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by Ron Rose

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    In Babylon the people had no king, no temple, no city of their own, and no land. All they had was God. Yet King Nebuchadnezzar treated them with unexpected dignity. He gave them fields and homes and permitted them to own businesses. A few even became trusted advisers to the king. The people of God, now called Jews, resided in the greatest city of their day, but their hearts were back in Jerusalem.

his is what the Lord GOD says: I am going to take the people of Israel from among the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule all of them. They will never again be two nations; they will not he divided into two kingdoms anymore. They will not continue to make themselves unclean by their idols, their statues of gods which I hate, or by their sins. I will save them from all the ways they sin and turn against me, and I will make them clean. Then they will he my people, and I will be their God.
EZEKIEL 37:21-23
    The prophet Ezekiel helped keep their memories of Jerusalem alive. God gave him graphic visions with unmistakable messages. In one such vision Ezekiel stood at the edge of a valley full of dry bones. God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and tell them to come to life. When Ezekiel gave the command, the rattle of bones snapping together echoed across the valley. God put flesh and skin on the skeletons, and before long a mighty army stood before the amazed prophet.

    God used this incredible experience to demonstrate the power of his redeeming love. Even though the nation of Israel was as dead as the bones, God would soon bring his beloved people back to life. They would again live in the homeland. They would again have an identity as a nation. Because of God’s undying love, he would soon raise his people out of the ashes of exile into a new life.

Reflection: Our God is perfectly capable of invading our world with the impossible. In the beginning he created life with his words and his breath. He surely could create new life with the bones of past life. God does not merely reclaim his people; he resurrects them, giving them new life and a new identity. In our limited understanding we are pleased with reclaiming the best of what we’ve already experienced. God, on the other hand, always plans for more than we are capable of anticipating.

 
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      Text copyright © 1997, Multnomah Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

      Title: ""
      Author: Ron Rose
      Publication Date: November 3, 2002


 
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