Israel’s Restoration to God

Open Your Bible

Ezekiel 38:1-23, Ezekiel 39:1-29, Psalm 107:1-3

What began as a simple outing for some ice cream one summer night quickly turned into an unforgettable experience. 

We looked up to see an eerie, brown cloud speeding toward us at an alarming rate while twigs and debris whirled above. Within seconds, my friend’s ice cream melted into a puddle, and we all knew: something was definitely wrong. Sprinting to our cars, we started what would be a long drive home, as bursts of wind shook our vehicles, tree limbs crashed around, and street lights went black, one by one by one all along our route. It seemed as if the blackness would engulf us at any moment. 

Throughout the night we endured torrential wind and rain, a tree crashing down in our driveway, and another demolishing a car around the corner. Eventually we would learn that this type of severe wind storm is called a derecho, and they can cause incredible damage very quickly. If ever there was a stark reminder of our smallness as human beings, this was it. 

No sheer act of will or bravado can face a show of nature and slow down its advance. Such is the reality that the Lord brings in full force against Gog and his assembled army to “display [His] greatness and holiness, and reveal [Himself] in the sight of many nations” (Ezekiel 38:23). In today’s reading, the Lord displays His power in unequivocal ways: “a great earthquake,” “the mountains will be demolished, the cliffs will collapse…,” and He will “pour out torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur on him” (vv.19,20,22). The result: “every human being on the face of the earth will tremble before me” (v.20).

In chapter 39, He continues saying that because of this “they will know that I am the LORD. So I will make my holy name known among my people Israel” (Ezekiel 39:6–7). 

His display of utter destruction and power makes the revelation of Israel’s redemption that much sweeter. This time, the unmitigated pouring out is one of mercy rather than judgement. He says, “I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel” (v.29). An act of abundance, His presence with them is no longer concealed: it is freely given. In place of “disgrace” (v.26), there is a reconciliation, and He promises to “leave none of them behind” (v.28). 

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45 thoughts on "Israel’s Restoration to God"

  1. Terri Baldwin says:

    His faithful love endures forever!

  2. Shanna Morgan says:

    Hey Amber, thanks for sharing! I started reading gentle and lowly a while ago but I haven’t picked it back up to finish in months. I need to go back and finish reading it :)

  3. Autumn McLaughlin says:


  4. Hannah Gilbert says:

    yes!!!! That book did the same

  5. Amber Myers says:

    Hi Shanna, I’ve struggled with reading through any of the prophetic books like Ezekiel for the same reasons, and have had a difficult time reconciling the two sides of God that seem to appear. I recently read Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund and it was just incredible at helping me see and feel God’s heart while reading about His wrath. It’s a great book, and it really has helped me through understanding these more vengeful passages. You should definitely read it!

  6. Amber Myers says:

    Hi Shanna, I’ve struggled with reading through any of the prophetic books like Ezekiel for the same reasons, and have had a difficult time reconciling the two sides of God that seem to appear. I recently read Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund and it was just incredible at helping me see and feel God’s heart while reading about His wrath. It’s a great book that

  7. Amber Myers says:

    Hi Shanna, I’ve struggled with reading through any of the prophetic books like Ezekiel for the same reasons, and have had a difficult time reconciling the two sides of God that seem to appear. I recently read Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund and it was just incredible at helping me see and feel God’s heart while reading about His wrath. It’s a great book that really speaks to this

  8. Kristina Finney says:

    Feel the same reading Ezekiel, and a lot of the Old Testament. But have to remind ourselves, they did not have a Bible to reference. And it goes to show how important it is to share the gospel.

  9. Terany Garnett says:

    There is a deeper meaning of know. It’s like a revelation that shift what we truly depend on. I struggle with thinking that all the destruction doesn’t profane (which means blasphemy against something godly) His holiness. But God’s wrath is good for without it I wouldn’t understand the consequences and severity of sin. Does it sick?- yes but would I want any other way?- again no. Without the destruction and heartbreak, how could I be truly faithful to what Jesus did on the cross. The power just in the resurrection is enough for me

  10. Claire B says:

    Shanna, I will be brutally honest here…I skim the jest and read the other scriptures that usually at the end. Many Old Testament books are difficult to read and comprehend. Just ask the lord to get you through it as best you can. No shame on having difficulty. Theologians have difficulty explaining it. Ezekiel is one of the worst for me on many levels and at my advanced age I can attest it hasn’t changed in my adult life.

