From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/8:

Darius the Mede is now king of Babylon, and he desires for Daniel to be the governor over the whole realm, “because an excellent spirit was in him.” However, the other governors don’t want Daniel elevated so they scheme to bring a charge against Daniel concerning the law of his God. They have King Darius sign a decree that says anyone who worships any god or man besides King Darius for thirty days will be thrown in the den of lions.

When Daniel hears about the decree he goes to his room, kneels facing Jerusalem, and prays toward the temple three times a day as he always does, believing that God hears the prayers of His people just as Solomon said in his temple dedication prayer (1 Kings 8:28-30). When the governors see him praying, they tell King Darius to throw him in the lion’s den. King Darius tries to protect Daniel, but the decree is binding per the law of the Medes and the Persians.

So Daniel is thrown in the den of lions, but the Lord sends an angel to shut the mouths of the lions and “no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.” Then the ones who plotted against Daniel are thrown in the lions’ den with their entire families, and all are killed. Afterwards, King Darius makes a new decree “that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

“So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”

The seventy years of captivity is coming to an end. Daniel “understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem.” So Daniel prays to God to restore His people “for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.” Then the angel Gabriel appears before Daniel giving him a vision of seventy weeks. There are various interpretations, but by this vision we can know that God has a plan and a timing for His plan; therefore, we can trust that He is in control.

We end the reading with the Lord stirring King Cyrus’ heart to let His people return to Jerusalem to rebuild His temple. Cyrus sends off some captives from Babylon to Jerusalem with the articles that were taken from the original temple by King Nebuchadnezzar, bringing the Captivity Era to an end. The Return Era starts tomorrow, so keep reading!  (Daniel 6:1-28, Daniel 9:1-27, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-11, 1 Chronicles 3:17-18)

14 Eras:

Creation Era (Genesis 1:1-11:26) ✔️

Patriarch Era (Genesis 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) ✔️

Conquest Era (Joshua) ✔️

Judges Era (Judges, Ruth) ✔️

Kingdom Era (1,2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, 1 Kings 1-11, various Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon) ✔️

Divided Kingdom Era (2 Chronicles 10-36, 1 Kings 11-22, 2 Kings, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, and some of Jeremiah) ✔️

Captivity Era (the rest of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) ✔️ 

Return Era (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) is up next! 

Eras to follow: 

Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Time/New Beginning

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/7:

Today Daniel has two visions; then he interprets a message from the Lord to King Belshazzar.

In the first vision, Daniel sees four beasts representing four world empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Daniel says the fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, is different from the others – “It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.”

Then Daniel gazes into the heavenly realm, and he sees the Lord’s throne and the Lord Himself; and there is an encounter between the Lord and the beast – “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.”

“I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.”

This vision greatly troubles Daniel. Per the ESV Study Bible, “The beasts in general show the present world order as an ongoing state of violence and lust for power that will continue until the final coming of God’s kingdom. The fourth beast will be different from those before it in power and in duration… As for the ‘little’ horn who made war with the saints and prevailed over them and who shall wear out the saints, many take this to represent the Antichrist, whom they expect in the end times. Other interpreters think there is not enough precise data to identify the little horn. It is clear, however, that this king will blaspheme against God, oppress the saints, and try to abolish the calendar and the law which govern how God’s people worship. The saints will be handed over into his power for a time, times, and a half – totaling three and a half times, or half of a total period of seven times of judgment… The central point of the vision is that the time when the beastly kingdoms of the earth will oppress the saints is limited by God, and beyond it lies the scene of the heavenly court, where the  beasts will finally be tamed and destroyed (cf. Rev. 20:1-4, 10).”

Daniel has another vision of a ram with two horns representing the kings of Medo-Persia, and a male goat with a notable horn representing the kingdom of Greece and Alexander the Great who will conquer the Persian empire,  – “And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.”

Alexander the Great will conquer and rule the Persian Empire from 334-331 B.C. After his death, his empire will divide among his four generals: Cassander will rule over Greece and its region, Lysimachus will rule over Asia Minor, Selecus will rule over Syria and Israel, and Ptolemy will rule over Egypt.

Then Daniel saw a little horn grow out of one of the four horns which represented the four generals. Most scholars believe this little horn is the eighth ruler of the Seleucid dynasty, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who will rule over Syria and Israel. Antiochus will persecute the people of the Lord, blaspheme God, command idolatrous worship of himself, end sacrifices at the temple, and desecrate the temple. However, Antiochus will only reign for a limited time before he is judged by the Lord and the temple is restored.

