A Restored Heart (by the Power of the Spirit)

Ezekiel 11:1–25 (NKJV)

11:1 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the East Gate of the Lord’s house, which faces eastward; and there at the door of the gate were twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And He said to me: “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city, who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; this city is the caldron, and we are the meat.’ Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man!”

Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said to me, “Speak! ‘Thus says the Lord: “Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the slain.” Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the caldron; but I shall bring you out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you,” says the Lord God. “And I will bring you out of its midst, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and execute judgments on you. 10 You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. 11 This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the meat in its midst. I will judge you at the border of Israel. 12 And you shall know that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” ’ ”

13 Now it happened, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord God! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?”

God showed that the false religions, and specifically the Jews involvement in them, brought judgment.  The very worship of false gods created a boiling cauldron of judgment upon Israel.  Fittingly, one of the men that God had called out for this judgment died in the middle of the prophecy.

14 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 15 “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” ’ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.” ’ 18 And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.

In this passage, God tells them of how restoration will begin.  He will save a remnant, and then gather them from where they are scattered.  He will take them back to Israel, but as He does He will drive out the idols, bring them together with one heart, take out their heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.  He will call the people back to His laws and statutes.  Those who desire ungodly things will be repaid for their sins.

22 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city.

24 Then the Spirit took me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to those in captivity. And the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25 So I spoke to those in captivity of all the things the Lord had shown me.

After this vision of God’s restoration of the people of Israel, the cherubim–with the presence of the Lord–lifted up, and Ezekiel was taken to Chaldea, in the midst of the captives of Israel to tell them of the prophecy.

One of the most powerful messages of this chapter is the restoration of what was lost.  Regardless of the reason for loss (wrongdoing, sin, failure), God can and will restore those who return to Him.  Don’t stay away from God when crisis comes.  Instead, cling to Him and be restored in your heart by the power of the Spirit of God.

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