Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 27-30
Today’s Reflection: Ezekiel 28:25-26
25) “Thus says the Lord GOD: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. 26) And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.”
As the priest and prophet Ezekiel declares lamentations, oracles and prophesies against the pagan nations surrounding Jerusalem he also shares a promise from the Lord to His people of the house of Israel: He will gather them from all of the nations to which they’ve been scattered and bring them to a land of promise, a land in which they will build new lives and dwell securely while the nations who contended against them receive God’s judgment.
Some believe this prophesy is about the modern Israel, the state officially formed in 1948 which has become a homeland to people of Jewish descent from the world over. But this prophesy is also about another Israel, another Zion. The Zion God will create when He makes the world over at the end of time, after the Day of the Lord.
When the Bible tells us about the time of the end, and the people saved into the kingdom of heaven, it describes a multitude so great it cannot be numbered, including people from every country on the earth:
Revelation 7:9-10 – 9) After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10) and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
The Bible also tells us that all people who have accepted Christ are also children of Israel, heirs to the promises of Abraham.
Galatians 3:28-29 – 28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
So key to the promise of the kingdom of heaven is the union of people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities, languages, tribes, and cultural backgrounds, gathered together to build a new community guided by God. Amid the judgments poured out against the world, those who hold on to Jesus in faith can look forward to this beautiful vision in the world to come.