Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ezekiel 36 - Mountains of Israel to be Blessed

LINK: Ezekiel 36

BACKGROUND 

In contrast to Mount Seir being cursed (Ezekiel 35), the mountains of Israel would be blessed. The mountains were symbolic of Israel's strength. They may be experiencing suffering at the present time, but they could look forward in hope to a time of restoration, return to the land, and regeneration of their hearts. 

First he would judge the nations used to punish Israel (36:1-7). Then, He would restore His chosen people and the land would be fruitful, safe, and secure (36:8-15).

Most importantly, the Lord would purify them spiritually and would remove their rebellious, stubborn "heart of stone" and give them a "heart of flesh" which would be a "new heart and a new spirit" to follow Him (36:25-37; Jeremiah 24:7; Deuteronomy 5:29).

According to the Mosaic Law, those who had been defiled would need to bathe in running water or be sprinkled with water in order to be cleansed (Leviticus 14:1-9; Numbers 8:5-7; 19; Hebrews 10:22).  

They would be restored to the land, cleansed, and regenerated. Then they would know that He is the LORD!

The next chapter will be a vision illustrating this promise!

REFLECTION/APPLICATION

God declared "I will [do something]" 20 times in this chapter! The word of God is full of promises for us. Do you stand on the promises of God to give you hope in times of discouragement and doubt!  God is faithful to fulfill His promises (Numbers 23:19). 

May I encourage you to start standing on some promises today?

Here are few to start with:
Matthew 6:14; 7:7-8 
Luke 6:38 
John 14:2-3 
Philippians 1:6; 4:6-7; 13 
2 Timothy 3:12 
James 1:12; 4:7-8; 5:16
It really helps to memorize them and have them always in your heart!

PRAYER

Thank You God that "You are not a man, that You should lie, nor a son of man that You should repent; You have said it, and You will do it! You will speak, and You will make it good" (Numbers 23:19 - in the TMS by the way)! We stand on Your promises today to give us hope in uncertain times. Amen. 
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