Monday, September 19, 2011

Ezekiel, last remarks (for now)

Wow, I am glad to be finished with Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  It would have been a lot easier reading if Judah had listened to the prophets and repented.  There is a lot of judgment in those books, but there is hope as well.  I hope that you found it.  God is always extending an olive branch, asking his people to come home and be forgiven.  Chapter 34 of Ezekiel is just such an article of hope, an offer of peace, a prophecy of joy.

There is a word of warning of the shepherds in the early part of the chapter.  Those of us who have responsibility for the church should take warning.  it is a high calling, a holy calling and we should not take advantage of the people of God.  I am reminded of Pastors and revivalists who have grown wealthy by receiving the offerings of the people and failing to use it for God's purposes.  God is no unseeing, there will be a day when the goats and the sheep are separated forever.

But the promise comes in verse 11, "I myself will search for my sheep and look after them."  Remember when Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd."  You heard it first here in the 34th chapter of Ezekiel.  Is this also a promise to the Jews that God will gather all his children from all the places to which they have been scattered?

On that day when God gathers all of the sheep of his pasture, there will be peace....there will be joy....every mouth will be fed, every baby satisfied.  Every mother and father will watch with pleasure as their children play in safety.  Isaiah said it like this, "the lion will lie down with the lamb."  Justice will pour down like rain and the oppressed will be set free from the oppressor. 

God is speaking of the day when Christ will come to reign.  I don't know when that day will be, but we who are believers should work toward that day.  We should pray for that day to come.  On that day every knee will bow and every tongue confess.  We will make war no more and there will be no more need for the sun, moon and stars for the light of God will illuminate the new heaven and the new earth.

Looking forward to Daniel and the miracles of God's presence with his people in exile.

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