Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after Exaudi Sunday

Posted on May 15, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Ezekiel 11:14-20 (NKJV)
11:14 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 15 “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”’ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”’ 18 And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.”
Ezekiel is very worried about the remnant of Israel. He wonders what will become of the people of Jerusalem. But God tells him, “Your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen” are not the inhabitants or rulers of Jerusalem. They are the Israelites who were carried away into exile in Babylon. The Lord has scattered them among the gentiles, but has not cast them off forever.
The exiles will not just rejoin the inhabitants of Jerusalem, they will form the whole house of Israel. There of course is a parallel here to the Church of Christ. It is only with the coming of Christ that the people of God are given a new spirit, a new fleshly heart, rather than the old heart of stone. God gathers His people from all over the world. The people who come from afar to Christ are like the exiles in Babylon. People with no hope are made sons.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem are like the modern, unbelieving Jews. They are the natural heirs, but have abandoned their birthright. How grateful we should be that we have been grafted into Christ. God, in His mercy has brought us back from the land of darkness. How blessed we are that in our baptism God has called us His people.
Collect: Almighty, everlasting God, make us to have always a devout will toward Thee, and to serve Thy Majesty with a pure heart; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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