Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Israel the Nation Born: Re-born by God (Ezekiel 37)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          When I say what I do here it's from reports I've heard from before I was born. In 1948 two nations were responsible for the people of Jacob to have a homeland named for them: Israel became a nation! It's not that they were never a nation to begin with, for God says so.

          To the prophet He said, "On that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no longer depend on him who struck them, but they will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand of the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overflowing with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of Hosts will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land. Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD of Hosts says: 'O My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear Assyria, who strikes you with a rod and lifts his staff against you as the Egyptians did. For in just a very little while My wrath will be spent and My anger will turn to their destruction'" (Isaiah 10:20-25, Berean Study).

          Through all the times in Israel's willful sin against her God and King, still He loved her so much to keep her spot free for her when the days of exile were over. And here we are now in 2018, a good seventy years after Israel became a free nation among the wolves of nations already there. And not only that, but with a ragtag army of men in 1967 Israel defended themselves for six days against neighbors that wished to see her destruction! Such is the hand of our God in the midst of trouble!

          If God can do all He says He can, including, "[Going] before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people" (Exodus 13:21-22, New King James). Before long, as God made the way clear for His people, He also "moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night" (Exodus 14:19-20).

          So as we look at Ezekiel 37 we see God bringing life to bones, but withholding His breath, momentarily, and then He gives these bones life and a land to be theirs, forever. Then we see His prophet seeing  "[a] valley...full of bones...David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant...My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore" (Ezekiel 37:1-28).

          While I personally don't know many confessing Messianic Jews, I would surely think and believe there are many who have tasted and seen how good and great their God is. They have witnessed His strong hand in their hearts, their lives, and thus have put their trust in the One who gave His life for all who believe in His Son who came and died on the cross. For it is Jesus we receive life from. It is He who said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him" (John 14:6-7, New American Standard).

          And that's the thing of it, before we take and accept God's gift of life through His Son, Jesus Christ, we are all dead in our sins. Not one single breath of life is within us. We may be told by Him to stand on our feet, hearing Him call for sinew and muscle to clothe us, but without His breath of life within us we simply cannot live. So we ought to consider Jesus's words to Nicodemus: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:5-8, New King James). 

          We are given life by the Father when we accept His gift of grace, in which we acknowledge our sins and turn from them to receive His gift. It isn't that we deserve for we do not. He gives it basically on condition we will not willfully engage in sin and its effects. It's like Paul said, "We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not desire, I admit that the Law is good. In that case, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it" (Romans 7:14-16, Berean Study).

          In other words, where we have accepted God's gift of grace on our lives we no longer desire to stand against Him, but live within the light and truth of what His Holy Spirit brings to our minds. It is in this that we all do our best to live in His righteousness as He imparts it to us through Jesus Christ, for again, it's not that we deserve it, but the gift is ours as we accept the work of Jesus being crucified on the cross. He gave up His holy and righteous life so that God's wrath isn't upon us for our sinful deeds and lives. When we exchange a sinful life for the life He desires us to have, we become His children, those who accept His love and grace upon them. No longer are we slaves to sin and death, but we live victoriously through the conquering blood of Jesus Christ.

          I pray this helps and encourages you to know and see God differently. A lot of us, myself included, have lived defeated and mediocre lives before God came into our lives. In effect He has taken this once burned out shell of a man and redeemed him for mighty works through faith in Him who calls life from death. So it is as I pray for you. That you may see God is life and He is everlasting. For through Him we have access to Him, His glory and Heaven. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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