Today’s readings.. (2 Kings 21), (Ezekiel 11), (Luke 7)
Our reading in Ezekiel causes us to think about how God works; the unlimited power he has to know all that is happening; more than that, to know all that men and women are thinking! And of course Jesus had the same ability; if you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving as you were forced to sense this as is evident in our reading of Luke 7 today.
In today’s Ezekiel reading (Ch.11) we read [v.5] how the spirit of the LORD fell on him and he is told to say “Thus says the LORD: So you think O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind.” Again in v 8, “You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you.” God knows our attitudes; he looks into our hearts to see if the faith we profess is genuine – recall Hebrews 10 v.22 “Let us draw near with a true heart , in full assurance of faith.”
Ezekiel becomes very distressed at the revelation of God’s horrific judgements that are about to come on Israel and he falls on his face saying (v.13) “Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?” God responds to that plea by saying three things.
The first stage is to be [v.16] “a sanctuary to them, for a while, in the countries where they had gone.” We conclude this predicts the synagogue system that developed in the centuries that followed and was in full operation at the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first base in the preaching of Paul and others in spreading the gospel message.
The second stage is to be seen now for in v.17 we read, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries.” That is far more than just Babylonia.
The third stage is still future – but how close are we to it? “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.” [v.19] We long for this to be fulfilled, but we must take careful note of the warning in v.21 “But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads.”
But this is true of all humans, not just the Jews! Could it be true of any one of us? Remember God says, “I know the things that come into your mind”