Saturday in the Seventh Week of Easter

Text: Ezekiel 36: 22-27

Prayer Pointers:

That the Lord may be glorified in our daily lives

For your family

Ezekiel uses a phrase that sounds stilted in our American ears: “the house of Israel.” Those places used to kings understand this phrase, for their rulers come from the “House of Windsor,” or “the Imperial House of Japan” and the like. The idea is to convey legitimacy, influence, power and endurance to those members of a family that hold the throne and orbit around it by birth or by right.

In its own way, the house of Israel also conveys legitimacy, influence, power, and endurance, but Israel does not possess these things because of something innate within the family, but only because of the God that desires Israel to always be present among the families of the Earth. A commentator noted that the key difference between Israel and the nations that surrounded it in the ancient world was that only Israel told an “origin story” that did not assume that the nation, the people, the tribe had always been there. Israel knew that they had a beginning, that there was a time that they didn’t exist—and so their continued existence was a grace-filled act, an ongoing act of love from the God who had once called Abraham to walk before him and be blameless. From Abraham God called into existence a nation meant to be holy, set apart for his own.

In time, God sent his son, to expand the boundaries of the family tent and cover those who were not of the house of Israel by birth or by right, but who would also experience life with God as a grace-filled act.

And so Peter could write to all us Gentiles, gathered from every land “but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


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