Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I rejoice greatly in the faithfulness of God to His covenant with His people, Israel. What God started and promised, He will fulfill perfectly and completely.

My study in God's Word this morning led me to Ezekiel 20 which is where Ezekiel recounts God's dealings with Israel in her past when God chose Israel and revealed Himself to her (20:5) and promised them a better land in which to dwell (20:6). Yet they rebelled and worshiped false idols (20:8).

So God thrust them into the wilderness (20:10) to test them and show His sovereign power, love, and provision for them — even in the midst of disciplining them. Yet they still rebelled against God and walked after their idols (20:13, 16).

So God promised them in the wilderness that they would be scattered among the nations and dispersed among all the lands if they did not obey and follow Yahweh (20:23; cf. Lev 26 and Deut 28). Yet when they entered the land of promise, they worshiped idols and followed their detestable and wicked practices (20:27-29).

Yet God sovereignly determines in v.33 that He will be their King (20:33). There will come a point when Israel knows that He is the LORD (20:38).

THEN Ezekiel tells them that "later" Israel will listen to God, and His holy name will not be profaned any longer. For on God's holy mountain (=Jerusalem), on the high mountain of Israel there will be Israel—all of them—serving the Lord in the land of Israel (20:40). There God will accept them and God will seek their worship. Israel will know that He is the LORD (20:41-42). Israel will remember her past and "loathe herself" for all the evil that she has done in Yahweh's sight (20:43).

I am quite confident that this passage (just one of a myriad) teaches the history of Israel beginning with God's election of her, to her time in Egypt, to her wanderings in the wilderness, to her entering into the Land of Promise, to her exile and restoration, leading and culminating in the kingdom in Israel where God is her King and where they recognize their past sin and acknowledge God for who He really is. (*note: this has yet to happen, read Rom 9 and esp. 11*).

God is a faithful God and keeps His promises — even when Israel continues to reject Him. But thanks be to God for His unconditional faithfulness to His own promises. He will most certainly restore Israel in the future and bring her back into the land of Israel for her kingdom where He will receive her worship & be glorified in her.

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