Restoration & Resurrection

How can we live?
• Ezek. 33:10 ¶ “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’

Theme of Chapters 33-48? • Life/Live 8 times in those chapters • With news of Jerusalem’s fall the Israelite’s feel dead o Integrity of Jerusalem their only hope, and now that is gone o Dried up bones
o Ezek. 37:11 ¶ Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’

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Question for the exiles was not whether God Israel was dead, nor whether God could raise the dead o But what did God intend to raise the dead? Ezekiel’s vision in 37 shows that he did intend to do so new creation

There is basis for hope of life after all, and that is found solely in the will of God

Virtual plan for restoration unlike piecemeal promises of other prophetic books Several themes reappear in various passages Chapter 36 contains the most comprehensive base of reference Motive for Restoration o Not about any virtue found in the exiles o Will be recreated because that is the way Yahweh’s character will be manifested on the earth – to both Israel AND the nations
• Ezek. 36:22-23 ¶ “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

o The will of Yahweh to create a people whom he can bess and live in harmony with

Covenant o Aim of making changes in human nature establish permanment relationship of harmony between God and his people o Covenant language in Ezekiel o Berith not used in 36 o Both 16 and 37 speak of an everlasting covenant o Covenant Formularly in 36, 11, 37, 27 You shall by my God and I will be your people o Ezekiel as prophet convicts the people of breaches in covenant o Indictments frequently drawn from language of Pentateuch laws (esp. Lev 18-20) o Unfaithfulness of the people has breached both Sinai and Davidic covenants o As a result, central blessing of both removed God’s dwelling in midst of his peoplee God will abandon his earthly temple on Mt Zion, leaving Jerusalem defenceless against Babylonian invaders o But God remains faithful to his promises despite habitual human unfaithfulness o Because honour of his name depends on its fulfilment
• Ezek. 36:22 ¶ “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.

o He has therefore preserved a remnant The true heirs of the promise who will return to possess the land and blessings of the covenant and God will be with them • Not because they deserve it but because of his grace
Ezek. 36:32 It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

The people will recognise their guilt
Ezek. 36:31 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations.

But this is not a cause of their re-establishment (although it is a close as Ezk gets to repentance) • Only when one is offered an can accept forgiveness it is possible to acknowledge guilt There will still be trials (cosmic struggle with Gog from Mago38-39) • But this is just a precusor to the reordering of the universe, resitablishment of temple and return of God’s glory • The city will need a new name
Ezek. 48:35 The circumference of the city shall be 18,000

cubits. And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The LORD is there.”

o Monarchy period facturing of Israel into two kingdoms o Exile further fracturing of Judah into Palestinian & Babylonian communities (also an existing community in Egypt) Pyschological Fracture o Fracture not just physical buy psychological o Palestinian community thought themselves true Israelites (remnant)
• Ezek. 11:15 “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the LORD; to us this land is given for a possession.’

o Ezk says ‘no’ physical removal from land did not mean excommunicating from Israel o But it did raise serious questions about what it meant to be people of God o If there is only one King, or one Shepherd (34) then then can only be one people (37) o Divine rule would therefore involve the gathering of scattered flock into one united people Promise of ingathering forgiveness and obedience o The exiles eventually learned how to be Yahweh’s people in the diaspora o But did not develop a theology which fully accounted for their separation from the promised land o As first of exilic theologians, would we expect Ezk to work on this theology? He doesn’t but instead speaks of a promised ingathering o Most frequently repeated promise
• Ezek. 36:24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.

o Fractures were temporary o New age would come when they would be healed o When unity of God’s people would be tangible reality Closing vision 12 tribes around central sanctuary Also includes the Gentiles • Lord’s actions will have effect upon the nations
Ezek. 35:15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

Life-giving river flowing out of new temple (47) reminiscent of Genesis 2 blessing from restoration of Israel to overflow to rest of the world

o The ingathered people would be a purified people o Exile would show those who were truly committed to the Yahwist way of life o But more than that the people had to be purified and cleansed through Forgiveness of uncleaness
o Ezek. 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. Ezek. 36:26-27 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

New heart and a new spirit for obedience