The people of Israel were uprooted from their own land due to blatantly dishonoring God’s name among the nations. Their obvious denial of the greatness of God and continuous reliance upon idols resulted in their captivity by Assyria, then Babylon. It was the upheaval of the Babylonian empire 70 years later that ushered in a new era under Cyrus the Persian, under whose leadership the nation of Israel (then consisting of the tribes of Levi, Benjamin, and Judah) were allowed to return to their land and rebuild. Their rebellion and pride had been extreme, as was their punishment. Now God promised to restore them.
The God of Israel returned the rebellious nation of Judah to their home, and in the face of opposition helped them rebuild the city wall and Temple in Jerusalem. He restored the land to its former glory. If God did the work of total restoration for disobedient people, how much more does He desire to restore His obedient people, who are called to be His devoted servants among the nations of the world? If we, who desire to be witnesses of His fame among the nations, repent and return wholeheartedly to the sole Satisfier of our hearts, how much more will He pour out His presence on us in the most unlikely places of our cities and nations?
What has God brought you out of in the past? Have you seen His deliverance before? If you sense chaos, upheaval, or uprooting in your environment, why not ask the Mighty Restorer of All Things to show you what He is planting? What new thing is He doing in you, through you? His restoration is long-lasting and complete. Take heart, beloved, the doors He opens, no man can shut. “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt…Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it” (Ezekiel 36:33, 36).
Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 36: 16-28
A Moment to reflect:
What has God brought you out of in the past? What has He brought you out of in the past year of this global pandemic?
Have you seen His deliverance before, how so?
What new thing is He doing in you, through you? How can this help you to take heart in the season you're currently in?
By Julie Branstetter- an excerpt from For Such A Time As This: Walking Through Crisis
*A moment to reflect is added for this post.