An ambassador represents his country in a foreign land. He may live in the foreign land for a while, but in reality that is not his home. God’s “so great salvation” has brought us into the position of being heavenly ambassadors.
While this position brings us into great dignity and honor, it also brings with it a great responsibility. To be a worthy ambassador of heaven, it is necessary for us to realize that we are strangers and pilgrims down here (1 Peter 2:11).
The Faithful Ambassador.
The wise man tells us that “A faithful ambassador is health”. One Bible teacher makes the comment, “He accomplishes his mission to the satisfaction of all” (Believer’s Bible Commentary). In the Old Testament, God had worthy ambassadors. To name a few, there was Joseph in Egypt, the little maid in Syria and Daniel in Babylon. Joseph, by God’s help, provided food in a time of famine; the little maid’s message brought good health to Naaman; Daniel would not defile himself with the king’s meat and was preserved in good health both physical and spiritual.
The False Ambassador.
The inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai. They hatched a plan in which they pretended to be ambassadors and backed up the claim with a number of “old things”, old sacks upon their asses, old wine bottles, worn out shoes and garments, and moldy bread. First they acted the lie and then they told it in claiming they came from a far country, being sent by the elders and inhabitants. Alas, Joshua was taken in by all this pious talk. After the Great Deception, in 3 days time there was the Great Discovery that these smooth talking people were neighbors. The damage had been done in that a league was made with them. They were made hewers of wood and drawers of water.
There are lessons to be learned from this sad incident. Pretending cannot last indefinitely, as the people of Gibeon found out. Acting in haste in important decisions can have very serious consequences. Paul’s advice to Timothy, “Lay hands suddenly on no man” (I Timothy 5:20) would have served Joshua well.
The Functioning Ambassador.
2 Corinthians 5:20
In this verse, Paul makes a stirring Gospel appeal. He knew how vital it was for sinners to be reconciled to God. Those who are not saved are alienated from God and cannot please Him. Indeed, there was a time when we were all at a distance from God and out of harmony with the Divine will. Paul reminds the Ephesians of this and of them being brought into the place of nearness by virtue of the blood of Christ. Those who refuse to give heed to the Gospel appeal, and die that way, will be banished from God forever. Paul discharged his responsibility well. If ambassadors misbehave, they can be withdrawn, because they would not be representing their home country well. There were some in the assembly at Corinth who did not behave well and they were removed from this scene (1 Cor 11:30). Before war is declared, ambassadors are withdrawn. There is a time when our Lord will come back to this earth in power and great glory, “Our God will arise, with His foes to contend.” Before that will happen, the ambassadors will be called home to meet their Lord in the air to be with Him and like Him forever (1 Thess 4:16-18).
The Fettered Ambassador.
In this chapter, Paul makes references to the “armor of God” which is so vital in the spiritual warfare. He then makes an appeal for prayer for all saints and also for himself that he may be enabled to make the Gospel known. It was as a result of his involvement in the Gospel that he was in prison. Paul sees himself as an ambassador in a coupling chain (Amp. Bible). He desired to be kept faithful and courageous in His witness for the Lord. Although in prison, Paul had the welfare of the assembly at Ephesus at heart. He wanted fellow laborer, Tychicus, to go to the assembly, the purpose being, “That he may console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your hearts” (Eph 6:22 Amp. Bible). Paul was truly a worthy ambassador with great interest in
the spread of the Gospel and in his fellow believers. May we be inspired by his example the little
while we are left down here to represent our heavenly country! There are links with the homeland that we do well to keep in mind.
- A name written in heaven (Luke 10:20)
- A Father (Matt 6:9)
- Treasures (if we lay them up!) (Matt 6:20)
- A Master (Col 4:1)
- A great high Priest (Heb 9:24)
- An inheritance (1 Pet 1:4)
- Loved ones gone before (Phil 1:23)
- Citizenship (Phil 3:20)
May we set our affection on things above until we reach our Homeland (Col. 3:2)!