God’s Life-Giving Word of Spiritual Renewal
Ezekiel 39:21-29: Chapter 39 concludes the section in the book of Ezekiel that contains oracles pertaining to Israel’s restoration and transformation. To those who had been living in exile, God promises to bring them back to their own land.
The LORD said, “I will let the nations see my glory and show them how I use my power to carry out my just decisions.”
The Restoration of Israel
21The Lord said, “I will let the nations see my glory and show them how I use my power to carry out my just decisions. 22The Israelites will know from then on that I am the Lord their God. 23And the nations will know that the Israelites went into exile because of the sins which they committed against me. I turned away from them and let their enemies defeat them and kill them in battle. 24I gave them what they deserved for their uncleanness and their wickedness, and I turned away from them.”
25The Sovereign Lord said, “But now I will be merciful to Jacob's descendants, the people of Israel, and make them prosperous again. I will protect my holy name. 26When they are once more living in safety in their own land, with no one to threaten them, they will be able to forget how they were disgraced for having betrayed me. 27In order to show to the many nations that I am holy, I will bring my people back from all the countries where their enemies live. 28Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God. They will know this, because I sent them into captivity and now gather them and bring them back into their own land, not leaving even one of them behind. 29I will pour out my spirit on the people of Israel and never again turn away from them. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.”
Today’s reading provides a summary of Israel’s sinfulness, punishment, exile, and restoration. In what ways is God’s mercy shown? Have you experienced a time when you experienced God’s mercy? What does today’s reading teach you about God?
God of transformation, draw me close to you and restore my life. Take away any bitterness and anger I may be harboring within me and let me experience the joy of your presence. Amen.
Those planning homecomings
Ezekiel 43:1-17: The LORD’s glory returns to the Temple.