Biblegateway Verse of the Day

God's Desire for Israel (Ezekiel 20)


By Benjamin H. Liles


            As far as I know God loves Israel. His love for what scripture calls “The apple of His eye” (see Zechariah 2:8), God declares his steadfast love for a rebellious and hardhearted house. This is what Ezekiel says concerning God’s love for Israel: “I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out.  And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face.  Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you” (Ezekiel 20:34-36, New King James).

            For God to go so far as to do that means He’s willing to go the extra mile. I don’t see how anyone could dispute God’s unending love for a people, much less a nation that He has carved out for Himself, and still remain angry. And yet, it is fair to say in these verses, God desperately loves his holy people! For Him to go so far to tell them, “I will plead my case with you,” means that He will never let this nation go.
            Paul even goes so far, within the book of Romans, to say: “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:11, 13-14, New King James).
            And that’s truly the whole point right there! So, how do we as Christ's church accomplish God’s will and show these faith working, God able miracles to continue? We keep doing the same work Christ commanded us even after He was ever crucified: “Go into [the entire] world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16, Berean Study).





I could go further still and show that faith and miracles still go hand in hand for He continues on: “And these will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak new [languages]; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well” (Mark 16:17-18, Berean Study).
That’s not to say we are to go out and drink the venom of snakes. It just means that “In the name of Jesus,” which has been said even by the apostles, His signs and wonders never cease to do its work. But the point of this is to be made clear, God still loves Israel regardless of her stubborn heart and sinfulness. Even if God gives some ministers the heart to go to Israel to reach those who are lost, by doing it in the name of Jesus, those who hear and are glad, will be accepted into God’s kingdom just as those within the church have been brought to salvation (see Luke 10:1-12, 17-20).
Beloved, we have this opportunity from the Lord, not to be amazed at the power with which Jesus Christ gives to us through His Holy Spirit, but to rejoice in the fact the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of all men, bringing them to salvation, showing that the power of God is still at work within us and shines a light into all the world. It is simple and true that the gospel message being proclaimed can and will change hearts and minds that Jesus Christ is God’s firstborn who has been raised from the dead incorruptible.
So, likewise we who have been blood bought by the crucifixion as Calvary are now no longer under the curse of sin and death, but are made right with Him who purchased us from the grave. I pray this encourages you to pick up God’s word, to see the truth the pages contain. God loves you as much as He loves Israel. Allow Him the right to come into your life; be the miracle and light that He puts within you, and do the same work Jesus calls us all to and preach the gospel message. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.