The Promise of Israel’s Restoration
Open Your Bible
Ezekiel 11:14-25, Ezekiel 12:1-28, Psalm 2:1-6, Matthew 13:16-17
BY Abby Flynn
Restoration and a promise. Exile and a hole in a wall. There’s a lot happening in Ezekiel 11 and 12! But what exactly does it all mean?
At this time, the Israelites were living a life marked by sin and corruption. Even though they had a promise from God, they couldn’t receive it because they were distant from the Lord (Ezekiel 11:15).
As I reread this story, it’s amazing that even when they were unable to take hold of what was the promise, God still walked beside them (v.16). Despite their sin and rebellion, in Ezekiel 11:19, God gives His people a new promise: He would ultimately bring them back from where they were scattered. In place of their shame and mistakes, He would give them a new heart and spirit.
“I will give them integrity of heart and put a new spirit within them.” —Ezekiel 11:19
Hearts of stone aren’t easily changed. This was the kind of transformation that only God could do. Before the transformation, there was an exile (Ezekiel 12:11–12). Even as believers, I think we all would prefer to skip over the pain of our mistakes and go straight to the good stuff. But God knew His people would finally recognize Him as Lord not in the good times, but in their captivity (Ezekiel 12:15).
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
I’ve said and done things I wish I could take back, and I haven’t always been an example of Christ’s love to the people around me. I’ve desired, worked, and strived for things that were outside of God’s plan.
As sinful humans, our hearts often desire things that are not of God. But as we’re learning in Ezekiel, we can’t allow our heart and feelings to be our guide. When we wander off the path God has for us, He will often use what we experience to draw us closer to Himself.
Yet regardless of the mistakes we make, God’s promises still hold true. Forgiveness, hope, and a life of purpose are still available through His name. Are you or someone you know feeling distant from God’s presence and plan? The promises of God are still available to you.
This Lenten season, ask Him to give you a renewed heart and sense of His Spirit. It’s never too late, and you are never too far gone to start again.