  11. Sky Hilton says:

    We definitely have an amazing God that forgives us of things we don’t be deserve to be forgiven for. I hope that we can learn from Ezekiel to always keep God FIRST.

  12. Lanie says:

    I have read many of these passages as futuristic prophesies of the end times. It honestly terrifies me in the context of current events. Reading it this way has been incredibly humbling because we are just a speck in the overall plan. The exiles were just a speck in the overall plan. I read it as “when my prophecies stand true thousands of years later then they (modern day reader) will know I am God” and the same God throughout history. And that brings me comfort.

  13. Jill Epperson says:

    Shanna, I’ve tried to think about it as to why He needs them to know that He is Lord. In order to believe in God and have a true covenant relationship with Him then they had to know that He was God. There were so many competing gods that the nations around them worshipped that He had to do big and mighty things to get their attention. What things does He have to do in our lives so that we will believe and worship Him? Thankfully He loved Israel enough to constantly show Himself to them and He continues to love us and show us who He is in different ways in our lives.

  14. Mercy says:

    Leslie, joining you to pray for the Ukrainian lady and other Ukrainian families.

  15. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I’m so thankful that God can resurrect and restore any situation, no matter how dark it may seem.

  16. Kimberly Jones says:

    I am praying over this woman, her sister, and you right now. ❤️

  17. Ashlee Hickson says:

    I have been redeemed and definitely give thanks to the Lord with every breath ❤️

  18. Rebecca says:

    I wrote a lengthy message and somehow it didn’t post, so know that I’m praying for all of your requests! Peace for you Katie as you wait, joy for you Heidi that your niece had a good week, and rest for you in spite of the 2 year old, happy that Findlay is home! And all others not mentioned.
    Please continue to pray for my son as he moves out into his own apartment that he can stay on a path of sobriety. But most of all that he would find God again. Thanks soooo much!

  19. Leslie Gray says:

    She’s I am in desperate need of prayer for a woman I’ve never met, but cannot get out of my mind.
    She is a Ukrainian woman on my husbands team at work. Her family was killed in the bombing of one of the Ukrainian cities (mother, brother, father, and cousins). Her family sent her and her sister to the US 5 years ago, for more opportunity. She left last week to go try and retrieve the bodies of her family to give them a proper burial. Her sister stayed here in the US. Her sister hasn’t heard from her in about 4 days. Please please pray for her safety and pray that maybe she just doesn’t have any way of communication right now. Pray for her and her sister as they have lost so many family members to this senseless violence. Thank you she’s. I am praying for all your requests as well.

  20. Leslie Gray says:

    She’s I am in desperate need of prayer for a woman I’ve never met, but cannot get out of my mind.

  21. Shaena Elizabeth says:

    SHANNA MORGAN first thank you for being so vulnerable to admit you are struggling with understanding. I too often struggle to understand while reading scripture. I too have noticed the repeated phrase “the they will know I am the Lord” after pondering the thought that comes to my mind is that when God blesses us…we know He is our Lord and a good provider….this study is helping me to see that when God punishes is justly we can see that as “tough love” that is needed to turn us back to God. If he doesn’t allow us to feel the pain of our sin what will motivate us to turn back to Him? Without Him we will suffer for eternity. We NEED to know he is our Lord for our ultimate survival….He doesn’t NEED us at all but rather he LOVES us so much that he relentlessly pursues us despite our continual sin and shortcomings. Hope this helps ❤️

  22. Margaret W says:

    Shanna—68 times—I love that you are keeping count! ❤️ I see it as God loving them so much that he will do what ever it takes to show them who he is and to have a relationship with them. Hope this helps.

  23. Kristina Lopes says:

    Also, thank you Heidi for your analogy on storms – that like the unpredictable weather storms we face, God doesn’t rely on our preparations or abilities. That he’s sovereign over all of it and can bring out the good of any storm. Well put and resonates deeply with me today. ❤️

  24. Kristina Lopes says:

    Hi sisters. Can you all pray for my partner’s surgery today? It’s for his Achilles (his 2nd operation). Please and thank you everyone ❤️

  25. Traci Gendron says:

    I’m so glad that God doesn’t loose His desire to bring us back to Him. If you think about it, the world is the same today as what we are reading. He is still abandoned and rejected time and time again. I’m so thankful for the forgiveness that God offers us. For His desire to bring us back to Him over and over. I pray that my eyes stay looking up towards God. That I never “forget to remember” all that He has done for me.

