S (Scripture): Ezekiel 28: 24 “‘No longer will Israel suffer from the sharp briers or painful thorns of all who surround and scorn them. Then they will know that I am the sovereign Lord.
25 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: When I regather the house of Israel from the peoples where they are dispersed, I will reveal my sovereign power over them in the sight of the nations, and they will live in their land that I gave to my servant Jacob. 26 They will live securely in it; they will build houses and plant vineyards. They will live securely when I execute my judgments on all those who scorn them and surround them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.’”
O (Observation): Ezekiel is one of God’s prophets who travelled to Babylon with God’s people as King Nebuchadnezzer exiled God’s people back to Babylon. God’s people have erred and looked outside of God for hope and salvation. God allowed this, but never gave up on God’s people. They have suffered for their straying, but now…something else is afoot.
Now, through Ezekiel, God gives a message of hope to God’s people exiled to Babylon. God will restore God’s people to the land they were promised and to bring them life abundant.
A (Application): Another shooting at a school. This time, at Tennessee State University, over a game of dice. Ugh! When will violence end? When will we experience peace?
Senseless violence fills the tv screens and news sites on the Internet. And we become hopeless.
Do we so easily forget? Do we forget that we have a God, in Christ Jesus, who has brought us a glimpse of the Kingdom – who brings us hope and forgiveness?
I hope that in the midst of terrible news…we trust in a God who restores us to wholeness.
What wasteland are you living in? What are some signs of hope that God has not abandoned you?
P (Prayer): Lord, you remain with us, especially in times of trouble. Give us signs of your presence. Amen.