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THE DECISIVE AND THE DEFINITIVE
1) The Decisive Fact
Israel was abortive of the Lord's merciful grace when in its own land, was defiled and deluded, dismissed by the Lord and taunted by other nations, but now, having been removed for unfaithfulness from their own land, they are to be restored for mercy's sake.
2) The Decisive Mercy
Despite their removal from their
holy place in nearness to the Lord, and their
dispersion, the Lord in "pity" or concern for His name, people noting that this was
"the people of the Lord and yet they have gone out of their land", decided to restore them to their place in an overwhelming and overturning action of mercy.
3) The Decisive Gathering
This recovery, from the nations, in
what is in itself a work of the Lord, thus is foretold.
What was sent out for sin, is brought in; what being sent out, was taunted by the nations, is
restored (36:18-19,22-24). It is the work of the Lord to correct in sending out, to collect in bringing back and it is this fact which will be as it were, on a bill board for all.
4) The Definitive Land
The land in view, the one where in
godly selection they had been placed by the Lord,
and from which they had been taken away, again by the Lord, is specifically, for this defined nation, that "which I gave to your fathers" (Ezekiel 36:28), and their "own land" (Ezekiel 36:24).
5) The Definitive Repentance
for having occasioning Removal from their Land, their Evil Ways
The sins which led to their
dissociation from the Lord, in His former nearness, will then grieve them,
and they will reflect on these (Ezekiel 36:31-33).
In this realisation on their part, to come, their name is "O house of Israel", notable
for their declination as so often exposed as in II Chronicles 36, Isaiah 1, 59.
Their duplicate is not found on this earth - famous for nearness to the Lord,
rebellion against the Lord, removal by the Lord, taunting by the other nations,
restoration in mercy and this in terms of an unwavering faithfulness
on the part of the affronted but gracious God.
6) The Definitive Dispersion
In Ezekiel 37, a parable is told, to
encompass the situation and bring in more detail.
Now the facts are garbed in exceedingly pellucid graphics, which emphasise the
specialised guilt in derogation of their Lord and the specialised mercy of the Lord in
not only suffering them to come back, but calling them to do. In this, the scattered bones of the desolate society are seen in the extremities of their divine discipline, throughout the earth, far from home (36:13-14,23). Indeed, though once one, and for sin divided into two kingdoms, now their restoration will be as for but one. This too will thus be remedied.
7) The Definitive Graphic
Exposed to the prophet's sight is a
landscape of dry bones. They are broadly scattered
throughout the earth. As bones, they will be brought back from among "the people to whom they have gone", even assiduously rescued from servitude, by the Lord (Ezekiel 37:1-8,15-21). This unique people, once missionary in complexion (Isaiah 43:21), will now resume place as a people to whom the Lord has shown mercy (cf. Micah 7:18-19), for He IS merciful to a marvel.
8) The Definitive People
So delivered, who had gone for such cause as stressed, even to "the mountains of Israel" (36:22), instead of two, as before, they will be one nation, and for this, they will have "one king" and this "in their own land" (36:21-22).
9) The Definitive King
This Ruler will be the famed and predicted son of David (in the flesh sector of the incarnation) who was so often premised and promised in prophecy (Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 22, 32, 40, 42, 49, 50-55, 61, II Samuel 7, Psalm 2, 40, 16, 22 and so on), who as God incarnate, was to experience first suffering and then glory as Christ pointed out. This He attested from the Old Testament scriptures, declaring and teaching it there is present in the word of God, in a way which should never have been missed (Luke 24:25-26). The phase presented here is that of Rule, and an enduring one (Ezekiel 37:23-25).
This King to rule is to come at one point in history (Isaiah 59), and having had history conform to His word, will then be uninterrupted in His rule. On earth, He will fulfil His word; in heaven, He will amplify it (Revelation 14).gh
9) The Definitive Restoration
Thus land which for its special sins
against its gracious God had become desolate
will now become "like the garden of Eden" in the heavily contrasted fertility,
abundance of produce and sustained blessing (Ezekiel 36:34-35). The ruined cities, through their wantonries, now become\ "fortified and inhabited".
10) The Everlasting Covenant
With this restored people, there will be made an everlasting covenant (cf. Jeremiah 31:31) which is new for this restored people, and He will be in their midst for evermore (Ezekiel 37:28).
It is one for the Jew, one for the Gentile (cf. Galatians 3:28).
11) The Definitive Salvation
As shown in Isaiah 66, the religion IN the Messiah of Jew and Gentile (cf. Isaiah 42:6, 49:6) will now be one, and in this, there is one covenant for one and all, for as Isaiah declares in the name of the Lord, it would be too small a thing for the Messiah to redeem only the elect in Israel, but rather must He be a light to the Gentiles, and He shall be called the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5). The redemption specifics are as in Isaiah 52-55. The grace back of it in the specialised case of Israel is as in Ezekiel 36-37. The Lord does not ignore the past in dealing with the present, nor make it king, as if it could not turn from bud to blossom, from Old Covenant to new one. It is the same God, Lord, method of sacrifice, grace, pardon, peace, joy and adoption, with specialised introduction and specific culmination.
12) The Definitive Enfolding
To this Israel comes (as in detail shown in Zechariah 12:10) as the end of the Age is poured out in torrents, as shown in that prophecy. If God chooses to fulfil unconditional promises and unqualified assertions made to any people at any time, the more so when highly specific and function in His coverage of history, it is not for others to tell Him that He could not or should not do it, any more than the labourers in the parable of the landowner taking on successively more during the day, that he must not give the same to the earlier appointees and to the latter ones, perhaps with only one hour to go.
Cannot I not, says he, do what I will with my own money! It is so here also: Can the Lord not do what He will in faithfulness to His unqualified promises, showing Himself not only gracious and merciful, but reliable and setting His word above all His name, if He so desires!
Indeed, for my part, I am both thrilled and delighted that there is none like Him, on whom you can rely, not to do fancy footwork in the world's own subterfuges and failures, to do what He declares. His word is like rock. It does not move.
13) The Devastating Intention and Destructive Convention
Ezekiel 38-39 show for a
relatively newly returned Israel, to its land (38:8-9), a devastating intent on
the part of an international consortium of nations, bent on grabbing what it
God's fury, we learn, "will show in My face" (38:18), and He will personally secure their ignominious destruction (as also in Deuteronomy 32 and Micah 7).
People will be burying the remnants of this sickeningly assertive invasion, bodies strewn about, for some 7 months! (Ezekiel 39:14-15).
14) The Definitive Education
Here is the education in the domain of hard facts. When all this is done, the mercy to Israel, its sustained deliverance following its restoration to its land, the routing of the assailing ignoramuses who either will not or cannot read the Bible, or dismiss it with unholy self-assurance in themselves or their chosen idols, an education becomes stridently clear. It is twofold. On the one hand, it is to Israel itself, and on the other to the invasive nations and all who behold indeed. Israel left its land because of sin against its Lord, and has been brought back by the Lord, having borne its discipline. Moreover, the nations will learn the same lesson, and find that it does not mean they are masters of the universe, but seeing what the Lord does in such a case, and what His mercy does likewise.
The lesson schedule is seen in Ezekiel (39:21-29).