We end the reading with King Belshazzar, the last king of Babylon, having a lavish drunken feast where they are praising their false gods while consuming wine from vessels that were taken from the house of the Lord. This displeases the Lord, so He writes Belshazzar a message on the wall. Daniel interprets the message for him, saying that because of Belshazzar’s pride and dishonor of the Lord, his kingdom will be divided and given to the Medes and the Persians – “That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.”

Tomorrow Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den, and King Cyrus signs a decree allowing the exiles to return to Jerusalem, bringing an end to the Captivity Era. Keep reading. (Daniel 7:1-8:27, Daniel 5:1-31)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/6:

Today in the new temple vision, Ezekiel sees a stream of water flowing from the temple and out the east gate. The stream turns into a great river. The Lord says when the water reaches the sea, its waters are healed. “And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever they may go, will live… Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” The healing waters indicate the regeneration that will occur during the time of the new temple. At the end of the story, the Lord will give the disciple John a similar vision – “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2).

Then the Lord shows Ezekiel the boundaries of the land that will be divided equally among the twelve tribes of Israel. The boundaries correspond with the land boundaries He gave Moses back in the wilderness (Numbers 34). The Lord not only provides land for the twelve tribes of Israel but also “for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you… they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.” The Lord allocates a memorial gate to each one of the twelve sons of Jacob, which surround the new city bringing unity to the once divided nation of Israel.  This is also similar to the vision that John will receive of the New Jerusalem which the Lord will establish when He makes a new heaven and a new earth – “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:10-14). And the best part of New Jerusalem is that the Lord is there – “and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.”

We conclude the Book of Ezekiel by reading his last prophecy which says that Nebuchadnezzar is going to conquer Egypt. According to the ESV Study Bible, this prophecy was given in 571 B.C. and Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt in 568 B.C.

Today’s reading ends with Evil-Merodach, king of Babylon, releasing Jehoiachin, former king of Judah and a descendant of King David, from prison after thirty-seven years. “And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prominent seat than those of the kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin changed from his prison garments, and he ate bread regularly before the king all the days of his life. And as for his provisions, there was a regular ration given him by the king of Babylon, a portion for each day until the day of his death, all the days of his life.” 

The Lord is faithful to His promise to King David, and He is still working His plan of bringing the promised Savior through this bloodline. So keep reading! (Ezekiel 47:1-48:35, Ezekiel 28:17-30:19, 2 Kings 25:27-30, Jeremiah 52:31-34)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/5:

In the future temple vision, the Lord tells Ezekiel, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes and hear with your ears, all that I say to you concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord and all its laws. Mark well who may enter the house and all who go out from the sanctuary.” Only those who have hearts for the Lord will be able to enter the new temple.

The Lord gives new laws for the priests. He says because of their wandering from the Lord and their great sin, they will be allowed to perform certain duties of a priest regarding temple care and ministering to the people, but, “they shall not come near Me to minister to Me as priests, nor come near any of My holy things, nor into the Most Holy Place”, except for the descendants of Zadok. Zadok, a descendant of Aaron’s son Eleazar, was the priest who was loyal to King David when his son, Absalom, tried to take the kingdom from David. He was also the priest who anointed Solomon as king after his brother, Adonijah, tried to claim the throne for himself. Since Zadok and his descendants remained faithful to the Lord, “They will enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near to My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge.”

The Lord also provides instructions for future offerings and sacrifices to Him. These ritual offerings and sacrifices are to commemorate what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross when He shed His innocent blood to atone for our sins. It is a picture and a reminder of the finished work of Christ; much like the picture God gave back in the garden after He promised to send a Savior who would crush the head of the serpent. The Lord killed an innocent animal to cover the guilt of Adam and Eve, showing that it is the shedding of the blood of the innocent that atones for the sins of the guilty. Jesus Christ is the final atoning Sacrifice; for Jesus was slain and “redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Tomorrow concludes the new temple vision and the Book of Ezekiel. Keep reading. (Ezekiel 44:1-46:24)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/4:

This future temple vision is possibly a new temple during the millennial kingdom when Jesus will return and reign on earth for a thousand years. However, this vision and the Book of Revelation describing the future temple are highly debated. What we can see through this temple vision is how the Lord is in the details, down to cubits, as He shows Ezekiel the rooms and courtyard. Then Ezekiel sees the glory of the Lord return to the temple – “Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw—like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Then I heard Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.’”

