Wednesday 8 October 2014

"... THEY MAY DWELL SECURELY" Bible Readings Thoughts for today - Oct. 8th


            Today we read how “the word of the LORD came to me” (Ezekiel – ch. 34 ) with prophecies for him about the near and far destiny of his nation – Israel.  First, it is a condemnation of the leaders, the “shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves” [v.2].  How often, in these days too, does that continue to happen with those who claim to be in the service of God – and of Christ!   
            God tells Ezekiel, “My sheep were scattered over the face of the earth …” [v.6]  God sees all time as one – and “declares the end from the beginning” [Isa. 46 v.10; Rev. 21 v.6]  And so the scattering of God’s flock over all the earth has happened, but then, “says the Lord GOD (to Ezekiel) " will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.   And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land..." [v.12,13]
            We have seen this miraculous regathering since the Holy Land was delivered from the control of the Turks in 1917. From v.25 we read God's declaration, "I will make with them a covenant ... so that they may dwell securely ... And I will make them and the places around my hill (Mt Zion?) a blessing ... and they shall be secure in their land."  This is in the process of happening.  The next statement is, "And they shall know that I am the LORD."  Does this need the return of the Lord, and their recognition of him?  That seems almost certain.
            In the New Testament the 1st chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians has words that are wonderfully appropriate for us today "It is my prayer" he writes,  "that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."[v.9-11]  May that be our prayer for all our fellow believers as we wait together "for the day of Christ" and watch the unfolding events in and around the Holy Land, seeing more and more clearly their significance in the light of what God revealed to prophets such as Ezekiel. 

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