Ezekiel 11:14-25 (NRSV)
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, your kinsfolk, your own kin, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, "They have gone far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession." Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far away among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a little while in the countries where they have gone. Therefore say: Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. When they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God.
Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. And the glory of the Lord ascended from the middle of the city, and stopped on the mountain east of the city. The spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen left me. And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.
It never ceases to amaze me that even when I sin and fall short of the glory of God, exhibiting a heart of stone, God still acts as a sanctuary for me.
I love the line in today's reading which states, " Though I removed them far away among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a little while in the countries where they have gone.
Isn't God good?! Even as we are being disciplined for our poor choices, God is still protecting and shielding us from consequences worse than we can imagine.
Some of us will admit that we know about this. When I was a teenager, I did some things of which I am not proud. Sometimes there were consequences...I got lost. I got grounded. I lost friends. I became embarrassed.
But, when I think about what could have happened--I could have gotten kidnapped. I could have gotten carjacked. I could have gotten raped. I could have gotten killed; I am so grateful that God was my sanctuary even in the midst of my stupidity and sin.
I love God so much! And God loves me! God loves you too and has kept you from dangers seen and unseen, known and unknown, even in the midst of your sin.
So, today, let us give thanks to God who is always our sanctuary. Praise God!
Let us pray:
Thank you God for loving me so much! Thank you for being my sanctuary. Thank you for Jesus who is the greatest sanctuary, giving his life upon the cross to save me from my sin and gift me with eternal life. I love and praise you and will share our love with others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta