By Benjamin H. Liles
I honestly believe God chooses us before all else. Why would He go and create such a beautiful world in which we manage affairs alongside Him, and then create us to share all of it with? Unfortunately, we rebelled against Him in the garden of Eden, and it is why Adam and Eve were expelled for not trusting in their Lord and God who made them. Yet, miraculously, we're told by Paul, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:3-6, New King James).
What is it about what Paul says that backs up Ezekiel 47? If we carefully survey the text from Ezekiel 47 we come and read, "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes...Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine" (Ezekiel 47:8-12).
Granted there are verses that are specifically for Israel just as within this text as well, but let's not miss the context. God does the choosing. It's like He told Jonah, "You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. Should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?" (Jonah 4:10-11, Holman Christian Standard).
Christ himself said, "I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:44-45, Berean Study). If we can distinguish the fact God can do as He wills within both scripture as well as in life, we submit to His authority that all flesh can be saved. It's like Peter said, and I have used these verses a lot, "Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:8-9).
Healing then is something God does to show His favor, not just among men, but to do a wonderful thing in restoring all, and this includes Israel as well as the world. If Jesus Christ can take twelve ordinary Israeli-Jewish men, who were mere fishermen and one of them being a former tax collector, and make them into fishers of men, then He can do "far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us" (Ephesians 3:20, New American Standard). And we ought to be peacemakers as He calls us to be in His word. We can be His agents of healing in this world. For those of us who are receive a different kind of reward when we see Him face to face. I pray this blesses and encourages you today. God bless and may the light of Jesus Christ be your guide. Amen.