The Certainty of Complete Restoration

My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever. – Ezekiel 37:24-28

This passage, like many others we have seen, describes the nation of Israel once again implanted in the land of Israel, never to be exiled again. It is all too easy to read these verses at the surface level. We see a reference to Israel returning to obedience. We see the return to the land, the restoration of the kingship of the line of David, the rebuilding of the Temple, the return of God’s presence to dwell within Israel, and finally, the passage concludes with the spread of knowledge of God to the nations.

Pointing to Leviticus

One of the principles of Biblical study that we must always keep in mind is that the Bible is self-referential. What this means is that it is common for phrases and passages in the Bible to point to other passages. By noticing these connections, we gain a more complete awareness of what the Bible is actually telling us.

Consider the following passage from Leviticus:

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and observe them, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. … So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. Moreover, I will make My sanctuary among you, and My soul will not reject you. I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. – Leviticus 26:3-5, 9-12

This passage in Leviticus opens the chapters of blessings and curses of Israel, in response to their obedience or disobedience to God. Now reread the verses from Ezekiel we are studying. It is clear that Ezekiel was using phrases and imagery from Leviticus 26. 

Compare, for example, Ezekiel 37:27 and Leviticus 26:12:

A full restoration

By choosing to repeat these words and phrases in his prophecy, Ezekiel reminds us of the original covenantal promises in Leviticus. By doing so, Ezekiel is emphasizing the completeness of the restoration he is describing. Ezekiel describes the ultimate future restoration of Israel using the language and imagery of God’s original blessings should Israel be obedient to God. 

Why is this important? Ezekiel lived at the time of the exile, after the destruction of the first Temple. This was the first time that the people of Israel experienced destruction and exile. For most people living at that time, they most likely feared that this was the end of Israel as a nation. But even for those who held out hope of some future for Israel, they must certainly have feared that even if God would keep them alive for the future, things would most likely never be the same. It’s human nature that when things are getting worse, we find it almost impossible to imagine them getting better. It’s even more difficult to imagine them returning to the ideal, perfect state. 

Imagine a married couple going through a tough stretch. One of them has betrayed the other. There is anger, rejection, loss of trust. Perhaps they even decide to separate for a while. For the guilty party in the relationship there may be some hope of reconciliation, but the possibility that things can be restored to their original ideal state, as though nothing ever went wrong, is almost certainly out of the question.

By using a series of words and phrases from the blessings in Leviticus, God’s first blessings of Israel which assume total obedience, Ezekiel sends a powerful message. Full reconciliation is not only possible, it is also assured.

In human relationships, complete reconciliation is usually impossible. Scars and imperfections remain. But not so with God. His restoration brings us back to the ideal, unblemished relationship as it was originally intended.

Israeli soldiers are risking their lives to protect us all from Islamic terrorism. But they need our help. Sign up for Israel365 Action to receive updates on how YOU can help fight Hamas and its supporters in the United States and around the world.

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki is the Executive Director of Israel365 Action and the author of Verses for Zion and Cup of Salvation: A Powerful Journey Through King David's Psalms of Praise. He is a frequent guest on Erick Stakelbeck's The Watchman and a regular contributor to Israel365news.com and The Jerusalem Post.

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki

Rabbi Pesach Wolicki is the Executive Director of Israel365 Action and the author of Verses for Zion and Cup of Salvation: A Powerful Journey Through King David's Psalms of Praise. He is a frequent guest on Erick Stakelbeck's The Watchman and a regular contributor to Israel365news.com and The Jerusalem Post.

Subscribe

Sign up to receive daily inspiration to your email

Recent Posts
Your Prayers Are a Spiritual Shield
God’s Conscious Concern for the Land
Bread or Dreams?

Related Articles

Subscribe

Sign up to receive daily inspiration to your email