And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there. Ezekiel 48:35

This is a remarkable way to finish the book. It’s a picture of a future Israel with a temple, a great river, agricultural fertility (Ezekiel 47) and even restored land allotments for all the tribes of Israel. It’s a picture of renewal and blessing. One is left wondering, why so much abundance for a nation that was so wayward?

We’ve had the most appalling descriptions of how badly the Israelites have acted throughout the book. How they not only abandoned the Lord but engaged in the most horrendous behaviour. And yet God still wants to be in relationship with his people!

The name of the city will be, the Lord is there. The Lord wants to dwell amongst his people. God’s desire, since the Garden of Eden, is to have fellowship with the people he created. We see the final culmination of this desire at the end of the Bible. “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3).

God’s incredible love makes a way where there seems to be no way. When we see our world moving away from Christian principles and even away from ethical behaviour, we know God can restore. Not only is there restoration but an enriched fellowship with him. Through the voluntary death of Jesus on the cross, the penalty of sin has been dealt with, “once and for all” (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 9:26; 10:2; 10:10). Now, we wait to see the fulfilment of all that God has planned.

God’s amazing promises of blessing, keep us encouraged, hopeful and expectant.

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