    DOROTHY AND HEIDI – such great news!
    KATIE – prayers for you
    ADRIENNE – so heartbreaking for your friends. Prayers

  26. Nancy Singleton says:

    Adrienne, praying for your friend’s family-that the young lady receives all the help she needs to recover, & that her parents also receive wise counsel on how best to help her. Shanna Morgan, I believe that God doesn’t need anything from us, rather that we (all people) need to recognize Him as the Almighty, Sovereign, one true God that He is. What amazes me is that he hasn’t run out of patience with humanity yet. Remember, He does not want any to perish…and yet He is a just God. Does that help?

  27. Kathy says:

    SHANNA MORGAN, I don’t believe it’s so much that God NEEDS them to know Him, but that the people need to know Him. One of the reasons they kept falling into sin was that they forgot who God is – holy, righteous, loving, kind, merciful. They kept forgetting that they had made a covenant with God that He would bless and they would be obedient. They broke their part of the covenant. God could have left them where they were and He would be completely right to do so. He could leave us where He finds us, but He doesn’t.
    What I find so miraculous are the lengths that God will go to bring His people back to Him, not because He’s on an ego trip but because He loves us so much. We can’t begin to comprehend that love. It is unfathomable. That is one of the things I have turned to every day of this study. God will judge our sins. There will be consequences, but ultimately the goal is to bring us back into a relationship with him.
    I hope this helps a little. Have a blessed day.

  28. Dorothy says:

    PRAISE THE LORD!!!! GOD is soooo good!!! Finley is coming home today. All went well, after some help from my son and daughter-in-law, with my sister. I found out the type of rehabilitation place they want my sister to go is for physical therapy because she is weak. I didn’t have any trouble talking her into it at first then all of the sudden she changed her mind. She was concerned about her clients — she’s a CPA and has some taxes to do for some clients — but once my son told her the programming she has set up on her laptop and main computer will work together no matter wherever she is then she was will to go. Andrew, my son, and Dani, my d-i-l, went by Carol’s house and checked on things for me. I spent most of the day yesterday at the hospital.
    Ezekiel shows how God loves His people and how He cares for them. Let’s not forget this and thank God for all He does for us.
    Sisters, be blessed and thank God for all He has done for you.

  29. Rhonda J. says:

    Good Morning- Missing lots of familiar names lately, so prayers for you sisters, that all is ok, and that we will see you soon! :)

    I am going to the last meeting of my bible study at church this morning! It was such a blessing, not only the amazing study, which I highly recommend “Armor Of God” by Pricilla Shriver but meeting a great group of women! Being new to the church I wanted to meet people! Last week they prayed over me with the situation with my grandson! Oh what an honor to have sisters of the Lord lay hands on you and lift your situation up to the Lord! And that’s what we do here my SHE’s, we support each other, honor and lift up requests to our Lord! We can lean into each other, and in a way be more transparent and open with our insecurities with a screen between us, a kind of anonymous plea. Which is okay, maybe a gift in a way! We want to hear from you all! :)

    Have a great Thurday!

  30. Morgan Latham says:

    “I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” – Ezekiel 39:29

    I’m so thankful that God doesn’t turn away from us. Being restored to God is a great gift.

  31. Shanna Morgan says:

    Y’all, I’ve been struggling to fully understand this. It feels like God NEEDS them to know that He is Lord. Every time I read “and they shall know I am God” (68 times so far), it feels vengeful and, lack of a better word, petty. But I know that’s not who God is. Any insight?

  32. Michelle Patire says:

    Man, this was intense. It’s supposed to storm where I live today in Pennsylvania. Praying over myself and my car, now. Lol.

    I love knowing that the Jewish people will know the Lord, in the end. Romans 11:26

    Thank you all you women who said encouraging words and prayed for me, yesterday. I can say I definitely experienced a shift in my thoughts. Your prayers helped!! Praise God for hearing our needs. God bless this community. May we live in love, knowing You are FOR us, not against us. Help us to have hearts that receive that truth. Help us to take head knowledge and transfer it into our personal experiences. Thank you Lord.

  33. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    Yahwehs loyal, steadfast love endures forever. Powerful hope. Powerful truth. Praying this hope and truth over us today.

  34. Ally M says:

    Oh KATIE, I remember the stress of college decision day! I’m praying for you. Also praying for Finley (DOROTHY), HEIDI (and your niece and her friend), those who were hit by storms last night in the southern US, and Ukraine. Also, thank you DOROTHY and RHONDA for sharing the song “RATTLE!” yesterday by Elevation Worship. That song made me sing and dance in praise :)

  35. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    “I am the Lord God, who sent them into captivity…but also brought them back…” (Ezekiel 39:28)This is so like our God! He is good, His mercy endures for ever, we are His redeemed — Thank you, Almighty God! Such a good reminder today and as we lead up to resurrection Sunday. We are sinners, it is because of our sin that Jesus went to the cross – but in doing so, He took every one of our sins – past, present and future, and covered them with His blood. Hallelujah! So much to be thankful for.

