Todays readings… ! Chronicles 27, Ezekiel 36, John 1
“AND YOU SHALL BE MY PEOPLE”
Today’s chapter 36 in Ezekiel is fascinating – and challenges our understanding. It is clear it has a ‘latter day’ application. But first, in v.16, 17 we read, “The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds.” (What is our world doing?)
But from v.22 the prophet is caused to look into the distant future – our days. – How wonderful for those who know God’s word when they see his word, his promises, fulfilling! God says, “I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.” [v.24]
The next verse describes what we pray is about to happen “I will sprinkle clean water on you …. I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you….. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.” [v.25,26,38]
So God utters his word – and it is a word that promises action. But divine action occurs within the divine time frame of action. How interesting was what we read earlier in Ezekiel. “For I am the LORD; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed …” [12 v.25] And so God’s judgements condemning his people came to pass; Jerusalem was destroyed in the prophet’s lifetime! But later God gives Ezekiel a much longer range ‘picture’ of his actions with his nation.
Ezekiel is caused to ‘see’ God’s action – so that “I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries.”[v.19] And this happened – in its’s greatest totality, after they rejected and crucified their Messiah. But, then, the prophet is caused took still further ahead – to our days! In v. 24 we read, “I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.”
How long now to when the next verses are fulfilled? Surely the return of Christ, their Messiah will bring this about! They will see him “whom they have pierced” (see Zech 12 v.10; Rev. 1 v.7)
Finally, we read in Ezekiel, “You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleanness’s” [v.28.39]. And we can also be God’s people, if we whole hearted believe his word and the word of his Son – and live accordingly.