Prophecy to the Mountains of Israel


Text: Ezekiel 36

 

I.         This is a continuation of the prophecy against Edom, now focusing on the restoration of Israel - Ezekiel 36:1-3

            A.        It is directed to the mountains because the people have gone into captivity.

            B.        Figuratively it is directed to the people of Israel in their captivity.

            C.        Given because Edom had thought to claim the land - Ezekiel 35:10

            D.        Given because foreign nations have emptied the land and spoken against - Deuteronomy 28:37; Jeremiah 24:9

II.        God’s response - Ezekiel 36:4-15

            A.        Edom and the other nations took possession of the land of Israel

                        1.         They did so by their own decision, joyfully, and in spite of Israel

                        2.         They plundered Israel’s land

                        3.         God allowed this because of His jealousy for Israel. He wanted His people for Himself. In other words, the punishment was to turn the people around.

                        4.         Because Israel bore the shame of other nations, the other nations would also bear shame - Psalm 123:3-4; Jeremiah 25:9, 29

                        5.         This God promised with an oath, signified by a raised hand - Ezekiel 20:5, 15; Deuteronomy 32:40

            B.        The land, however, will restore itself in preparation for the return of Israel - Isaiah 4:2

                        1.         The restoration was at hand, even though the captivity is only about 1/3 over.

                        2.         The certainty comes from the one make the promise - God

                        3.         God is not the enemy, but the one who cares - Psalm 46:1; Zechariah 8:12

            C.        The land will be occupied once again and its ruins restored - Isaiah 61:4; Jeremiah 31:27; Amos 9:11-15

                        1.         It would be better than before.

                        2.         Like Job - Job 42:12

            D.        God is doing this because the nations had accused God of destroying His own people and their children -Micah 7:8-10

                        1.         God would no longer need to do this because Israel would no longer provoke Him

            E.        The people have borne the taunts of the nations, but no more - Isaiah 54:4; 60:14; Zephaniah 3:19-20

III.       Why God did this to Israel - Ezekiel 36:16-23

            A.        Israel had the land, but they polluted it with their deeds, like a woman in her menstruation - Jeremiah 2:7; Psalm 106:37-38; Isaiah 24:5

            B.        Therefore, God justly displayed His wrath to the people - Jeremiah 44:6; Lamentations 2:4

            C.        As a result, the people were sent into captivity – a punishment in accordance to the things they had done - Ezekiel 22:31; 18:30; Romans 2:6

            D.        But their scattering did not bring glory to God

                        1.         Instead of seeing these dejected people as receiving punishment for their misdeeds

                        2.         People began to say that it was the result of their religious beliefs (what they claimed and not what they actually did).

                        3.         Isaiah 52:5

                        4.         The fault was in the Israelites who did not admit their own fault

                        5.         They profaned God’s name.

                                    a.         Recall that God acted so that His name would not be profaned - Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22

                        6.         Israel is not being restored because they deserve it, but to restore honor to God’s name - Deuteronomy 9:5-7; Psalm 115:1-2

                        7.         God will sanctify His name once again - Psalm 46:10; Psalm 126:1-3

IV.      God will restore Israel - Ezekiel 36:24-32

            A.        Jeremiah 32:37; 50:19-20

            B.        It is not just a physical restoration, but a spiritual one as well - Proverbs 30:12; Isaiah 4:4; Jeremiah 33:8; Hebrews 10:22

                        1.         Idolatry will be abandoned - Isaiah 17:7-8

                        2.         Ultimately fulfilled in the New Testament - Zechariah 13:1-2

            C.        God will change their attitude - Ezekiel 11:19

                        1.         From a heart of stone - Zechariah 7:12; Matthew 13:20-21

                        2.         To a heart of flesh - Psalm 51:10; Jeremiah 31:33

            D.        Then they would obey God - Isaiah 59:21

                        1.         Again, fulfilled ultimately in the New Testament - Ephesians 1:13-14; I John 3:24

            E.        Then they would be God’s - Zechariah 13:9

                        1.         New Testament - Hebrews 8:10; II Corinthians 6:16-7:1

            F.        When delivered from their unclean ways, God would bless them - Micah 7:19

                        1.         New Testament - Zechariah 13:1; Matthew 1:21; Titus 2:14

                        2.         They would no longer be ashamed - Joel 2:26

            G.        Then would come true repentance - Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 31:18-20

                        1.         New Testament - II Corinthians 7:10-11; Romans 6:21

            H.        Even then, God is not doing it for the people’s sake, but for His own - Daniel 9:18-19

                        1.         New Testament - II Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:3-6; Romans 5:8

V.        Israel will know they have been forgiven when God restores them - Ezekiel 36:33-38

            A.        Cities would be rebuilt, the land would be cultivated - Isaiah 51:3

            B.        God will do all this - Hosea 14:4-9

                        1.         He will let Israel ask for these blessings - Psalm 102:17; Jeremiah 29:11-13

                        2.         New Testament - Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 4:16

            C.        Jeremiah 30:19; Zechariah 8:19-23