This week, we’re looking at perhaps the most famous text in the book of Ezekiel, chapters 36-37. The people are in exile in Babylon, and God has made it clear that he will once again step in and rescue his people. But Ezekiel 36:19-23 tells us about God’s motive. In other rescue stories, God has been motivated by his love and compassion for his people. But in this text, God’s motive is his own reputation among the nations. The thing that Israel (and we) often forgot was that God’s story isn’t ultimately about us. We are not the center of the story; we are not the main character. God is. And so God acts to save his people in order that the world might know exactly who God is. And the way he will do it is by giving the people a change of heart; by putting his spirit within them so that they live out God’s creation design. Then the nations will know who God is (36:36). Then, what God has said in the abstract is fleshed out (sorry… I had to) in the vision of the valley of dry bones, where God does a remarkable work of resurrection. Salvation is always a work of resurrection and renewal by the spirit, a point made abundantly clear by Jesus both in his teaching (John 3) and in his own life (John 20).
Dave’s Main Points
- An Important Reminder
- A Change of Heart
- A New Life
- Dave spoke of God choosing to make himself known through his people. What goes through your mind when you think of this truth?
- How do God’s people ‘say something’ about God? How are you doing? How do you know?
- Speak of some of the ways in which you make yourself the center of your world.
- Spend a significant amount of your time telling your story in the context of God giving you a new heart and new spirit.