Pastor Sunday Adelaja

The purpose of nations

PELEG… This is a word that might be unknown to even some of the most ardent students of the Bible. Graduates of schools of theology, seminaries and Bible schools might not have a clue into the meaning and significance of this word.

If we however wish to understand the mind of God concerning nations and continents, there is no way we can bypass Peleg. This five letter word might hold the key to understanding the structure of our world. It could be a major key in understanding the makeup of the geographical map of the world. But even more important is the fact that Peleg could give us insight into the future of nations and continents as we know them today.

I wish to deviate meanwhile into a more detailed analysis of the centrality of our topic today – THE PURPOSE OF NATIONS. I would definitely come back to a full and detailed discussion about the about the supposedly mysterious word, Peleg.

It is expedient for every man and woman in our world today to know that he and she is not a product of accident. What I am trying to say is that, your origin matters, your nation matters, your culture matters, your ancestry matter, your country matters.

Sometimes the idea that we are living in a global village could create a sense of loss and confusion. In the sense that, you don’t think any more in terms of where you are coming from? What your origin is? What are your roots?

Most of the time especially as believers, we tend to think that these things don’t matter anymore especially to God. We hear people say that if you are in Christ it doesn’t really matter who you are or where you are from. Yet, we cannot close our eyes to the fact that people are different. People have different skin colors, pigmentations, different shape and color of the eyes, different cultures, and different traditions.

Even though we might all be in Christ, we speak different languages and relate to different cultures better, we belong to different races etc. what that tells me is that been in Christ does not obliterate diversity in cultures, traditions and even races.

A glaring proof to this hypothesis is seen in the New Testament. When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples in Acts chapter 2. God in his infinite wisdom had made arrangement for all people groups under the sun to be present at this historic and monumental event.

When the spirit was eventually poured out on the disciples, the standbys from different nations of the earth, testified to have heard the disciples speak in the various languages represented.

“And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?  Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Acts 2:6-12

What that tells me is that even God recognizes every single tribe, nation and ethnic group he has created. That is why, he had to make that statement clear and loud, even in the New Testament. Meaning the new thing God is doing in the New Testament, belongs to all nations, tribes, people groups and all nationalities, no matter the differences.

Notice that there were no conditions for these people to become witnesses and participants to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t need to become Jews, they didn’t need to be circumcised, they didn’t need to be baptized, etc. God just poured out his spirit upon all flesh. Signifying the fact that all flesh were made by him for his purposes.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Col. 1:16

Hence, God has his own agenda, ideas and purpose for the creation of every single nation, country, ethnic group, tribe, nationality, colors, islands, etc. Each one of these diversities are meant to serve their individual purposes as only God sees best. 

I hope what we have observed so far has begun to awaken your interest in the importance of nations in Gods purposes.

Going back to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2, it is however important to note that despite the recognition of diversities of nations and cultures represented on that Pentecostal historic day, yet there is another significant thing that happened which we must pay attention to.

The Spirit that was poured out is meant for all flesh, it is one and the same Spirit. Notice there was no different outpouring of the Spirit on the Jews, while a different Spirit on the gentile. There wasn’t a different Spirit for the educated and a different Spirit for the uneducated. It was the same spirit that was poured on the Jews that was equally poured on the Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, etc.

God thereby makes a very loud statement by saying that no matter our differences, culturally, ethically, racially, etc. we are all united by one Spirit. The message is clear, it is the spirit of God that makes us one. It is in God that we are all one and equal, yet not cancelling our diversities. ONLY GOD CAN DO THAT, A CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY!!!

Coming back to our main message in this write up, what I am going to focus on is that every nation, every ethnic group, every culture, and every country under the sun has a definite purpose for their creation. That is however not the most important thing that I want to point out today. More significantly, it is essential that each one of these nations, discover their purposes. Let me quickly point out that there are general purposes for all nations as well as more concrete and specific purposes for each nation.

In regards to how to discover the specific callings and purposes of each nation, that would be a discussion for another day.

Following the events of the aftermath of the flood, according to Genesis 10:5 “From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.”

After the flood, when the survivors began to grow, increase and multiply, God almighty saw the need to distribute nations by territories, lands, languages, families, tribes and nations. Obviously, this distribution and separation into lands and territories, happened only after the event of the Tower of Babel as recorded in Genesis 11:7-8 when the languages were first divided.

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lordscattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.”

Even though the events leading to the division into languages at the tower of Babel was indeed a tragic one, yet it is obvious that God had a place in his heart originally for nations, languages, continents and diversity in general. Especially since as seen above in Gen.10:5, God had intentionally divided the people by their languages to their various lands, territories and nations.

Why was God doing all these? Anyone who has studied the acts of God would tell you that our God is not a chaotic God. He is not confused, disorganized, disorderly or unthoughtful in his actions and deeds. Which means everything he does is well thought out. If he decided to create diversity through nations, people groups, tribes, nationalities, then he definitely has a purpose for it. He has a purpose for every tongue, a purpose for every tribe, a purpose for every ethnic group, a purpose for every nationality and a purpose for every country and nation.