    @Katie – praying that God will give you peace as you wait to hear, and that when you do it will be the answer that you are hoping for. And if not, that you will know God has a better plan.
    @Heidi – continuing to pray for your niece and her friend. What great news that your niece is doing much better – praise the Lord!

  36. Heidi says:

    Me again ;). If you think of it could you toss a prayer up for me?? I’ve been going through the most horrific fatigue lately. I’m so unbelievably worn out. Plus- We’re supposed to be leaving for a week-long Family trip and it seems relaxing in theory, but as anyone with children (especially 2 year olds!!!) knows, if children come too, your “vacation” turns into a “trip”… still fun and still great, but not much R&R… ;) Want to get back to “myself” again… Thanks ladies.

  37. Leigh Gorham says:

    KATIE – definitely praying! I remember the unknown of college and wanting to be sure I went to the right place. God most definitely knows where you should and will be. I will be praying for His will to be evident, for your heart to be at peace, for your future that is fully known by your Abba. You are seen and there is so much more to come.

  38. Heidi says:

    This commentary/devotional is timely as I sit next to a rain soaked window following storms that occurred all night. We tied down our patio furniture last night in preparation for the unknown. Growing up on the coast of FL, at least our huge storms were confined (mostly!) to an actual “season”. We all knew come August, hurricane season was upon us and we prepared for the inevitable storms as ritualistically as you would an upcoming holiday. It’s a comfort to know that while life’s “storms” don’t come in-season, our God is prepared for every drop of rain and life-changing wind. He’s not reliant on our preparations or abilities. He’s sovereign over all of it and is holy and gracious enough to bring actual good out of the scariest, most life-altering storms.

    UPDATE: my niece has been in sober living about a week now and is doing well so far. Hoping to get to visit soon… Prayers for continued protection, strength and success on her road to sobriety. Also- I have been praying God to give her a glimpse into the life of freedom and beauty that He’s already prepared and positioned her for. That she could SEE what love He has in His plans for her and that it would help motivate her to continue placing steps forward.
    Continued prayers for her friend who is still back in the rehab facility. She’s struggling. She has very little (almost no) outside support which frightens me because without it, she will fall back into destruction. She’s already reached out to my niece that ppl from her past are reaching out to her to, offering her “whatever she needs” (drugs) when she gets out. Pray for support, strength, and confidence in who she is in Christ and what she’s worth. What her LIFE is worth…

    KATIE JORGENSEN: praying and thanking God that nothing UPenn can decide will derail the amazing Plans He has for you!! Praying that whatever the response is from them, you will have gratitude in your heart and mind that you serve a God who has it figured out and will guide you every step of the way :) :) It can be frightening to be in that space of unknown- but enjoy it and pray God to open your eyes to see all the ways He is present during this time! Orchestrating, planning, opening doors… What an amazing upfront view of His intentional activity in your life!! :) Keep us all posted! :)

  39. Stormi Messmer says:


  40. Gayle Radavich says:

    Prayers for peace ☮️ Katie as you wait!

  41. Kathy says:

    Holy, holy, holy God, pour out Your Spirit on me today.

  42. Searching says:

    KATIE J – praying for wisdom, guidance and clarity

    TRACI GENDRON – that’s great news!

  43. Arina says:

    The Israelites would have trembled seeing such an army come their way. But fear doesn’t make the outcome any different. God saved them. His power is so much greater than this seemingly invincible army. So I don’t have to fear because He is greater than anything what might come my way.

    Katie Jorgensen – Praying for peace in your waiting and a good outcome

  44. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Thanks be to God for His merciful acts of restoration. So underserving am I, yet He has made a way for me to come to Him and be transformed into the image of Christ. Thank You Jesus for Your cleansing blood. Thank You Holy Spirit for Your abiding presence.

    Katie Jorgensen – praying that the Lord’s will to be crystal clear.

  45. Katie Jorgensen says:

    Please pray for me, I have a college decision coming out later today from UPenn. I am nervous to hear back but I trust God has a plan for me. These readings have provided me with so much support and really strengthen my relationship with the Lord. God bless everyone!