THE PURPOSE DELINEATED
The Total Overthrow of Satan
Before the passing of much time, God divulged His intention. Immediately following the fall, He declared His purpose to the devil himself, with the whole human race present. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel" (Gen 3:15, NIV). It is as though He challenged the devil to circumvent the purpose. The announcement was clear: Satan would be utterly frustrated. His intentions would be overthrown in the fulfillment of the will of the Lord. Nothing would interfere with the Lord's good pleasure, but He would frustrate Satan on every turn, and finally bring him down in infamy and shame.
When you read Scripture with this thought in mind, you will see Satan defeated on every hand. Whether it was attempting to bring Noah down with the rest of the world, or shutting up the wombs of Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel, Satan could not totally accomplish his will. To put it another way, he could not stop the will of the Lord from being accomplished.
The World To Be Blessed
Divine intent involved the demise of the devil, but it was much larger than that! The Lord intended to bless His offspring, even though they had "sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom 3:23). He announced His intentions to Abraham, knowing full well that the adversary would make an effort to frustrate that blessing. Notice the confident tone of the promise. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Gen 12:2-3, NIV). " . . . Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him" (Gen 18:18, NIV). " . . . and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me" (Gen 22:18, NIV).
Read the Word of God with this in mind, and you will see the blessing of people under impossible circumstances. Noah was blessed when an entire world was cursed. Abraham was blessed because he dared to believe what the Lord had promised. Israel was blessed in deliverance and countless victories over their enemies. Occasionally, peoples that seemed beyond blessing would experience the same--like Nineveh. The Divine objective was being introduced. It would be culminated in Jesus Christ, the promised Offspring.A New Covenant
As time progressed, the purpose was proclaimed in further detail. The nature of the blessing was indicated in the promise of a new covenant. A time would come when the people of God would enjoy a personal acquaintance with Him, from the least to the greatest. Men would participate in the Divine nature by having their persons transformed. The Law of God would be put into their minds and written upon their hearts. "The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the LORD. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more" (Jer 31:31-34, NIV).
Subject your thought processes to Scripture with this in mind, and changed men will leap out to you. You will see David, a man after God's own heart, thinking the thoughts of God. Holy prophets will be perceived as weeping at things that broke the heart of God. On the day of Pentecost, following our Lord's ascension into heaven, men "called upon the name of the Lord." They saw Jesus like God saw Him, their sin as God saw it, and salvation as available to them!
God's Kingdom Among Men
The Kingdom of God, from the perspective of our subject, is the Sovereign God fulfilling His eternal purpose. That kingdom was revealed to some degree every time a Divine initiative was instigated. Such an initiative took place when the Lord Jesus began His earthly ministry. "From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matt 4:17). "The kingdom of heaven is near" equates to Divine activity that would culminate in the fulfillment of the purpose determined before the foundation of the world.
The Spirit interprets our position in Christ as receiving that kingdom. Hear these remarkable words. "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel . . . Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:22-24,28,29, NIV).
Here is participation in the highest sense of the word. It is accomplished in spite of the zealous and crafty opposition of the evil one. Read the Bible with this in mind, and you will behold a fresh perspective of things. You will see men with more strength than their enemies--able to maintain Divine fellowship under the most trying of circumstances. Their faith cannot be shaken in prison, the desert, or on the sea. They have been linked together with omnipotence, thereby bringing glory to God.