Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Future Vindication

Ezekiel 39:25-29
(25) "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name.
(26) They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid,
(27) when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations.
(28) Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore.
(29) And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD."

This ends a passage describing what is going to happen to Gog and Magog. It won't be pretty for them as they end up being food for birds and other eaters of carrion. Their destruction will be so massive that Israel will be able to use their weapons as fuel for 7 years. That's a lot of weapons.

The "therefore" of verse 25 is a connector to the previous statement that Israel will know that the Lord acted because of how He dealt with them in their treachery and uncleanness. That is why they had to spend some time in exile. In the end it will all work out for them though.

I can't help but think of New Covenant promises when I read this. It sure sounds to me like the promises that God makes to us as believers. Ephesians 1:13-14 describes how we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Other passages describe how we are filled with the Spirit. I guess I can see a little bit of both sides as I read this passage. It does seem like somehow Israel gets grafted back into the body as they enjoy the same blessings we do as believers in Christ. Or, it would be much simpler to see "Israel" here as the church. However, that is not plain from reading the text.

Either way, God is making a promise that He means to keep. There are consequences for our idolatry. However, if we are His then we can be assured of final restoration in Him. I'm looking forward to that final union with Him in eternity and I think keeping that perspective will help me to avoid sin and its consequences.

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