Back to Ezekiel – Moving towards RESTORATION
Looking back through the past summer’s blog entries, I began to recall the great lessons that I was able to glean from the book of Ezekiel. Who would have thought that this book of prophesy would become such an intriguing book. I was in the midst of finishing the study when summer ended and so did my study…of this book, anyhow. I knew that when I was able to escape my regular daily routine and get away for a bit, I could reestablish this connection with Ezekiel.
I looked back through my blogs, the study guide I was using, and the notes I jotted down in my Bible. I re-familiarized myself with the main ideas and took up where I left off. The past 2 days and 4 chapters have been energizing. Let me share.
Chapter 33 marks a pivot in the book of Ezekiel. Chapters 1-32 are saturated with statements of sin and punishment. From now til the end of the book, the prophet will fashion a catalog of comfort as he scans the prophetic horizon. Beyond judgment God will regather and restore his people, and in the process establish a new covenant with them. Glory will prevail when the groaning has ceased. (Daily Walk Bible p.993)
Chapters 33-36 focus on how Israel has a new Shepherd and how there is hope of RESTORATION and HEALING following the captivity from Babylon. Here are the lessons I took away:
- We, just like the nation of Israel must go beyond regret and remorse for our sin; there must be true repentance of the mind, heart, and the will (33:10)
- Israel had Ezekiel as a watchman over their souls as he attempted to bring them to true repentance yet many of them did not apply the message but rather just enjoyed hearing the words Ezekiel spoke. We have a great responsibility…we have access to Scripture on so many levels, yet how often do we fail to put the WORD into action through love, sacrifice, obedience (33:30)
- God’s transformation of Israel included a new SPIRIT (36:26) and a guidance to despise their sin (36:31-32). God gives us His SPIRIT upon salvation to comfort us, but to also convict. “One of the evidences the Spirit’s presence within is a growing sensitivity to sin and a strong desire to turn away from it.” (Be Reverent, p, 193) I appreciate this gentle reminder; may I continue to listen to the SPIRIT’S voice and may I not quench HIS work in my life.