One People, One Shepherd, One God

Today we are reading from Ezekiel 37:15-28. Last time we met we learned about A God Who Hears and Acts. You can read more in my Ezekiel Studies here and here.


Today Ezekiel has a role play for the people of Israel.

Two sticks.
Stick one: Judah and the house of Israel associated with him.
Stick two: Joseph/Ephraim and the house of Israel associated with him. 
Join those two sticks together.

 15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 

People, being the naturally curious people that we are, will say: 1‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’

Ezekiel's answer is to be: Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. 

God's Promise to the people: First he will make them one nation. Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. 22 And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 

Second: They shall no longer make themselves icky in the sight of God.   He will save his people. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Third: David will be king over them.   They will have but one shepherd, one voice to listen to.
24 “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.

Fourth: God will make a covenant of peace with them.  26 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.forevermore.”

End result:  28 Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst 

When it refers to David being their shepherd, he was not referring to the actual King David who was long since dead. He was referring to the type of David.  So this was a foreshadowing of Christ.

Which has me thinking you know?
David, the best leader that Israel ever had.   A man whose heart longer after God.
Jesus comes from the line of David.   God's very own son.  Whose heart longed after obedience to his heavenly father.

God promises that he will give us a singular shepherd.  We know from history that Jesus is that singular shepherd, that ONE voice we are to listen to.

My question is: Do I listen to that voice?

Lately in my head I've been feeling annoyed and bothered.  It's a natural thing as I adjust to change.  Once I've adjusted to the new norm I'll be fine... but everytime lately that I feel annoyed and bothered God is graciously putting this song in my head.. a mantra if you will that keeps running.. be still and know.. that I am God.

Over and over again.

It makes me check myself.  To call myself to account.  Do I want to listen to those voices of worry and doubt OR do I want to listen to the voice of the one who cares about me more deeply than I can even imagine. 

God wanted Israel his people to know him, to trust him, to know that he forgives their sin, he wants them to be one people, not a people scattered listening to all kinds of voices but his own.

He wants the same for us today.  To be a people united in faith.  A people who will hear his voice and listen to the shepherd he has given us. 

Today.. be still and know that HE is God.  He is our Lord God and We are his people.  

 

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