This week we will look at the return of Israel to the Lord. We have been studying a book titled Target Israel, written by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson. Today God pleads for His people. Then tomorrow we conclude with the Day of Grace.
God Pleads with His People
“As we read the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures, we discover that there were times when the people of Israel loved the Lord their God and followed Him, and there were times when they did not. When they turned away from God, they came under His judgment.
Another important Bible passage that speaks of Israel’s return to the land is found in Ezekiel chapter 20. Notice what God said through the prophet Ezekiel with regard to the distant future: “I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out.” (verse 34) God was saying, “I will do this powerfully, I will do it dramatically.” Then He said, “I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face.” (verse 35)
Why will God plead with His own people face-to-face? Because of His concern over their heart, their attitude, and their relationship to Him. He goes on to say, “I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (verse 38) In summary, Ezekiel foresaw a time when God would spiritually convert the people of Israel and change their heart, soul, and life. And when that happens, He will also purge the rebels from among them. Verse 42 goes on to describe the result: “Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised my hand in an oath to give to your fathers.” (Target Israel, pages 52-53)
God is still pleading with His children Israel and the Gentiles to believe.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001