- Ezekiel 25:1-28:26
- Ezekiel 32:1-32
“‘Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.'” –Ezekiel 28:25-26, ESV
As members of the people of God, the promise to Israel is the same as the promise to you and me. We do not have a “promised land” in the same way Israel did. There are no landmarks and borders or seas to cross to enter into our promised land. But we do have a place, a path, a life that God has for us to live. He has promised an abundant life, the modern-day promised land.
And just as this passage tells we will dwell securely, it also gives the parameters under which that safe dwelling takes place. I will dwell securely when: 1) I am gathered from whence I was scattered; 2) God’s holiness is manifest in me; and 3) when I dwell in my own land.
The scattering and the gathering feels very much like the pieces of my heart. Given to idols of time, career, education, brilliance, and respect, my very self seems, at times, torn apart and scattered all over the hillside. Being gathered back to the Lord means admitting the idolatry and allowing Him to put the pieces back together. One by one, He stitches the tears. He rebuilds the structure by laying the pieces together to once again make a whole. To be gathered back, I have to first admit that I am scattered.
The manifestation of His holiness comes with the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Since these fruit only come from the Spirit, we must be walking in the Spirit in order to experience them. The holiness of God empowered by the Spirit of God marks the people of God.
Dwelling in my own land requires patience, focus, and the discipline to turn away from anything that is not part of my land. God promises a fulfilled, abundant life. That life comes with a particular path for each of us. When He shows me my path, gives me my call, I must stick to that. The temptation to think myself unworthy and tell myself another will fill it, robs me of my promised land. The temptation to take my path and widen it, gathering more and more territory beyond that which God has declared as mine wears me thin and steals the path of another, making both our experiences the lesser for it. Dwelling securely in my own promised land means leaning tight with God to understand where He would have me go next. Security comes by faith in the One leading. Staying on the path He has given allows for the complete fulfillment of the calling.
Embrace the promise that God has a promised land for you. Get yourself ready to be gathered, live in the Holy Spirit’s power, and stay on your own path; do this, and HIs glory will be evident to all.