I was reading through Ezekiel 11 and 12 today, according to the Bible reading plan that our team is using. The instructions for our time say that we should pick out the verse that speaks the most to us.
But today, instead of thinking about this, I was trying to think about what God was saying the most through these two chapters.
There is a famous section in Ezekiel 11 about God turning the peoples’ heart of stone into a heart of flesh, so I considered picking this, but I actually don’t think that this is the main message that God is trying to get across in these couple of chapters.
Instead, I think that the message that I see coming through Ezekiel is that the people of Israel have been disobedient and God will punish them. But even that declaration of punishment isn’t the main message.
In chapter 12, God says this:
The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’Ezekiel 12:20
God wants his people to recognize him for who he truly is. He is the Lord. He is the one who brought them out of Egypt. The one who sustained them in the desert, who brought them into the promised land. He has been faithful to them, even when they haven’t been faithful to him. The people of Israel have gone and served other gods. They have not recognized God for who he is and what he has done for them.
So this is the reason for God’s punishment of the Israelite people. God wants them to know him for who he is. To glorify him for who he is, just as he intended from the beginning and wants them to do even now.
God wants his people to know that he is God and glorify him for who he is. And that is what I believe God wants to tell us even today. He wants us to recognize him for who he is and what he has done for us. And without this, in the same way that God punished the Israelite people, we can expect a similar wrath to come upon us. God has been patient and kind, and will continue to be, but he expects that we will acknowledge him for who he is: the God of the universe, the King above all kings, the One who loves us, who pursued us and even sacrificed himself for us. And he is the one who deserves the glory.