If anyone could claim rights to an entire nation, it would be God. Other than God, when humanity claims rights to lands and borders, it seems both intentional and arbitrary. When a group of people are excluded from a land, there usually is a reason. Whether that reason can be validated is subjective, and now more than ever is a cause for disagreement.
In Ezekiel 36, God personifies the land and mountains of Israel by suggesting the land suffers from a lack of people and fruitful production. So, God promises the return of His people, multiplication and reminds the prophet Ezekiel of what caused the Israelites to be displaced from their land in the first place: immorality.
Immorality ruins a person, immorality ruins a family, immorality ruins a neighborhood, a town, a city, a country, a world. And the immorality of the Israelites was noticed by the surrounding nations because the surrounding nations said of them, “These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of this land.” Bad decisions can lead us to lose something valuable and can lead us to lose something that values us. A tarnished reputation needs to be corrected.
Fortunately for Israel, God took an active interest for the sake of His own namesake in restoring His people. For every human institution and internal levity, God’s cleansing and restoration is required because human attempts at cleansing lands are notoriously violent and lacking any semblance of love and joy. This is why in verse 26 God offers to do a transplant, specifically a heart transplant.
The promise of a new heart and a new spirit from God himself is an offer I realistically should not turn down. To have a hardened heart removed sounds like a dream come true. To have a heart that beats for and by God to obey and walk in love sounds irresistible. But God’s promise in this book continues with a promise of possession and safety and cleanness and abundance and renewal of a good reputation. God promises to fill all things so God might be known.
God does this because He is keenly aware that people call out to God in distress but know God through His kindness and goodness. To try to know God in his “badness” is impossible because it is not a part of His character.
And sometimes or seemingly oft-times God does His good work through relocation. He seemingly picks us up and moves us as He gives us a new heart. God does this to prove He can bless us anywhere. Even more, He can cultivate trust in us anywhere. Real blessing comes in the form of resolute trust. If I can fully trust the God as a good Father, I can trust He has my best in mind.
Which is why from:
Hamilton-Pennington (June 2011)
Pennington-North Brunswick (May 2012)
North Brunswick-New Milford (August 2012)
New Milford-Harford (October 2012)
Harford-Clarks Summit (January 2013)
Clarks Summit-Scranton (August 2013)
Scranton-Pennington Farm (May 2015)
Pennington Farm- Pennington House (February 2016)
Pennington House-Princeton Nightmare (October 2016)
Princeton Nightmare-Princeton Relief (November 2016)
Princeton Relief-? (June 2017)
I can move again and see God just might be up to something. I’m hoping, more than a move, for a newer heart, one that shines inside, one that is willing to let Him be known outside, one that is made for Him, praise for others, and is content within itself. It is my greatest hope, in a year that is forming me in both gentleness and genuine joy. I want a heart that makes me a happy follower of Jesus. I was made for it and you were too.