Ezekiel 33-36

“There will be showers of blessing…” Do you remember that song? The words were taken from Ezekiel 34:26. Ah, restoration, sweet restoration.

We’ve been plowing through some not-so-fun passages concerning the rebellion and evil in Israel and the surrounding nations. Now we are entering some of the good parts of the prophecy.

The day will come when our God will restore Israel. He will bring back the people to their land, and He will shower them with blessings … because the day will come when they will return to Him.

But it gets even better. The day will come when the shepherds will no longer be selfishly lording over their charges. The day will come when the Lord will raise up a Chief Shepherd over the house of Israel. He will sprinkle the people clean, and turn the desolate land into the “Garden of Eden.” (36:35) The “desolate and ruined cities will be inhabited.” And the nations round about will know that the Lord God has done this.

What a promise! Good days are ahead.

And there’s even more! He will give His people “a new heart and a new spirit within them; and He will remove the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. And He will put His Spirit within them.” (36:26-27)

So here we have a prophecy concerning the new birth and the Holy Spirit coming to live in the heart of man. At the time this was prophesied, there is no way that the people could understand it, but in retrospect, we can understand exactly what He was saying.

The Chief Shepherd is Jesus: God Himself coming to be our Shepherd. And after He pays the price, God’s people can have his Spirit living within them – guiding, leading, comforting them so that they can live their best life.

Fast forward to today, and we have all of these benefits – indeed, showers of blessing which Ezekiel prophesied.

How do we repay him for all of His benefits toward us? “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 116:12-13).

That’s what I am going to do. Our Savior paid a huge price for what He did for us. Now I am going to partake of every bit of it.

What about you?

I Peter 5

How many times do we hear this reiterated? “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (V.5).

There are those who misunderstand this and think that it’s better to be down-trodden, poor, sick, and weak. Yet that is not what Peter is saying.

We can be healthy, rich, and strong – and still be humble. In fact, that is what is God’s plan for us.

So where is the mixup? Humility involves a heart which doesn’t take credit for all of the benefits, but knows that God is the source. When there is true humility, then we don’t see ourselves as higher than others, because we know that God loves them too. Maybe they are not in a position to receive all that He has, but all is available for them, as it is for us.

Now there are those who are suffering persecution because of their faithfulness to God, and Peter is addressing those also. Even those will be perfected, confirmed, strengthened, and established by God Himself. He gives them great honor now and in the life to come.

For all of us, the cares which come our way are to be “cast upon the Lord, knowing that He cares for us.” (V.7)

When we do things our Father’s way, He will lift us up at the proper time.

Such peace ensues when we are in this mode of thinking. His love is always with us.

Amazing, isn’t it?