You have heard someone say, “Don’t hold your breath,” right? Usually they are referencing a promise someone has made, and they feel that you might die before you see that promise come true. Ezekiel is going to make some bold promises in the last section of his book, but you can bet the farm because these promises will come true.
For thirty-three chapters, Ezekiel has born the bad news of Israel’s destruction. Jerusalem would be lost and Israel would suffer the most devastating event in their national history. In Ezekiel 33, a messenger arrives in the refugee camp in Babylon. He recounts the fall of Jerusalem and it confirms Ezekiel’s prophecies completely.
Such doom and gloom may have been more than you wished to handle, but you had to hang in there. In order for Ezekiel’s prophecies of restoration to have merit, his prophecies of destruction must have been completely accurate. The last thirty-three chapters become the handle by which you can confidently receive the message of hope in the remaining chapters.
The most iconic passage in Ezekiel is chapter thirty-seven where he is told to prophesy to a valley of dead bones. Right before his eyes, the bones click together, the sinews wrap around the skeletons, and the breath of God fills the bodies and they become a living army. This pictures the restoration of Israel which echoes the creation account in Genesis where God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. God describes His campaign to restore His creation back to it’s original form which includes a re-creation, destroying the Evil in the world (aka Gog), a new leader will be enthroned (“The Son of David”), and the Spirit of God will be poured out upon God’s people. One day, His people would never disobey Him and would live in perfect peace with Him. Everything points back to the Garden of Eden (as you can see in Ezekiel 47).
All of this sounds fantastic, maybe even unrealistic, but it is verified. God’s work comes down to the heart and soul of his people. His recreation must involve breathing into them the breath of the Spirit and the reformation of the heart. Jesus spoke of a new heart that would fulfill the Law of God which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. The only hope for you today is to be recreated (Titus 3:5) and for God to triumph over the Evil which is still at work today (Ephesians 2). When God heals your heart and fills your soul with the Spirit of God, you are promised eternity with Him. Sounds too good to be true? Reread the previous thirty-three chapters and “know that He is the Lord.”