Thank You, God, that “You will again have compassion on us… [and] hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).
Read Ezekiel 37:15–28
One Nation Under One King
15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
18 “When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding,[a] and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
24 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”
a Ezekiel 37:23 Many Hebrew manuscripts (see also Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts all their dwelling places where they sinned
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectGod’s peace is positive and massively powerful. How have you felt God’s peace?
God’s restoring power sweeps on from the valley of dry bones: the revived people are to be reunited. God had formed one nation from Abraham. He had brought them into his inheritance—the land.
He was their God and King. But the one nation of 12 tribes had ripped itself in two under Rehoboam’s reign centuries before (1 Kings 12). The northern ten tribes (“Israel”) had already been exiled, and though Judah had enjoyed despising Israel for their idol-worship, they—now just as broken by defeat and exile—have had to face their own guilt for the same idolatry.
Now God promises to reunite what sin had torn apart. Once again, a king from David’s line will reign. God will dwell among them. God’s peace would be a covenanted gift to them forever. Ultimately, all nations will see (28) and be drawn into that peace as God’s greatness reaches to the ends of the earth.
Grace is the definitive leveler: God lifts us all from the same sinful past to the same glorious future.
Where do you need God’s peace and restoration in your life? Read Philippians 4:4–8. According to that passage, how can you access the peace Christ offers?
Pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace to come, wherever he is needed.
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