In an earlier vision, Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord departing the temple through the east gate (Ezekiel 10:18-19). Today the glory of the Lord returns through the east gate. Later in the story, one week before Jesus is crucified, He will make a triumphal entrance into Jerusalem through the east gate, also called the Golden Gate or the Beautiful Gate. Conquering kings often came from the east, like Jesus, but King Jesus will come through the gate humbly, on a donkey, declaring Himself Lord and fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. And the people will shout “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9) before they crucify Him. However, one day Jesus will come again — this time as a conquering King on a white horse, and He will put an end to evil for good. 

We end the reading with a description of an altar and animal sacrifices in the new temple. These will be performed as a memorial for what Jesus did for us on the cross as the final sacrificial Lamb of God. Just as people offered sacrifices in the Old Testament looking forward to the day of the arrival of the Messiah, sacrifices will be made in the new temple as a celebration, looking back on what Christ did on our behalf. 

More on the temple vision tomorrow. Keep reading. (Ezekiel 40:38-43:27)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/3:

Today Nebuchadnezzar has another dream which he asks Daniel to interpret –  “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a large fruitful tree that reached to the heavens. Then a holy one from heaven cried out to chop down the tree and said, “Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over him.”

Daniel explains that the tree is Nebuchadnezzar “for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.” Nebuchadnezzar’s pride is going to lead to his downfall, and he will be driven to the fields like a wild beast for seven years “till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that if he will humble himself, repent, and turn from his sin “perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.” The Lord gives Nebuchadnezzar twelve months to repent, but Nebuchadnezzar never humbles himself –  “All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’”

The Lord is the one who established Babylon to accomplish His purposes, not Nebuchadnezzar. Therefore the Lord humbles Nebuchadnezzar, and he becomes like a wild beast in the fields for seven years, “and at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’”

“At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”

We end the reading in the twenty-fifth year of captivity and fourteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Ezekiel receives his final vision from the Lord. The Lord shows him a new temple that He is planning and tells Ezekiel to “declare to the house of Israel everything that you see.” This temple is unlike the corrupt temple that the Lord showed Ezekiel twenty years ago, about which we will read more about tomorrow. Keep reading. (1 Chronicles 8:29-40, Daniel 4:1-37, Ezekiel 40:1-37)

From today’s reading Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/2:

Today we read the lineage of Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph’s sons), Aaron (from the tribe of Levi), Issachar, Naphtali, Asher, and Benjamin.

Manasseh – During their bondage in Egypt, a man from the tribe of Manasseh bore a son by a Syrian concubine. One of his descendants was Zelophehad who is mentioned in today’s genealogy. During the Exodus Era, the daughters of Zelophehad requested to receive their father’s land inheritance since he died leaving behind no sons (Numbers 27:1-11). During the Conquest Era, the tribe of Manasseh failed to drive the people out of the land (Joshua 17). This tribe was part of Northern Israel who left the Lord for the worship of false gods and were overtaken by the Assyrians.

Ephraim – The name Ephraim is also used in the Bible to describe the ten tribes of Northern Israel. They too did not drive the people out of their land (Joshua 16), and they also turned from the Lord to idolatry. Hosea said, “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept” (Hosea 5:11).

Aaron – Aaron’s descendants are the priests who offered sacrifices to the Lord to make atonement for Israel. They too failed by leaving the Lord and His word – “Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:26).

Issachar, Naphtali, and Asher – All tribes of Northern Israel whose descendants turned from the Lord toward false gods.

Benjamin – Benjamin was a son of Rachel and Jacob, and Joseph’s younger brother. The tribe of Benjamin was almost completely wiped out during the Judges Era after the shock and awe of the body parts of a Levite’s concubine, who was raped to death by Benjamites, was sent out to all the tribes of Israel (Judges 19-21). Although it is a small tribe, several significant people mentioned in the Bible descend from the tribe of Benjamin. First was Ehud, who was the warrior that delivered Israel from Moab during the Judges Era (Judges 3:12-30). Then came King Saul, who became the first king of Israel in the Kingdom Ea (1 Samuel 9:15-27). When the kingdom divided, the tribe of Benjamin became part of Southern Judah. Soon we will meet Mordecai and Esther, both from the tribe of Benjamin, whom the Lord will use to save His people during the Return Era (Esther). And later in the story when we meet Paul, we will discover that he too comes from the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1). 

Tomorrow, King Nebuchadnezzar calls upon Daniel to interpret another one of his dreams. Keep reading. (1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b,49,4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 9/1:

Ezekiel has some harsh words for Pharaoh and Egypt. He says they will go down to hell with Assyria, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, and Edom. Egypt will be destroyed like the other nations for ignoring the Lord and His word and for walking in wickedness. The Lord says the only comfort Pharaoh will receive is knowing that he wasn’t the only one cast into hell because of his evil ways.