At this time my friends, have you started wondering what the purpose is for your nation? What the purpose is for your tribe? What the purpose is for your people group? Is there any purpose for Nigeria? Is there any purpose for our composition? Could there be any reason why we all came together to become a country? Is there any place and purpose for every tribe? Each language? Each nation?


By the way, I hope you still have not forgotten about PELEG. I am simply reminding you of it not that I’m ready to talk about it yet. Let’s do more discussion on the purpose of nations before we get back to PELEG.

Here we go, let’s look into a very crucial scripture for our studies today:

Deu. 32:8 “When the Most High assigned lands to the nations,when he divided up the human race, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court.” (NLT)

There are several things to take note of in this scripture;

  1. It is God Almighty who assigned and divided lands to the nations.
  2. Note that lands are divided to nations. Nations therefore are God’s idea.
  3. God gives land to nations as their inheritance. That is, God as a father gives out inheritance to his children, to his heirs.
  4. When God divided the lands, he established boundaries for each nation.
  5. God is interested in race, hence he had races divided according to their kind.
  6. The beauty of the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible, is the last part of this verse that says “according to the number in his heavenly court”. Which tells us that the diversity we see here on earth in cultures, traditions, languages and nations, is in conjunction with what and how it is obtainable in heaven.

This passage above, goes a long way to confirm the fact that God is a purposeful God. He does everything with already planned out intentions and purposes. He does nothing by accident. God is an organized God. He has goals and purposes for everything he does or creates. So ladies and gentlemen, God has purpose for your nation. Which means God has a purpose for your nationality, God has a purpose for your tribe, God has a purpose for your clan, God has a purpose for your lineage, God has a purpose for your household, God has a purpose for your family and God has a purpose for you.

It is because of these God given purposes for each unit and member of the human race that God in his wisdom distributed lands to nations. Land is important to God. There is an unspeakable significance of the place and role of lands in our lives and destiny. Lands are not just important to God, they are important to us. It is important where people are born, that land and the environment influences and leaves a trace and a mark on them for the rest of their lives. Your place of birth defines you. It leaves a mark on you for the rest of your life. You cannot get rid of your color, you cannot get rid of your look, you cannot get rid of your pigmentation, you cannot get rid of your DNA, in most cases you cannot get rid of your accent, etc.

There are a lot of things that influence our lives from our land of birth much more than we could ever think or imagine. For example, the climate of the place you were born and grew up plays a role in defining you. The food produce of the land plays a significant role in your formation.

A few years ago, in the depth of river Thames in England, a decomposed body was recovered.  The body was so decomposed that there was no evident sign of recognition that could help in tracing the body to any particular individual or race. As complex as the task of identifying this corps was, through the help of forensic analysis it was discovered that the body belonged to a young teenager of the black race.

However further analysis traced the composition of the bones to the food stuff that made up the content of that bone. After a thorough forensic break down had been done, it was discovered that the composition of the food that is built in the bones could only be traced to one particular square kilometer of earth in the world.  Which led to a particular people group, nationality and tribe in Nigeria. This horrible homicide was unveiled, thanks to the significance and the role of the land were the person was born and breed.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all carry a part of the land we were born. In my own case I know for certain that if I had not had the Nigerian DNA in me, there is no way I would be having the same result I am having right now. Dear friends, there is nothing that is in you by accident. Your parents were not by accident, your culture was not by accident, your nationality is not by accident, your tribe is not by accident, your language or tongue is not by accident, please don’t despise all the great things God has deposited in you.

Talking of your countries, the composition is not by accident just like the composition of your body and your different make ups contribute to who you are. In a similar way the composition and makeup of peoples in your country contribute to the personality and identity of that nation.

I being a Nigerian of Yoruba decent, have come to appreciate the wealth and the advantages I possess in being a Nigerian rather than just being a Yoruba man. It’s just like I see a great advantage in being a Yoruba man rather than just being an Ijebu man. In the same vein there are even more advantages that I am an African, a black man rather than just being a Nigerian. Everything is important in God’s calculations.

Before I go back to what I started this write up with PELEG, I would like to touch on the fact that there are some universal purposes for all nations of the earth, while at the same time, there are more concrete purposes for each nation as well. Let’s have a look at some of the most common and universal purposes God has for all nations.

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17:26-27

There are several points we must note from the scripture above:

  1. All nations have the same origin. We are all one in God
  2. The proof of our oneness is in the blood.
  3. The earth was given to nations to be inherited.
  4. God specifically gives out boundaries or territories to nations.
  5. There is a purpose for every nation
  6. There is a timing for every nation.
  7. That purpose is in time. That is, a country could be given a purpose to be accomplished within a time span of 500 years. From the history of the Israelites, there are different time spans in God’s dealings with them. The most often used is 40 years, 70 years, 400 years, etc.
  8. Boundaries or territories of nations is dependent on purpose and timing.
  9. Which means if a nation fails to accomplish her purpose, or fails in its timing, as in the case of Jerusalem that missed the time of her visitation, this could affect their boundaries.
  10. That tells us, God is the ultimate decision maker on the boundaries of nations and the length of time they possess the land.
  11. Failure to fulfill Gods purpose by nations affects their directions and destiny hence every 100 years, geographical maps of the world are constantly changing to reflect new nations and nations that have disappeared. Everything is subject to purpose. That explains to us why there is no longer a country like the Soviet Union, Prussia, Babylon or the Roman Empire, etc. That also explains to us why the African continent had to be divided into smaller countries, it explains to us why God would sometimes allow war and conflicts.
  12. The universal purpose for all countries and nation is seen in verse 27. “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” God gives nations chances and opportunities to discover him and his purposes for them. God has a time span which could be rotational for each nation and continent. No nation would be left out, that is why Jesus said in Matt.19:30 “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Therefore there is no reason or room for anyone to be arrogant or boastful because every nation would have their time and chance.

As we can see above, we keep on coming across the fact that God is not a God of accident, he is a God of purposeful intentions. He divided the nations. He gave nations their territories and boundaries. That case I hope has been well made above.

If everything is more or less clear regarding nations and countries, what could be said about continents? Does God have an opinion about continents? What does he have to say about the different continents in our planets? Are the continents by chance or by accident? Could there be God’s hand behind them? Did the bible tell us anything about continent? I believe the answer is yes.

The answer to this question is in that word with which I began writing this article with – PELEG.

Let’s go to its origin:

“Arphaxad begot Salah, and Salah begot Eber. To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” Gen 10:24-25

The explanation we see for the name Peleg should catch our attention indeed. Something happened when Peleg was born which gives us insight into the events and circumstances of his birth. In Israel children are often named according to the occurrences at the period of their birth. The Bible recalls that Peleg was born at the time the earth was divided. Not countries were divided but the whole earth, the land piece, was divided.

This surely must have been a rather monumental event that God needed to fix it in memory and in time. That division of the earth in the days of Peleg, I believe is what we have now come to know as continents.

I did some research on this matter and here is what I found:

Creation scientists and Flood geologists do not deny that these continents may have been connected to one another in the past as a single supercontinent in light of Genesis 1:9. Actually, it was a Christian geologist named Antonio Snider in 1859 who was the first person to publicly comment on this jigsaw puzzle fit of all the continents, except that he believed the spreading apart and separation of the continents occurred catastrophically during the Genesis Flood.

In the 1900’s, a German meteorologist by the name of Alfred Wegener noticed that the continents seemed to fit together, not at the continuously changing shoreline, but at the edge to their continental shelves.  He derived this hypothesis from the observation that the continents in the southern hemisphere exhibit an identical pattern of rock and fossils known as the “Gondwana sequence”.  The most logical explanation was that the continents themselves were once parts of a much larger “super-continent” which was named Pangaea.

In today’s secular society, people have been taught as fact that the continents were once joined together in a supercontinent that spilt apart and then the resultant continents drifted over millions of years into their present positions. One primary piece of conclusive evidence usually presented to support this idea is the jigsaw-puzzle fit of Europe and Africa matching closely with North and South America, respectively. If the North and South Atlantic Ocean basins are closed, these continents fit together at approximately the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a range of mountains on the ocean floor centrally located in the Atlantic Ocean basins.

Creation scientists believe, along with their secular colleagues, that there is good observational evidence that is consistent with an original supercontinent in the past that was split apart, and that today’s continents moved to their present positions on the earth’s surface.

I have long discovered that there are secrets and understandings in the scriptures that have been revealed long before science discovered them. The example of continents is a case at hand. What scientists are just discovering now had been written in the Bible since the days of Peleg.

Note that when God initially created the earth, there was no mention of it been divided or separated into any large pools or continents. According to Genesis 1:9, everything was supposed to be just a vast land piece

“Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.”

It was not until the days of Peleg that the Bible recorded a division in the land piece of the earth. Please take note that this separation or division happened soon after the flood, confirming the findings of both the creationist scientists and secular scientists.

In this article, our primary interest is to establish that just as with nations so also is it with continents. They are not by accident. God worked it out in his divine plans and purposes. Hence God’s plans and purposes for every continent just as they are for every nation. God had to give territories and boundaries to every continent just as he did to every nation.

God has a plan and purpose for every continent just as he has for every nation.

Finally God has time limit for the fulfillment of His plans and purposes for every continent just like he has for every nation. In concluding this article, I want to say, I cannot but admit that I am born an African not by accident. To everything under the sun there is a purpose.

Today it is no secret that Africa is the most backward of the continents. The poorest and the most disadvantaged. But through it all, I see the overall workings of God almighty pointing me and the world to the fact that there is a time and purpose for every nation and continent.

I therefore wish to encourage my fellow Africans to stand on the basis of the word of Christ that says “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” There is an inevitable sequence of world history which will ascertain that each continents time would eventually arrive.

A study of History tells us that every continent has had their chance. I hold it to be obvious and inevitable that it is now the time of Africa to arise and lead the world. I therefore release this call to my brethren.


By Pastor Sunday Adelaja

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