Ezekiel 48 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
The book of Ezekiel ends similar to its beginning with the prophet envisioning the Lord in his temple dwelling with his people in the Promised Land but now with a better temple and a better country. Of course, the beginning of the book was much darker in nature, for there we saw the glory of the Lord leaving the temple and the people of God being exiled from the land and were given many reasons for these sudden departures that were all evidence of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God in keeping covenant with the Lord. An appointed time of judgment had finally come upon the nation who no longer feared the Lord and no longer sought to walk in his ways. Being led astray by a thousand idols, Israel had turned away from the living God and would suffer the consequences.
But in the second half of the book, after God brought forth his divine justice, the prophet then revealed a glorious future for the people of God. In removing the faithless leaders of Israel, God would raise up for them a true shepherd, a Son of David who would seek out the scattered and lost sheep, who would bind up the injured ones and strengthen the weak ones. And the Lord would enter into a new covenant of peace with them, a better covenant in which he would give them a new heart and write the very law of God upon those hearts that they might know Him and love Him as He knows and loves them. Any hope for the nation of Israel would come solely from the work of this Christ figure who would love and redeem this fallen people. For apart from him and his atoning work, the Lord would never return to this temple to dwell among a rebellious people. It is only with the revelation of Christ that the mood of the book begins to change. And it changes dramatically!
For now, at the conclusion of this revelation, a massive and glorious temple is rebuilt restoring a right relationship with God. Now, all the tribes of Israel are restored and each one receives an equal portion amongst God’s people. Now even the Gentiles are flowing into the city of God calling upon the name of the Lord. Now a magnificent river flows out from the temple providing life and fruit to all the land ensuring future prosperity. And now the gates of the temple are strong and secure ensuring future peace. But most importantly, amongst all of these glorious blessings, the city is given a new name. The New Jerusalem shall be called, “The Lord is there,” for the Lord has promised to dwell amongst his people, to never leave them nor forsake them ever again. He’s promised to forgive their many transgressions and to fulfill the requirements of the covenant himself that they always would have the right to enter into this holy city and have the privilege of eating from the tree of life. Just as God promised Abraham thousands of years before, so he repeats the same promise that He will be their God and they will be His people.