The Lord once again calls Ezekiel the watchman over the spiritual condition of the people of Israel – “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”

The Lord says that although the nation is under judgment, individuals can still be saved if they repent and turn to the Lord – “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” He will judge each person individually and fairly.

We end the reading with a list of genealogies from Jacob to the exile for three of the tribes of Israel; Simeon, Reuben, and Gad:

1) Simeon- Simeon and Levi are the brothers who killed all the men of the city of Shechem after Shechem raped their sister Dinah (Genesis 34). So when Jacob gave Simeon and Levi their blessings, he said, “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel” (Genesis 49:7). At the beginning of the wilderness journey in the Exodus Era, the tribe of Simeon was one of the largest but decreased significantly by the end, according to the book of Numbers. This tribe was part of Northern Israel which was overtaken by the Assyrians and scattered as well as the rest of Northern Israel.

2) Reuben – Jacob’s first born son, Reuben, slept with Jacob’s concubine (Genesis 35:22). So when Jacob blessed him he said, “Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it” (Genesis 49:4). Today we read, “Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel… because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph… yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a rule.” Joseph’s sons, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, were greater than the tribe of Reuben and formed the majority of Northern Israel. However the brother, Judah (Southern Judah Kingdom), prevails because King David and all the kings of Southern Judah come from Judah’s lineage — and ultimately King Jesus will descend through the bloodline of Judah. 

3) Gad – When Jacob blessed Gad he said, “a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last” (Genesis 49:19). Not much was said about Gad today except that they acquired the land of Bashan as far as Salcah. Gad was also part of Northern Israel which was overthrown by the Assyrians.

More on the sons of Jacob tomorrow, so keep reading. (Ezekiel 33:17-33,20, Jeremiah 52:28-30, Psalm 137, 1 Chronicles 4:24-5:17)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/31:

Yesterday’s reading ended with the Lord promising one day to restore the land – “So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited’” (Ezekiel 36:35). 

Today the Lord promises to revive the people spiritually. He illustrates this promise by giving Ezekiel a vision of a valley full of dry bones. Then the Lord says to Ezekiel, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 

So just as the Lord breathed life into Adam in the garden of Eden and he became a living man, the Lord also brought life into these dry bones by speaking breath into them. It’s the power of His word that brought life. Then the Lord says that these bones represent the house of Israel which is spiritually dead and hopeless. However, the Lord gives them a word of hope –  “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it.”

God also has Ezekiel take two sticks, representing Judah and Israel, and bind them together as an illustration that He will one day bind the nations together under a new covenant. This restoration will be much greater than the restoration that will occur after the Jews return from exile in Babylon. The Lord promises that they will be one under one King and under one covenant, a covenant of peace – “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

Then the Lord gives Ezekiel a vision of the future with a message for Gog and Magog. There are differing views over what this message exactly means. Ezekiel’s description here is similar to what we will read at the end of the story in the Book of Revelation, when John is describing the Great Tribulation. It will be a time of awful calamity, but God has promised that He will have ultimate victory over all of His enemies. Then the earthly Eden, described at the beginning of this story in the Book of Genesis, will be restored as a heavenly Eden at the end of this story, as described in the Book of Revelation – “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:1).

We end the reading with Ezekiel warning Pharaoh, king of Egypt, of their future destruction. We will read more about the fate of Egypt tomorrow, so keep reading. (Ezekiel 37:1-39:29, Ezekiel 32:1-16)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 8/30:

Today Ezekiel rebukes the shepherds (Israel’s leaders) for not shepherding the flock (the people) well. He says they fed themselves instead of the flock and used their position for their own personal gain and well-being. So the people were scattered because there was no good shepherd searching for them.

Therefore, the Lord promises to provide the care for his sheep that the unfaithful shepherds did not provide – “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down… I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

The Lord will judge each person. The proud will be destroyed, but the humble who has a heart for the Lord will be redeemed. The Lord promises this ultimate redemption through the coming Messiah – “therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken… I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.”

Partial fulfillment of this new covenant will occur when the Jews return from exile. However, complete fulfillment will occur when Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, arrives on the scene and declares Himself to be the Good Shepherd – “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:14-15).

The Lord says He is providing this restoration not based on anything that the people have done but for His own name’s sake – “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses.”

The work of salvation is a work of the Lord. He is the One who draws us to His Son, Jesus Christ. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Lord gives us a new heart of flesh, and by the power of the Holy Spirit we are renewed and equipped to do the will of the Lord. Paul will later say, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7). Keep reading. (Ezekiel 34:1-36:38)