Ezekiel 11:1-12:20, Psalm 52
No matter how bleak the prophets become, they always offer hope. Ezekiel sees evil men doing evil things and is told by God to prophesy judgement and doom. Ezekiel obeys and the cycle continues. But God also brings words of comfort through Ezekiel to those in exile. The Lord promises to bring the exiles back to the land. But this wouldn’t be a good enough promise on its own, because Judah could return to the same idolatry and subsequent punishment again. God ensures Ezekiel this time, things will be different. The Lord say,s “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” (Ezekiel 11:19-20). God will bring Israel back to their land and perform open heart surgery. Their new hearts will not be the same type of heart, but rather represent a remade person with desires bent towards God. Ezekiel declares God’s intentions that we now know only come to fruition through the sacrificial death of Jesus that cleanses us and by the sending of the Holy Spirit to regenerate hearts. This is Ezekiel’s version of the same promise given through Jeremiah that God would write the law on our hearts. Both prophets do not see the day God promises, but they are given hope by the God who comes through even when all seems lost.