Today we are wrapping up the book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel is, at times, quite difficult to read. Perhaps not as bad as Leviticus, but it is definitely one of the tougher Prophets to get through. The first two thirds of the book is about judgment (not a very happy subject). But you’ve made through that and arrived at the uplifting stuff about Israel’s restoration and their place in the Millennial Kingdom.
In Chapter forty-seven we read about a river that flows from the temple. When the water pours into the Dead Sea, it turns the salt water fresh. Fish will be in this river, and fisherman will stand on its shore, casting their nets, catching many different species of fish. Trees will grow along its banks, bearing fruit monthly. “Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
In Chapter forty-eight, the final chapter, we read about the division of the land among the tribes of Israel. A special portion of this land will be set apart for the LORD and be given to the priests and in its center will be a sanctuary for the LORD. There will also be a city, with twelve gates named after the tribes of Israel; this city will be called “the LORD is there.” Yahweh is there.
As has been already mentioned, Ezekiel is writing this book in a tumultuous time for the Israelites. They are in a hopeless state. Feeling forsaken and wondering if God will ever restore His people. The last fifteen chapters of Ezekiel offered the Israelites hope that God would indeed restore them. Ezekiel ends on a hopeful note: a city in the middle of the Promised Land named Yahweh is there. Those who were in a land that was not their own, suffering under the hands of great oppressor would have certainly been uplifted by such a promise from a God who shows He won’t forget His people.
We, too, serve that God who doesn’t forget and doesn’t break His promises. Even when you’re in the deepest, darkest, depths of depression have hope. Even when the world is crumbling around your feet, and it seems like it will never get better, know it will. Even when your doubts overtakes all other feelings you have, believe God is stronger. He has a plan. He’s made a promise. And He keeps His promises. One day we will be in God’s Kingdom and Yahweh will be there.