Sanctuary (Nov 4)

Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

November 4


Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 119:105-112 | Ezekiel 10:1-11:25 | Hebrews 6:1-20 | Proverbs 27:1-2

Today’s Scripture Focus: Ezekiel 10:1-11:25

“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone’” (Ezekiel 11:16 NIV).

The people of Israel had strayed far from God and broken the covenant again and again. God had been incredibly patient with them, but after years and years of their rebellion and disobedience his patience had found it’s rightful end. It was time for judgment.

In apocalyptic words and images, Ezekiel describes the judgment of God. But in all of the creative imagery, he does not leave the people without a word of hope.

Yes, he would send them far away and scatter them among the nations (all of this a righteous response to their rebellion and disobedience). Yet, even then, he would not leave them alone: he would be their sanctuary. The Temple (the place where his glory rests) may be destroyed, but he would still be present with his people.

Moreover, he would bring revival and restoration when they began to seek Him again with all their hearts:

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. [20] Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19-20, NIV).

These Old Testament promises are not far removed from us; Hebrews teaches us that these and similar promises find their fulfillment in Christ and his new covenant (Hebrews 8-10).

Even in our “prodigal times,” our times where we try to distance ourselves from the Lord, he is there. He remains our sanctuary. He continues to offer the hope of a new heart and a fresh start.

Father, I seek you with all my heart. Help me to find rest in your sanctuary—in your presence. Help me to follow you today with an undivided heart. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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