THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part LV: God's Reversing The Fortunes Of Israel And Her Land
A. The Promised Land of Canaan is a significant part of God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 to bless him and his descendants.
B. However, though God gave the Promised Land to Israel, sin in Israel's people led to God's displacing her people to other lands, leaving the Promised Land a land and Israel entities that were mocked by Gentiles.
C. God's covenant still stood, so He had His prophet Ezekiel predict the restoration of Israel's people to the Promised Land and a reversing of their fortunes as well as the fortunes of the land itself. We view this prophecy in Ezekiel 36:1-15 for insight and application (as follows):
II. God's Reversing The Fortunes Of Israel And Her Land, Ezekiel 36:1-15 ESV.
A. The Lord had Ezekiel prophecy to the mountains of Israel (Ezek. 36:1), what is expanded in Ezekiel 36:4a to include the hills, ravines, valleys, desolate wastes and deserted cities of the whole Promised Land.
B. This prophecy actually addresses the concerns of the people of Israel who longed to be back in their land, so the land at times personifies the people of Israel themselves in this Ezekiel 36:1-15 prophecy.
C. The first part of the prophecy condemned the Gentiles who had abused Israel and the Land, Ezekiel. 36:2-7:
1. God reported that the enemy Gentiles of Israel had said that the ancient heights of the Promised Land had become their own possession when God's people had been taken captive to a foreign land, Ezekiel 36:2.
2. Such a claim violated God's Abrahamic Covenant that the Promised Land belonged to Israel, so God announced that because the Gentiles had made the land desolate and a possession for the rest of the Gentile nations, and the object of evil gossip of the people of Israel (Ezekiel 36:3), He had a special message of comfort for His people and their Promised Land and thus for its rightful tenants, Israel's people, Ez. 36:4.
3. The Lord announced that He had a message in His "hot jealousy" against the rest of the Gentiles and especially Edom, for the Edomites gave God's Promised Land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt to take its pasturelands as a prey at Israel's demise, Ezekiel 36:5 ESV.
4. Since the Promised Land had suffered such contempt and reproach when it was God's Land, He would cause the Gentiles who had mistreated the Promised Land themselves to suffer reproach, Ezekiel 36:6-7.
D. Following this condemnation of the Gentile abusers of the land and Israel, God promised to restore the land and His people to the land, what will occur in the Messianic Kingdom, Ezek. 36:8-15; B. K. C., O. T., p. 1297:
1. God promised that the Promised Land would shoot forth its branches and yield its fruit for its rightful people of Israel, for they would soon come home to that Land, Ezekiel 36:8.
2. The Lord promised that He was supportive of the Promised Land, that He would turn to it so that the land would be tilled and sown to be productive of crops for God's people, Ezekiel 36:9.
3. God would then multiply people on the Promised Land, those of the whole house of Israel, both the Northern tribes of Israel and the Southern tribes of Benjamin and Judah, Ezekiel 36:10a. Their cities would be inhabited and their waste places rebuilt, Ezekiel 36:10b.
4. Not only would Israel's people be multiplied on the land, but animals would be multiplied there and be productive, with the land being inhabited as in its former times with God blessing being greater in the end than He had ever blessed it before so that the people would realize that God was the Lord, Ezekiel 36:11.
5. God would let His people walk on the Promised Land, He would let them possess it, making the Promised Land their inheritance so that the land would no longer be bereaved of children, Ezekiel 36:12.
6. The Gentiles had mocked the Promised Land, claiming it devoured its people and bereaved its nation of its children, but God would no longer let the Promised Land bereave its people of their children, and the land would no longer hear the reproach of the Gentile nations in bearing the disgrace of the peoples as the people of the Promised Land would no longer cause themselves to stumble in wickedness, Ezek. 36:13-15.
Lesson: Since God promised the Promised Land to Israel, it belongs to Israel regardless what the Gentiles claim, so God will enforce His blessing of Israel in her Promised Land, fulfilling His Abrahamic Covenant.
Application: (1) May we respect the property God has given to others as a possession, Exodus 20:15, 17. (2) May we honor the God-given rights others have to their property even if it has been put in our control, Ex. 22:26-27.