Ezek 20:33-44 in the “desert/wilderness of the peoples”
Is 43:1-7 God will give other nations for a ransom in order to have Israel
Rom 11:25-27 God will take away their/our sins
Last week we spoke of being Yeshua’s inheritance. To be God’s inheritance we saw that our sins must be forgiven. Our salvation and hope are based on redemption, not on creation only. We must be born again through repentance and faith in the gospel. In these last days of the kingdoms of the world, the enemy of Messiah is doing much to confuse and deceive the world – and even, if possible, the believers – to choose the ways which seem right but actually lead to death, rather than to choose the straight and narrow – the only – way which leads to life. But praise the Lord for His sovereign wisdom and grace to save sinners like me and you, as well as sinful nations like Israel and Egypt. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow forever!
In the passage from Ezekiel, we read the interesting expression in v.35, the “wilderness/desert of the peoples” (מדבר העמים) . From the context it appears to refer to this land in which we are living! YHVH God is not referring to this country now as the”Promised Land”, or the “Holy Land”, both of which describe positively God’s thoughts and plans. No, here He is calling it a “desert of the peoples” – a place of trial, of pain, of sorrows. It is a place to test the hearts of His people, and to bring them to repentance from sin against Him, against their neighbors, against even their enemies.
Next Sunday (31 Oct) is ANZAC Day in Beer Sheva. Very little attention is given it by the schools, but it is a very significant memorial on the road of redemption which is written about by the prophet Ezekiel. Soldiers from the farthest lands/islands away from Israel fought a significant battle here in Beer Sheva, which defeated the Turks and Moslems, and opened the way for the British, Christians, and ministers of the gospel to come in or to return here. God was acting and intervening to bring the scattered children of Israel out from the peoples in other countries and restore them here in this land to plead with them “face to face”. BECAUSE IN ORDER TO INHERIT THE LAND OF ISRAEL ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE, ISRAELIS MUST LEARN THAT THEY ARE THE CHOSEN PEOPLE TO SERVE AND WORSHIP YHVH GOD ONLY IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH.
God has ways and has thoughts not like ours. In our passage from Isaiah, we se that God will give other nations to feel like they are not loved in order for them and Israel to know His love for His people (v.3-4). Many Australians and New Zealanders, and even Turks and Germans, lost their lives so that we could live here today. Even this “Old House” was a witness, and served as a hospital during the battle for Beer Sheva. There is always sacrifice in order to overcome evil by good. Only afterwards could the missionaries return and seek to bring Arabs and Jews into the inheritance of eternal life.
This past Monday we heard how to develop the love of God. The “master key” is to keep the commandments of Jesus (Jn 14:15). When Keith wanted to show the Lord how much he loved Him by keeping whatever commandment that Jesus had for Him, the first thing the Lord and Savior required was for him to deal with, and repent from, sin that was not helpful to build up the lives of others or of the church.
In Romans we learn again that the Holy Spirit is bringing Israel to confess her sins in preparation for receiving her inheritance of salvation and peace. And He is doing the same with us so that we will be overcomers in our trials and tribulation, knowing this: the Lord knows those are His, and, Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity (2Tim 2:19). There is victory when we stand on the sure foundation for the time to come and lay hold on eternal life, our inheritance with Yeshua in the Kingdom of God. We hear the Holy Spirit say to us through the letter to the church in Philadelphia that the Lord Jesus will come quickly, and that we are to hold fast to what we have, that no one may take your/my crown. The Kingdom of God is within us now.
God is speaking with us in a personal way – face to face. Messiah has come and is coming again. The Holy Spirit is working in us to take away every form of rebellion to His rule. Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. As we love Jesus more and keep His commandments, we are preparing ourselves for the inheritance, and God is preparing us for it. Many people have felt ‘left-out’ as God shows that He loves us; many believers and unbelievers have given their lives so that we can live in God’s Kingdom even today. We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of testimony that by HIM our sins are forgiven. Let us press on for all that our great God and Savior has for us.