from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
God’s people had failed, but God’s purpose would not fail. He would bring about a sweeping, dramatic salvation for His people. He would not do it for their sakes, for they had proven themselves unfaithful and unworthy. He would do it to vindicate His reputation among the nations. Note that He was not acting out of selfish interest, but because He was determined to show His love to our entire race.
In Ezekiel 36:24-38, God gives the specifics of what He would do.
- He would regather His people from the lands where He had scattered them (v.24). Their exile had been a dramatic show of their failure. Their regathering would be a dramatic presentation of God’s power, goodness, and faithfulness to His people.
- He would cleanse them completely from all their sin – not by their actions or by their worthiness, but by His own doing (v.25).
- He would put within them a new heart and a new spirit – His own Spirit – to enable them to obey (vv.26-27). He would empower them to be His holy people, from the inside out.
- He would bless their relationship with Him. They truly would be His people, and He would be their God (v.28).
- He would give them the gift of a broken heart and true repentance (v.31). They would see their own sin in the light of God’s goodness.
- He would bless their land, turning the desert into a Garden of Eden, so that all the nations would know that Almighty God, eternally faithful and loving, had done this (vv.30, 33-36).
- He would increase their men (vv.37-38). Why? To any society decimated by war and captivity, especially a patriarchal society like Israel, the restoration of its male population was key to its recovery.
How good is our God! He doesn’t abandon us to our weakness and failure. By His own power and love, He acts unilaterally to save us from the inside out. He enables us to be far more than we ever dreamed we could be. Praise to Him!