One Nation Under God.
“I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations or into two kingdoms. They will never again pollute themselves with their idols and vile images and rebellion, for I will save them from their sinful backsliding. I will cleanse them. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.” – Ezekiel 37:22-23 NLT
Ever since the end of Solomon’s reign, the kingdom of Israel had been split in two, Israel to the north and Judah to the south – the result of a God-ordained rebellion brought on by Solomon’s worship of other gods. “The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command. So now the Lord said to him, ‘Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants’ (1 Kings 11:9-11 NLT). And that’s exactly what God did. Jeroboam rose up and rebelled against Solomon taking ten of the tribes of Israel with him and creating the northern kingdom of Israel. Solomon’s successor, Rehoboam became king of the southern kingdom of Judah.
But for years the two kingdoms remained divided, with Israel creating their own gods and places of worship. Eventually, God would punish them by sending them into captivity in Assyria. Not long after that the southern kingdom would follow their example by worshiping false gods, and they too would find themselves taken into exile by the Babylonians. The land of promise would be decimated and the Temple of God destroyed. But even as Ezekiel prophesies to the exiles in Babylon, God is giving Him a word of good news. He is telling them that their condition is not permanent. They will one day be restored to the land of promise and to a right relationship with God. The two nations will be reunited. They will once again have one King and one God. In spite of Israel’s failure to remain faithful to God, He would remain faithful to them. And He will one day restore them and fulfill all His promises to them. That day has not yet happened. Israel is back in the land, but they do not have a king, a Temple and they do not have a restored relationship with God. But God says that day is coming. There is a future day in which they will be completely restored to the land and to fellowship with God, and they will have His Son, the Messiah as their King. God will restore, renew, and rejoin the nation of Israel. He will breathe new life into them through His Spirit. He will be their God and they will once again be His people. The magnitude of their sin will not stand in the way of the mercy and grace of God. Now that’s a God worth worshiping!
Father, You are truly amazing. What You intend to do to and for Israel should be a constant reminder of the grace and mercy You extend to me on a daily basis. It should remind me of the free gift of grace You made available to me through the death of Your own Son. Like Israel, I was dead in my sins, unable to change, and held captive by my enemy. But You reached down and released me from by captivity, giving me new life and restoring me to a new relationship with You. You are truly an amazing God! Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men