Ezekiel invites us to think about how God works. God has unlimited power know all that is happening and to know all that men and women are thinking! Jesus had the same ability. If you were not on the side of Jesus it must have been unnerving when you realized – this was the experience of Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:36-50.
In Ezekiel 11 we read how 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 – verse 2 had told us they “devise iniquity” and “give wicked counsel”). God knows the things we devise in our minds – He looks to see if we are seeking His help to get rid of them. Ezekiel becomes very distressed at God’s impending judgements on Israel and he falls on his face saying (verse 13) “Ah Lord GOD! Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?”
God responds by saying three things.
- He will be “a sanctuary to them … in the countries where they had gone” (verse 16). That seems to predict the synagogue system that developed thereafter and was in full operation by the time of Christ. The synagogues were the first stop in the preaching of Paul and others, they went into the synagogues to spread the gospel message.
- The second stage (verse 17) looked into the future, although Ezekiel would not have realized this. “I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries”. That was the situation during the 20th Century.
- “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them” (verse 19). When they see, and recognise Jesus as their Messiah this will happen. But notice the warning in verse 21 “But as for those whose heart goes after detestable things … I will bring their deeds upon their own heads”. This will apply to both Jews and Gentiles. May we turn from the “detestable things” and have a new heart as a result of reading God’s word and regular fellowship with those who also do this.
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