God! Let me introduce you to God! He is real, whether we believe it or not God was, is and always will be God! It is God who turns our lives around. It is God who turns our mess into a message. It is God who reaches down and pulls us out of the murky bog of obscene living. It is God who knows our hearts, hears our thoughts, and loves us anyway. It is God who is the faithful one who loves us as sinners and provides mercy and grace with guidance to find our way back to Him. God wants us to know and realize that HE is God and God alone.
It is God alone who provides forgiveness while He scrubs us clean and makes us holy before Him once more. It is God who loved us from the beginning of creation. It is God who loved us first and will love us always. It is God who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Do you know God? Do you really believe that what God says and who He is, really real?
Ezekiel 36, The Message
Back to Your Own Land
1-5 “And now, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Say, ‘Mountains of Israel, listen to God’s Message. God, the Master, says, Because the enemy crowed over you, “Good! Those old hills are now ours!” now here is a prophecy in the name of God, the Master: Because nations came at you from all sides, ripping and plundering, hauling pieces of you off every which way, and you’ve become the butt of cheap gossip and jokes, therefore, Mountains of Israel, listen to the Message of God, the Master. My Message to mountains and hills, to ditches and valleys, to the heaps of rubble and the emptied towns that are looted for plunder and turned into jokes by all the surrounding nations: Therefore, says God, the Master, now I’m speaking in a fiery rage against the rest of the nations, but especially against Edom, who in an orgy of violence and shameless insolence robbed me of my land, grabbed it for themselves.’
6-7 “Therefore prophesy over the land of Israel, preach to the mountains and hills, to every ditch and valley: ‘The Message of God, the Master: Look! Listen! I’m angry—and I care. I’m speaking to you because you’ve been humiliated among the nations. Therefore I, God, the Master, am telling you that I’ve solemnly sworn that the nations around you are next. It’s their turn to be humiliated.
8-12 “‘But you, Mountains of Israel, will burst with new growth, putting out branches and bearing fruit for my people Israel. My people are coming home! Do you see? I’m back again. I’m on your side. You’ll be plowed and planted as before! I’ll see to it that your population grows all over Israel, that the towns fill up with people, that the ruins are rebuilt. I’ll make this place teem with life—human and animal. The country will burst into life, life, and more life, your towns and villages full of people just as in the old days. I’ll treat you better than I ever have. And you’ll realize that I am God. I’ll put people over you—my own people Israel! They’ll take care of you and you’ll be their inheritance. Never again will you be a harsh and unforgiving land to them.
13-15 “‘God, the Master, says: Because you have a reputation of being a land that eats people alive and makes women barren, I’m now telling you that you’ll never eat people alive again nor make women barren. Decree of God, the Master. And I’ll never again let the taunts of outsiders be heard over you nor permit nations to look down on you. You’ll no longer be a land that makes women barren. Decree of God, the Master.’”
16-21 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, when the people of Israel lived in their land, they polluted it by the way they lived. I poured out my anger on them because of the polluted blood they poured out on the ground. And so I got thoroughly angry with them polluting the country with their wanton murders and dirty gods. I kicked them out, exiled them to other countries. I sentenced them according to how they had lived. Wherever they went, they gave me a bad name. People said, ‘These are God’s people, but they got kicked off his land.’ I suffered much pain over my holy reputation, which the people of Israel blackened in every country they entered.
22-23 “Therefore, tell Israel, ‘Message of God, the Master: I’m not doing this for you, Israel. I’m doing it for me, to save my character, my holy name, which you’ve blackened in every country where you’ve gone. I’m going to put my great and holy name on display, the name that has been ruined in so many countries, the name that you blackened wherever you went. Then the nations will realize who I really am, that I am God, when I show my holiness through you so that they can see it with their own eyes.
24-28 “‘For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!
29-30 “‘I’ll pull you out of that stinking pollution. I’ll give personal orders to the wheat fields, telling them to grow bumper crops. I’ll send no more famines. I’ll make sure your fruit trees and field crops flourish. Other nations won’t be able to hold you in contempt again because of famine.
31 “‘And then you’ll think back over your terrible lives—the evil, the shame—and be thoroughly disgusted with yourselves, realizing how badly you’ve lived—all those obscenities you’ve carried out.
32 “‘I’m not doing this for you. Get this through your thick heads! Shame on you. What a mess you made of things, Israel!
33-36 “‘Message of God, the Master: On the day I scrub you clean from all your filthy living, I’ll also make your cities livable. The ruins will be rebuilt. The neglected land will be worked again, no longer overgrown with weeds and thistles, worthless in the eyes of passersby. People will exclaim, “Why, this weed patch has been turned into a Garden of Eden! And the ruined cities, smashed into oblivion, are now thriving!” The nations around you that are still in existence will realize that I, God, rebuild ruins and replant empty waste places. I, God, said so, and I’ll do it.
37-38 “‘Message of God, the Master: Yet again I’m going to do what Israel asks. I’ll increase their population as with a flock of sheep. Like the milling flocks of sheep brought for sacrifices in Jerusalem during the appointed feasts, the ruined cities will be filled with flocks of people. And they’ll realize that I am God.’”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Know God. Trust God. God turns bad to good. Love God. Love Others like He relentlessly loves us. Forgive and be forgiven. Sound simple? It is. “But I don’t understand what the Bible tells me,” relate many who read it for the first time. I used to think that—as a child who wanted her own way and was happy to live in ignorance because it was easier. But God wanted me to grow beyond childlike thinking and behavior while growing my childlike faith in Him. That changed everything over time.
I learned that there is enough of what I do understand to be saved and to live in His ways. God is a Giver. God gave us Jesus who paid all the debt we owe for our sins. God poured out His Holy Spirit to believers to guide us and provide wisdom—the skills for living in His ways.
We should be punished like the Israelites for all our sins. Since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, God knew we would not be able handle all the punishment that we really deserve. So, in His merciful kindness, He gave us Jesus. Jesus was the God’s gift of grace.
We enter God’s family by trusting Jesus Christ, but we enjoy God’s family by believing His promises and obeying His will (2 Corinthians 6:18—7:1). Disobedient children have to be chastened (Hebrews 12), and God often had to chasten the people of Israel because of their rebellion and disobedience. Living without Jesus, suffering the consequences of our sins, is our punishment until we repent and be forgiven forever. Our sins repented are remembered no more! Through repentance to Jesus, the list of our sins are not recorded but blotted out—forever!
So now the answers to these questions should be considered. They can change your life forever—
Do you know God? Do you really believe that what God says and who He is, really real? Is Jesus your Savior and now the Lord of your life?
- I pray that all who read this to really believe and begin to really know you personally.
- I pray for all you don’t know you, to understand what knowing you can mean to their lives.
- I pray that through repenting we learn humility and holiness that only you can provide.
- I pray peace in the storms, help in the struggles of life with provisions of all you know we need. In your transformation of us there will be adjustments made to our thinking and behaving. Do what you must because our love for you now commands your work in us.
- I pray protection for those who just now turned their lives over to you because our real and ever-present enemy will not like losing one of his team members.
Thank you, Lord for teaching us through Your Word and by Your Holy Spirit today. Right now.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. I believe.