Friday 24 February 2017

Bible Book:

“I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out” (v. 34)

Ezekiel 20:33-44 Friday 24 February 2017

Psalm: Psalm 114


The Bible often contains threads that weave through the manydifferent books of scripture. They are picked up by differentauthors who use them as images to expand their meaning. Withinthese verses found in chapter 20 we see God referring back toIsrael's most profound and import story, the exodus, in speaking tothe people in exile.

In the first few verses there are see numerous references to theexodus story as God speaks to Ezekiel. The phrase "a mighty handand an outstretched arm" can also be found in Deuteronomy 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 11:2 all inreference to the rescue of the people out of Egypt. And "I willbring you out" also echoes the rescuing of the people fromunder Pharaoh's rule. Verses 35-36 continue the exodus motif inmore blatant terms as God tells the people that they will bebrought to a wilderness like as God did with their forefathers. Allof this reminds the people of what God has done for them in thepast, how they were liberated and brought to the promised land.

The final verses are set as a promise to the people of what Godwill do for them. Having rescued them God will bring them back tothe promised land and they will again offer gifts to the livingGod. God also promises to "manifest my holiness among you",whichagain is a reminder first to the exodus and then to God's dwellingin the temple that had been destroyed at the beginning of theexile. All of this does not come without a cost, the people willremember what they have done, they will remember how they failedand caused the troubles that came upon them. But God will befaithful and deal with them according to their evil ways but inline with God's own grace. This is an encouragement for us all.

To Ponder

  • We are often warned to learn the lessons of the past. Whatlessons have you learnt from a past mistake or success?
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