Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 26:15 through Ezekiel 28:26; 2 Kings 25:3-7; Jeremiah 52:6-11; Jeremiah 39:2-10
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Israel will again live in their own land, the land I gave my servant Jacob. For I will gather them from the distant lands where I have scattered them. I will reveal to the nations of the world my holiness among my people. They will live safely in Israel and build homes and plant vineyards. And when I punish the neighboring nations that treated them with contempt, they will know that I am the Lord their God.”
Can you imagine being a Jew exiled in Babylon hearing this prophesy in Ezekiel 28:25-26?
I’m sure there was celebration, excitement, and expectation throughout every Jewish family trapped in Babylon. If I had been a Jew in Babylon and heard that prophesy I would have started packing my bags, making my plans, and looking forward to the day when my people were once again seen by neighboring nations as “God’s chosen.”
But, what happened next would have made me cancel the moving van and realize “going home” wasn’t going to be a reality any time soon.
Two and a half years later, on July 18 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, the Babylonians broke through the wall, and the city fell. All the officers of the Babylonian army came in and sat in triumph at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer of Samgar, and Nebo-sarsekim, a chief officer, and Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser, and all the other officers. Jeremiah 39:2-3
The city of Jerusalem had been destroyed. But what about Ezekiel’s prophesy? Maybe he didn’t r-e-a-l-l-y hear from God. Maybe we will never go home. Maybe we will never be “God’s chosen people” again.
Have you ever felt this way?
You read a passage of scripture in God’s Word, believed it pertained to your situation, believed God spoke to you and promised a breakthrough…
…and then things got worse.
There are two ways we can look at these times:
- God, why would you give me false hope?
- God, thank you for giving me hope so I can survive these difficult days!
Friends, if God said it—it will come to pass; the how and when are His to determine. That’s His job; He’s God.
Our job is to…
- Trust God–Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Believe God–In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Galatians 3:6
- Have Faith in God’s Word and His Promises–And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Yes, things got worse for the Jews before they got better, but they did get better and every promise God made came true. We can expect the same (Acts 10:34-35).
Heavenly Father, help us to trust You, believe You, and have faith in Your Word and Your Promises.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen and Amen!
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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 39:11-18; Jeremiah 40:1-6; 2 Kings 25:8-21; Jeremiah 52:12-27; 2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Lamentations 1:1-22