Revelation, 1-2 in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

LITERATURE I. The Nature of Revelation. 1. The Religion of the Bible the Only Supernatural Religion: The religion of the Bible is a frankly supernatural religion. By this is not meant merely that, according to it, all men, as creatures, live, move and have their being in God. It is meant that, according to it, God has intervened extraordinarily, in the course of the sinful world's development, for the salvation of men otherwise lost. In Eden the Lord God had been present with sinless man in such a sense as to form a distinct element in his social environment (Gen 3:8). This intimate association was broken up by the Fall. But God did not therefore withdraw Himself from concernment with men. Rather, He began at once a series of interventions in human history by means of which man might be rescued from his sin and, despite it, brought to the end destined for him. These interventions involved the segregation of a people for Himself, by whom God should be known, and whose distinction should be that God should be "nigh unto them" as He was not to other nations (Dt 4:7; Ps 145:18). But this people was not permitted to imagine that it owed its segregation to anything in itself fitted to attract or determine the Divine preference; no consciousness was more poignant in Israel than that Yahweh had chosen it, not it Him, and that Yahweh's choice of it rested solely on His gracious will. Nor was this people permitted to imagine that it was for its own sake alone that it had been singled out to be the sole recipient of the knowledge of Yahweh; it was made clear from the beginning that God's mysteriously gracious dealing with it had as its ultimate end the blessing of the whole world (Gen 12:2,3; 17:4,5,6,16; 18:18; 22:18; compare Rom 4:13), the bringing together again of the divided families of the earth under the glorious reign of Yahweh, and the reversal of the curse under which the whole world lay for its sin (Gen 12:3). Meanwhile, however, Yahweh was known only in Israel. To Israel God showed His word and made known His statutes and judgments, and after this fashion He dealt with no other nation; and therefore none other knew His judgments (Ps 147:19 f). Accordingly, when the hope of Israel (who was also the desire of all nations) came, His own lips unhesitatingly declared that the salvation He brought, though of universal application, was "from the Jews" (Jn 4:22). And the nations to which this salvation had not been made known are declared by the chief agent in its proclamation to them to be, meanwhile, "far off," "having no hope" and "without God in the world" (Eph 2:12), because they were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenant of the promise...

Link: https://bible-history.com/isbe/R/REVELATION,+1-2/