I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward. The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. (Ezekiel 39:21-23)
God Among The Nations
There is always something exciting about the coming of a new year. The previous year quietly fades to the memories of yesterday and bold plans are made for new opportunities, challenges, accomplishments and desires in a year untarnished by time. Everything seems bright with hope rising on the horizon. Prognosticators set forth their predictions of how the next generation will unveil its character upon the pages of history. Great energy is exerted to overcome the failures of the past year and hearts are filled with courage to face with determination a will to be a better person in the coming year. Lost in the din of human fervor is the reality that escapes most men as they plod along year after year seeking answers to the questions of life. God still rules among the nations of men and His glory is established by His word and His judgment. Time was created by the Lord and He fashioned the world by His design and His purpose. Every New Year is an expression of His glory that should remind men of who He is and that God rules among the affairs of the nations.
Ezekiel is writing during the captivity of the remaining house of Israel in Babylon. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin are all that was left of the once great nation of God. Because of their disobedience and continued rebellion, the Lord sent them into a foreign land for seventy years. The prophet is reminding the people that God was the reason they were being punished. It was not a plan devised by men that brought the children of Israel to Babylon. The glory of God was shown to the Gentiles that the Lord works His power in all nations including the apple of His eye – Israel. This is an important lesson to learn from holy scrip that no matter whether it was during the captivity of Israel in Babylon or the nations that exist today, God’s hand works His will for His glory in all nations. The purpose of this working is for men to see who the Creator of the world is and how He continues to work among the nations. All of this points to the character of God for men to find the answers they seek. God has always been among the nations since the beginning of time. If men would look carefully they will find His judgments in everything that has happened in history.
Beginning a new year is reminding all the nations of the world that God is not worshiped with the trinkets of a material world. Time is the fingerprint of the Lord’s existence to show men His glory. All men must come to the knowledge of the one true God that rules among the nations of men. Israel is an example of how the Lord rules among men. The nation of Babylon was moved by the Lord to do what they did against Israel. All of this shows the glory of God and His righteous judgment upon all nations. Israel was destroyed by their rebellion. Rejecting Jesus was the final blow for the nation and Biblical Israel ceased to exist. Babylon was later destroyed by the Medo-Persian empire as God brought judgment upon them. Through the centuries God continues to work His will among the nations. If you look closely His handiwork is seen on the folding pages of yesterday. In this coming year His glory will be found in the affairs of men as He rules among the nations. To God be glory now and forever.