Ezekiel, prompted by the Spirit of God, delivers an incredible message of hope and encouragement that we can glean insight and application for our present day walk with the Lord.
The destruction and captivity of Judah/Jerusalem/Israel, paved the way for their neighbors to enter the land to take control and with the expectation that God’s people would never again enter. That’s why they took control of the mountains/hills surrounding Jerusalem and Israel. They mistakenly felt that the 70 years of purging and perfecting was the final edict of the Lord against Israel/Judah. They didn’t understand that there would come a time, there would be a return to the land by God’s people. This attitude wasn’t just that of those who occupied the land, but those who had conquered the land and had heard of what had taken place. The testimony was what kind of God would do this to His “chosen people”.
God’s response was not solely based on His covenant with the people, but to elevate His name whereby all would come to knowledge of the glory of the Lord.
The Lord stirs the heart of Ezekiel to deliver a prophetic word that has, in some circles, been a source of confusion and division. In reading the balance of this, was God speaking to Israel or was it a prophetic pronouncement of the Church? That is a conundrum facing scholars for centuries.
My take on this is, why can it not be dealing with both? God takes covenant seriously and is not a man that He should lie. In reading the prophetic word given here, there is no long term historical evidence that Israel has come to see the fulfillment of this word. Granted they did return at the conclusion of 70 years, but it was under authority of another nation. There have been seasons of productivity from the land, yet to say there has been a return to the God of Abraham, which has YET to happen. God will honor His word and there will be a fulfillment of this word for Israel. A revival is and will come resulting in the new heart, new spirit; they will receive Jesus as Messiah on a massive scale. They are further promised that they would be cleansed and empowered to be who they were created to be.
For those who have placed their faith in the Seed of Abraham, Jesus – the Messiah, they will and can have that new spirit and new heart; whether they are Jewish or Gentile. The key, have they placed faith in Jesus Christ.
We also see a glimpse into the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit. The refreshing of the Holy Spirit will not only cleanse, but enable us to walk in a purity of heart and soul. The Spirit is the guardian of our hearts, providing discernment as what can become an idol; which caused Israel to begin its decline to begin with. The Spirit imparts a new heart and spirit, taking hardness and superficiality away. The Spirit empowers us to walk in His statutes, keep His judgments to live them out before a culture that desperately needs to see Him and His truth.
These people, Jew or Gentile, that have placed faith in Jesus as Messiah, will be rebuilders of ruins and places of desolation. The Church, comprised of ALL believers in Christ, will become living sacrifices; being a testimony to the world.
Let us be among those who will purpose to walk in the Spirit of God!