The key to what is happening to Israel today rests not with Moses, but in the prophecies uttered by Ezekiel. The book that bears his name is a tremendous apocalyptic writing of almost mystical character. The visions of future events that are described within its pages are rich with metaphors and symbolic action, all of them flowing to the beat of a loving but jealous God. As we shall see, many of Ezekiel’s key predictions relate directly to prophecies of 1948.
Ezekiel lived through some of the most trying times in Jewish history. Being held in a refugee camp outside the city of Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar’s second attack upon Judah, the Lord gave him insights into the future of his people so detailed that they are rarely paralleled in any other book of the Bible. It is among these prophecies that we can find our twentieth-century Israel clearly described.
In chapter 36 of his book, we previously quoted from Ezekiel 36:17-19 where the reason for Israel’s judgment was given. In that passage, the Lord told us plainly that Israel was scattered among the nations because they defiled the land of Palestine with their evil ways. Beginning with verse 20, God continues this discussion by adding several important details, which will soon allow us to piece together the puzzle of Israel’s fate far into the future.
“And when they entered unto the nations to which they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.
“But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, to which they went.
“Therefore, say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God: I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the nations, to which ye went.
“And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
“For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
The mystery of the present-day return of Israel to their land is at least partially revealed within the Lord’s words from this reference. Ezekiel records here the details of the broken spiritual relationship between the scattered Jews and the God that they denied. He also carries the scope of the prophecies all the way up to a time in which the Lord says he will regather Israel from among the nations and bring them back to their own land. However, the details of this regathering are quite different from those in Moses’ original prophecy. For instance, nowhere is it mentioned that Israel must repent of their sins before they return. In fact, the reason for Israel’s rebirth in Ezekiel’s prophecy seems to involve just the opposite spiritual condition. In this passage, the Lord is said to actually become angry with his rebellious people for profaning his name among the nations…[more]