Wednesday after Exaudi Sunday
Posted on May 24, 2023 byunder
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.”
At the time of the prophet Ezekiel, most of Israel had rejected God and had been sent off into captivity, while a few were allowed to remain in Jerusalem. Because they were still in Jerusalem, they thought they were God’s special people. To those who were in captivity they said with disdain, “Get far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.” What they did not understand was that God was doing the opposite. God would be with those in exile, “yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”
Centuries later, a similar kind of arrogance would be found in Jerusalem. Though the chief priests, scribes, and elders of Israel had God’s Word, they failed to recognize Jesus. They were so blinded by their own self-importance that they would crucify Jesus in the hopes of retaining their status among both the Jews and the Romans.
Thankfully, we know how that turned out. They did indeed crucify Christ, only to have Him rise from the grave on the third day. The Good News of Christ and the forgiveness of sins has reached people throughout the world. Through Holy Baptism, God continues to do what He promises, “I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh 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.”
Prayer: 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.