God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 7 - Ezekiel 35-37: God Remains Wholly on Israel's Side to Show the Nations His Holiness

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 35-37

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God would not restore Israel because of their righteousness but because of His Holiness.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

"Ezekiel, Mount Seir thought Israel's and Judah's land could be theirs. I will demolish them.
"Tell Israel's mountains they will grow large populations and tell Israel's valleys they will give life again.
"Israel sullied My Reputation. I will rebuild My Reputation when the nations see that I give Israel a new, clean heart. Then everyone will regret years of disobedience."
God brought to life a valley full of human bones. Israel would likewise rise again.
"I will rejoin Israel and Judah to show the nations that I made Israel holy when I become the center of their lives."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God would stay wholly for Israel.

Mount Seir thought God's removal of Israel meant their land was free to anyone. So they attacked a vulnerable, weakened remnant and took over some of the land. What they did, though, was bring God's punish on themselves because they looted Israel's (abandoned) towns. God was not finished with Israel, though. He would give them the land again. God's punishment of a group of people does not mean they are abandoned forever. God is wholly for His Chosen People because God is Holy.

God gave Israel their land because of His Holiness, not theirs.

Israel dirtied God's Reputation from the time He saved them from Egypt. Isaiah also mentioned God's reason to restore Israel was based on His Reputation, not their merit. God wanted to reset His Defining Act from the Exodus to the return from the Exile. God wanted the nations to see His Holiness, Reputation, and Name. Restoring Israel would be how they would see this. God wanted to make sure Israel did not believe they earned their return. God's Chosen People are blessed to show the world God is Holy, not that we are holy.

The nations would see that God made Israel's and Judah's relationship right.

God would take Judah's and Israel's "unholiness" away. He would give them a new heart and His Spirit. Famine would be removed. All would be well. His Servant would reign in righteousness. United Israel would obey God and God would greatly bless Israel. God would return to His Place of Worship. All of this would show the nations how awesome He is. God wants to set our relationship right so the nations will see His Holiness.

God would retake His Place as the center of Israel's worship.

Israel's problem is their unwillingness to worship God alone. This brought in a host of problems ranging from bad worship acts to murder in the streets. God wanted to contrast that lifestyle with the one that has Him as the center. That lifestyle sets things right and makes people a lighthouse for the nations. When God is the center of our worship, His Promises come true! This is why Israel would regret their years of disobedience. It's not a guilt trip—it's sadness over a missed opportunity!

Is God the center of your worship?

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