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It happened. In 587 BC Jerusalem had fallen to the Babylonians. Those in exile said ‘It is not fair. This was our land, they said, and those people took it.” God’s response indicated the land belonged to God, not them. God had told them they would reap what they sow. They ignored his commandments and showed themselves unfit to possess the land. So God allowed them to lose it.
The people of the day ignored the warnings Ezekiel gave to them. They heard the words but they made no difference in their daily lives. They likely said ‘what a wonderful preacher’ but walked away from his messages.”
I never felt called to analyze me preachers of the past. I refuse to get into discussion about them. My prayer has always been ‘Holy Spirit reveal your truths through your Word into my life.” O God change my life. O God teach me your ways. But the people would not listen to the spoken word.
They waited too long. By the time they realized they needed to change Jerusalem and their lives lay in ruins. They became captives in Babylon.
The book of Ezekiel is not a book of theology. It is a message from God to the people. The message is God’s grace is not limited to their actions. Let me say Canada by God’s grace has been spared much. We did not experience fighting on our soil in WW1 or WW2. We have not seen our Prime Ministers assassinated. We have not seen martial law. We have not experienced terrorism. Canada is sill experiencing the divine favor of God. But it will not last. We may yet see God’s wrath if we do not adjust our lives to His plan.
God extends His favor to whomever He pleases. But one day God will close the fountain of blessings if we do not repent.
God’s favor to the church, His people does not depend on our past, our heredity, our location, our present circumstances, or our finances. God kindness and blessings have no restraint. He spoke then and He is speaking now. The question I have for you in 2009 is ‘Are you listening?’ God wants to bless us and bring us back to Himself.
What I want you to know is no matter where you’re at, no matter what you’re going through, that God is there for you. God spoke then and He speaks today.
The most important thing we can learn from this message this week is God’s promises will always come true.
SLIDE:There are several truths I want us to learn from this passage.
1. God personally brought the people back to the land. “Isaiah 45:13 (NIV) I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty."
Who was this Cyrus and how did God use Him?
Cyrus in the Bible is depicted as the monarch and deliverer of the Jews. In the first year of his reign he was prompted by God to make a law that the temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt. He showed his interest in the project by sending the Jews back with the sacred vessels which had been taken from the temple. He also financed the project and sent building materials. So the temple was rebuilt but not to its original glory.
This was no the end of destruction for the temple. By AD70 the Romans ransacked Israel and the Jews were again out of their homeland for nearly 2,000 years. On Friday May 14, 1948 (the day in which the British Mandate over Palestine expired) the Declaration of the Establishment
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