February 19: God’s unique relationship with Israel

[This series will be continued after the holidays of Purim and Passover]

 Israel’s Prophets

Israel’s prophets brought God’s promises of blessings and also His warnings to the people of Israel and occasionally to the nations around them. Through the prophets God pleaded with the people to repent from their rebellion and return to Him in obedience and love.

The words of the prophets were meant for the people and the time in which they spoke. But they also applied to times in the future.  Sometimes they prophesied the first coming of the Messiah and sometimes into the future and  Messiah’s second coming when He comes to judge the world.

Ezekiel was such a prophet whose words described different times.  He lived from 622-570 BCE and warned that God would expel the Jewish people from their land and send them into the Gentile nations.  Being outside the land was, to both God and the people, a punishment for rebellion.

This prophesy from Ezekiel spoke to the immediate situation, specifically referring to King Zedekiah. But it also prophesied of another dispersion after the revolt against Rome in 132-135 AD.

Ezekiel 12:9-14

 “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among ׳them.”’  Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall be carried away into captivity.’ And the prince who is among them shall bear his belongings on his shoulder at twilight and go out. They shall dig through the wall to carry them out through it. He shall cover his face, so that he cannot see the ground with his eyes. I will also spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he shall not see it, though he shall die there. I will scatter to every wind all who are around him to help him, and all his troops; and I will draw out the sword after them. “Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries.

PRAY GOD TO GIVE ISRAEL REVELATION AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROPHETS

[The pictures in this series will honor those, commonly called “Righteous Gentiles” who risked and sometimes gave their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust]

Raoul Wallenburg was a Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for saving tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from German Nazis and Hungarian Fascists during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory.

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