THE CORE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP

Today’s One Year Bible reading in Ezekiel 37–38 begins with a familiar account — Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones. It continues with prophecies regarding the reunion of Israel and Judah, and a message for Gog. While examining the details of these prophecies is certainly worthwhile, encouraging, and sobering, I want to focus on a specific detail that I think is very important.

We often tend to focus on what God is doing — or planning to do. Here, God says He will rebuild Israel as a nation, restore them to the land He originally gave them, and reunite the kingdoms of Israel and Judah into one nation. Then, when Gog and his allies attack Israel, God will defeat and destroy them.

All these acts are wonderful, and demonstrate God’s care for His chosen people Israel. But what I find equally noteworthy is why God says He will do these things.

A common phrase appears throughout these chapters:

“Then you will know that I am the LORD.” (37:6)
“… you will know that I am the LORD.” (37:13)
“Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done what I said.” (37:14)
“Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.” (37:23)
“… the nations will know that I am the LORD …” (37:28)
“Then all the nations will know that I am the LORD …” (38:16)
“Then they will know that I am the LORD.” (38:23)

Do you see a theme here?

This reminds me of similar pronouncements God made regarding the ten plagues He brought upon Egypt, as recorded in the book of Exodus:
“… the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.” (7:5)
“I will show you that I am the LORD.” (7:17)
“Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God.” (8:10)
“Then you will know that I am the LORD …” (8:22)
“Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth.” (9:14)
“I have spared you for a purpose — to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” (9:16)
“… you will know that the earth belongs to the LORD.” (9:29)
“… you will know that I am the LORD.” (10:2)

The Scriptures declare that God has revealed Himself to all people (see Ps. 19:1–4, Rom. 1:19–20). He knows us intimately, and He wants us to know Him. And the better we do so, the more we realize how much He loves us, and the more we want to please and live for Him.

At the core of our relationship with God is knowing Him. Everything else flows from that. May knowing God be our focus each day.

by Darrel Eppler, Chairman of the Elder Board

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