Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The God of Restoration

“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.” –Ezekiel 37:21-22

Israel didn’t have a very good history with kings. First Saul reigned for a while. He started well, but ended his reign in suicide. David reigned after Saul. David was the godliest king that the land would ever know. But David had his failures too. His sin with Bathsheba began a downward spiral to the end of his reign. His son Solomon took over as king, and he started out pretty good as well. Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom, and as a result he became the wisest, wealthiest king the land would know. But Solomon loved many foreign women, and they caused his heart to be turned away from the Lord. He ended poorly.

After Solomon, the kingdom was divided into two parts: the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. Throughout the rest of the monarchy in these kingdoms, they mostly experienced bad kings. There were a few kings that ‘followed in the footsteps of their father David’ and did what was right in the sight of God, but most of them had major flaws. Their sins had torn Israel apart even more.

God is the God of restoration. He makes whole what sin tears apart. And here in Ezekiel 37, the Lord promises that He will bring back the House of Israel from the nations among which they were scattered. Once again, they will have their own land to possess. God will put one king over them. They will be a united kingdom once again, and this kingdom shall never be divided again.

Our lives have been torn apart by sin. We fail in so many ways each day. Our sin breaks our communion with God. Our sin sends us into a depression that we often can’t get out of. Our sense of shame and guilt controls our thoughts and emotions as we shrink back from God and try to hide in the shadows. Our sin—ugly, revolting, disgusting in the eyes of God—divides and controls our life, breaking it to pieces, stopping us from enjoying life as God intended us to have it.

Our God is the God of restoration. He can make whole what sin has smashed into pieces. Do you need the restoration of God? Do you need Him to heal what sin has broken? I love Job 5:17-18: “Behold, happy is the man who God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”

Place yourself in the hands of the Almighty who is able to bind up and make your life whole. It may hurt for a time, for chastening is never any fun, but God will heal what sin has destroyed in your life. He is the God of restoration. Remember, "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

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