Day 32

Israel’s Restoration to God

from the Lent 2022: Come to Life reading plan


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

BY Jennifer Redmond

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). 

Post Comments (45)

45 thoughts on "Israel’s Restoration to God"

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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