Ezekiel - Chapter 35-36

Ezekiel 36:7 - After all this judgement and wrath, this paragraph reads like more is coming. And then this:

Therefore thus says the Lord God: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer reproach.

And He goes on:
But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. I will let people walk on you, even my people Israel. And they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no longer bereave them of children. Thus says the Lord God: Because they say to you, 'You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,' therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Lord God. And I will not let you hear anymore the reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord God."

Ezekiel 36:22 - But God is not acting for their sake, but for His name's sake. On the face it sounds selfish, acting for himself and not for them, however God understand that His reputation is more valuable than their short term welfare. It is His reputation that will allow the salvation of mankind. It is His reputation that will draw men to Him. If He allows man to damage it, that will prevent Him from having a relationship with some of them. Those relationships are more valuable than Israel's welfare at that time.

It is not that God doesn't love them. Although it's not state explicitly here, His love is stated many times in many other places. It's simply that His concern for His name is of greater importance than His love for them. They need to understand that as well, to humble them and that they would not dismiss their former sin (Ezekiel 36:32). God is not dismissing their sin because of them, but because of Him.

For me, this gives me a sense of security. I worship a God who's is love. Not because of me or any great man, but because it is who He is. He doesn't shower His love on me because He thins something of me, but because He has to be who He is, and He is love. Thanks goodness, because assuming He could be fooled into thinking I was something great, He's figure it out eventually. Then if it was for my sake, he's leave me. But it's for His, and in that I can be secure.

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