by Pastor Steve Liersch
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For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land (Ezekiel 36:24).
I couldn’t help but think of the current COVID times when so many people would like someone (anyone) to gather them up and get them back to their homeland. We’ve all heard stories of people being separated from families, friends and places that mean so much to them.
It begs the question when reading this promise to the Jews in exile after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC: why did God let all this bad stuff happen if, in the end, he also had the power and passion to restore them? The answer isn’t that hard to find as we learn about the reasons for the destruction of the Jewish nation. Sin, in a word. Not just personal but collective sin as a nation. Worship of other gods, oppression of the poor and widows, corruption, fallen priests and wicked leadership. Wow, that’s some list.
Despite any of our personal or collective failures, we all need something to look forward to. And God is just the one to provide us with hope for a better future. He promises restoration, forgiveness and peace in our lives through his Son, Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords. We also need to remember not to get too comfortable in this world because it’s only our temporary dwelling place. ‘For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands’ (2 Corinthians 5:1).
The greatest change of scenery we’ll ever have is when John’s vision of the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven (Revelation 21:1–4) becomes the eternal reality.
Some changes of scenery really are worth waiting for!
Think about a place you might rather be now and the people you’d like around you. How does that compare with what God’s offering us?
Almighty God, you have promised us so much through your Son, Jesus. Give my heart and mind a wonderful sense of peace and expectation of what our heavenly home will be like in your presence. Amen.