Our reading in Ezekiel causes us to think about how God works; His unlimited power to know all that is happening and all that men and women are thinking! And Jesus had the same ability; if you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving; there is a sense of this in Luke 7.

In Ezekiel 11 we read how the spirit of the Lord fell on him and he is told to say “Thus says the LORD: So you think O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind” (verse 5). Again in verse 8, “You have feared the sword, and I will bring the sword upon you”. God knows our attitudes; He looks into our hearts to see if the faith we profess is genuine – recall Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith”.

Ezekiel becomes very distressed at the revelation of God’s horrific judgements that are about to come on Israel and he falls on his face saying “Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?” (verse 13). God responds to that plea by saying three things.

The first stage is to be “a sanctuary to them, for a while, in the countries where they had gone” (verse 16). We conclude this predicts the synagogue system that developed in the centuries that followed and was in full operation at the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first base in the preaching of Paul and others in spreading the gospel message.

The second stage is to be seen now for in verse 17 we read, “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries”. That is far more than just Babylonia.

The third stage is still future – but how close are we to it? “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them” (verse 19). We long for this to be fulfilled, but we must take careful note of the warning in verse 21: “But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads.”

But this is true of all peoples, not just Jews. Could it be true of us? Remember God says, “I know the things that come into your mind”.