Post 32 / The Next Language
January 4, 2021
God of the Gaps
[Luke 2:39 KJV] And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
My mind got going recently when reading Luke 2. I noticed that Luke jumped directly from the presentation of Jesus in the temple at the required 40 days to the family’s return to Nazareth. Absent is any reference to the visit of the magi, the slaughter by Herod of the children in Bethlehem, or the flight to Egypt. We must assume that for the purposes of God and Luke (who was neither an apostle nor a Jew), that gap is necessary.
I wonder when we look back in years to come if the year of 2020 might look like another of those gaps. Goals, ambitions, and well-intentioned plans were put on hold. At this point we cannot be sure but if it is, we should not be surprised, for God is a God of the Gaps.
Many theorize that there are long gaps in Genesis chapter 1. I do not subscribe to many of those theories but one inescapable gap is that the seventh day of rest meant a cessation of creation–not because God was tired, but because He was finished. The Sabbath became a weekly reminder that God had finished His work, and finished it well. In fact when He finished creating humans in His image, He said, “It is very good.” That was all pre-fall, of course. After the fall the process of re-creation began. But even there the weekly pattern of cessation (a sort of “gap” between each week) continued and was even enshrined in the Law.
One of the gaps in Israel’s history was justified by the prophets as God’s way of getting back the Sabbaths that Israel had neglected. You see, after each 49 years (a sabbath of sabbaths) came the year of Jubilee which was supposed to restart the clock. Fields lay fallow, slaves were freed, and land was returned to the original owners. God insured that His plan was restarted (the neglected Sabbaths were compensated for) by the “gap” of the Babylonian captivity.
[2Chron. 36:21 KJV] To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: [for] as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.
This may seem a bit distant from the current situation at Global Recordings Network. But we can agree that there is a huge gap between the situation today where we know that hundreds of languages still do not have their first word of the Gospel and that promised day when people from every tribe and tongue and nation will worship the Lamb Who was slain. There is certainly a gap between the 6400 languages that are available on 5fish.mobi and the number of all the languages of the world. How those gaps will be bridged is what we daily pray over and what we hope to be a part of closing.
We are certainly learning more about this unfinished task. In order to focus on highest priorities we have chosen to direct our energies to the 270 languages that have the very least. Over time and by dint of much research we are learning that it is prudent to say less (rather than more) about the details of those targeted languages and about the relationships needed with partners and our strategies for reaching those languages. Yet it is exciting to know that these last 270 language groups are the focus of more than one mission. It would not surprise me to find out in the end that God has been orchestrating this advance from a number of different angles. The fruit will be to His glory and will probably not be attributable directly to a single human agency.
(What I said about the need for less publicity does not mean that we are not open to sharing more details with any who are interested in praying more specifically for targeted areas. Please reach out to us if the Lord leads you that way.)
At the outset of 2021, as we look across the gaps, let us do so with fearless faith and hopeful expectancy to see what God is going to do.
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
P. S. As a “thank you” for your continued support of the ministry of Global Recordings Network USA, and in celebration of over 80 years of God’s faithfulness, we have compiled a collection of 80 daily devotions written by GRN founder, Joy Ridderhof. You may read or download your copy of Rejoice Always – 80 Devotions with Joy Ridderhof here.