Ezekiel 36: God Is There
Ezekiel 36 is interesting because God talks about the redemption of Israel. Israel is going to get its land back, and everyone is going to be amazed that it happened. However, God is going to point out something very important about this relationship. It did not happen because of who the people of Israel were necessarily, but it was going to happen that way because of who God is.
Eze 36:32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
Eze 36:33 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
Eze 36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
Eze 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
Eze 36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
This stood out to me. I know that we always think about all of the great stuff that we are going to do. Like the people of Israel, it is great to build a country. It is great to go to work and make something that is torn down usable again. There is something rewarding in the process of regeneration.
However, God points out that He is actually the one who is doing this. I think that we can be too fast to take credit for all of the good things that come out of our lives. It makes me almost think of GK Chesterton who wrote in Orthodoxy about the fact that the world certainly seems to be running by a set of laws, but is it not possible that every day God tells the sun to rise as a separate miracle in and of itself.
Now he was not denying the existence of the laws of nature that he and I would agree were created by God, but it does make me think about this idea of us being far too quick to take God out of the picture. We assume that we did it, and we think that it was by our own hard work, but God is still there.