . . .” (Gal. 3:19) The Lord has His chosen people, but their place in the scheme of redemption was to make it possible to bring about the reconciliation of all mankind to Him.
How was this accomplished? The Old Testament was a wall which separated Jews from Gentiles. The Jews misunderstood it and even forbad Gentiles to worship in God’s temple. Remember that Jesus described that place as a house of prayer for all nations (Mark 11:17). When Solomon dedicated the temple, he proclaimed that Gentiles would have a right to pray there (2 Chron. 6:32). To accomplish His purpose, that wall of separation (called the enmity) had to be taken away. Jews and Gentiles had to become one.
“He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity . . . so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Eph. 2:14-16). How did He make His plan a reality? He created the body.
So where do we fit in that plan? We are that body, for the body is the church (Eph. 1:21). What is our work in that body? “God . . .has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). Are you really part of the plan?