Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read a prophecy from the book of Ezekiel, where God told his nation fo Israel that they were like dried old dead bones, and he would someday bring them back to life. This would have been especially encouraging given that their nation’s existence was in serious danger, and they’d be wondering how they were still God’s chosen people if they were about to be overrun by enemies.
There’s more than what we read yesterday – here’s a little more of the prophecy God gave to Ezekiel.
And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Ezekiel 37:22-27 ESV)
When God breathes new life into his people, he will reorganize them as one single nation under one king, rather than the two kingdoms that had split years ago.
And much is said about this one king – God’s servant David. But David died years before this. He was something of a prototypical king – there was much to be celebrated in how he reigned, but he was also human, and fell hard a couple times. Israel had been waiting for their true king ever since – the true and better David – the Messiah.
In this passage, we see the hope of a Messiah expressed beautifully. He’ll rain in peace where children will be safe, where the nation can settle, grow and multiply. It will be their land, where their ancestors once lived. They will live by God’s laws, and never worship other gods or backslide into sin.
In short, they will be God’s people, and he will be their God. It gets said twice in this passage. But how can they be? They are broken, sinful human beings! We’ll learn that soon, but in the meantime:
Question: Where is the turning point? What does this passage say has to happen to the people of Israel before they can experience this amazing and hopeful future?