The Lord announced through Ezekiel that He intended to bring both material and spiritual blessings upon Israel. God would send His great gifts to those who had “defiled” the Promised Land with “their words and their deeds.” Why would He give riches to people who had turned against Him?
First, the Lord would challenge the arrogance of the nations. Jehovah’s covenant people had “become the talk and evil gossip” of those all around them. God would surely express His “jealous wrath” against those who imagined that they could abuse His children without any consequences.
A second reason for this powerful display of grace was even more important. “I had concern for My holy Name.” It is right for the Lord to glorify Himself as the one true and living God. As He said through Ezekiel, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of My holy Name.”
How would the Lord vindicate Himself before the watching world? He would not only gather His beloved ones back to their homeland, but that He would grant them life in their souls. “I will give you a new heart, and a new Spirit I will put within you.” Their old “heart of stone” would be removed, and they would “loathe” themselves for their former “abominations.” One day they would gladly hear and obey the Word of God.
Jehovah has worked mightily in the centuries since these ancient words were first proclaimed. Many captives from the Old Testament community were brought back to “the mountains of Israel.” The life described in Ezekiel 36 has surely been tasted by Jews and Gentiles who have come to faith in Christ. Yet any fulfillment of these beautiful descriptions of happy fellowship between the Lord and His people have only been partial here on this present earth. We look for far greater attainments in the age to come.
Without the blood of Christ, we who have sinned against the Lord could never have received even the beginnings of this wonderful future. Because of the obedience of Jesus and His death for us on the cross, a great day of abundance will surely be granted to all who have “fled for refuge” to the Son of God. (Hebrews 6:18)
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious Lord, Your Word is perfect. As we wait for the great blessings you have promised, we should hear Your voice with reverence and joy. Grant especially that all of Your ministers would not only hear Your Word, but also that they would rightly preach it and obey it. Grant that Your children will be doers of the Word rather than imitators of the world. Help us to walk in Your ways in the days to come. Fill us with Your Spirit so that we will turn away from sin. Cause us to believe in Your power and Your love. Why should we not do the things that Christ has commanded? We will follow You by the strength of Your Spirit. Bring us growth in holiness and godliness with contentment, which is great gain.