Hope for the Future
Take some time to relax and clear your mind. Pray that the Lord will give you an undivided heart for him.
Read EZEKIEL 11:14-25
 The word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, your brothers-your brothers who are your blood relatives and the whole house of Israel-are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, ‘They are far away from the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.’  “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’  “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’  “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols.  I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.  But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”  Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.  The glory of the LORD went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it.  The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God. Then the vision I had seen went up from me,  and I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat good news is Ezekiel given here?
This passage contains some of the Old Testament’s most famous promises. The prophet is told that, in the future, those who have been scattered and exiled will return to their home once again. He will give them an undivided heart, a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone that is hardened against him. Those who turn away from worship of idols and devote themselves completely to the Lord will be confirmed and strengthened in their passion and love for him; they will know that they belong to him.
These beautiful promises contrast sharply with the heart of stone that is reminiscent of those who persist in following after idols, which are often themselves made of stone.
Here we see that our God longs to gather us to himself, helping us to be soft-hearted towards him and others, enabling us through his Spirit to live in a way that is pleasing to him and a blessing to others. As New Testament believers, we recognize in Ezekiel’s prophecies the reality of what Jesus has done in our lives, gathering us to God and giving us his Spirit.
What promises here do you relate to? Which are most precious to you? Thank God for them.
Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to know that you belong to God and enable you to obey his Word.
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