I just finished reading through the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel. As Israel had broken the covenant (and God was bringing judgment), Ezekiel is not always the easiest book to read. But as is typical of the OT prophets, Ezekiel does not leave God’s people without hope.
There is the promise of a new and better covenant, where God will cleanse His people, give them a new heart, and guide them by His Spirit (Eze. 36:25-27). The LORD promises to rescue, gather, and feed His people like a well-cared for flock, saying, “I Myself will be the Shepherd of My sheep” (Eze. 34:11-15).
While God’s glory had once filled the Temple (2 Chronicles 5:14), Ezekiel describes of seeing God’s glory departing because of Israel’s sin (Eze. 10:18-19). By this time, the elders of God’s nation had turned to idols. They thought, “God doesn’t see us; He’s forsaken the land” (Eze. 8:12). They had given up on the Lord, but He was far from giving up on Israel. A time of judgment came, but there was also a precious guarantee of restoration.
The glory of God would one day return to Jerusalem. The last verse of Ezekiel gives these words of hope: “And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The LORD Is There” (Eze. 48:35). While I believe this promise speaks of a future Kingdom and a New Jerusalem, I pray for these words to be true at our church and in my home: The LORD Is There.
May we not wander like silly sheep and forget God’s presence is always with us. May we seek Him first with thankful hearts, because He is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for us. May others see our changed lives and say, The LORD Is There.