08/29/15 A Sanctuary in a Distant Land

READING: Ezekiel 9-12

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  God is not limited to a place. That truth matters. 

Ezekiel 11:14-20 is God’s promise to His exiled people that He would not forever abandon them. He had sent them into exile under judgment, thus reminding them and the nations that He alone is Yahweh (Ezek. 11:10-12). He in His sovereign plan scattered them among the nations — far from the city of Jerusalem — and yet He would be their sanctuary wherever they were. 

Ezek. 11:16  Therefore say: This is what the Lord God says: “Though 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.”

In the distant lands, some would recognize their evil and turn back to Him. They would learn there that they need not be in Jerusalem to worship the God who is not limited to a city or a building.  He would then gather them back to the land, radically changing them by giving them a new spirit and a heart of flesh (Ezek. 11:17-20). 

God alone is our refuge, our sanctuary. Regardless of where we are, He is there. Indeed, in a miracle that is more clearly evidenced in the New Testament, He lives within us through His Spirit. We can worship Him in Spirit and truth (John 4:21-24) wherever we are because He is there. 

Maybe today you feel like you are in exile somewhere. You pray, but you wonder if God hears. Perhaps you’re paying a price for your past sin, bearing the consequences of your wrong. Or, maybe you’ve been faithful to Him but still long for days gone by. No matter where you are today, Yahweh can be your sanctuary. He is not limited to where you were yesterday.  

PRAYER: “Thank You, God, for being a refuge wherever we are. I’m grateful that You’re not limited to a place. When I’m lonely or hurting or suffering consequences for my wrong, turn my heart to You. Be a sanctuary to me today.”      



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