Ezekiel / chapter 39 (read the chapter)
Sitting in my comfy chair with my Bible in hand, it’s easy to forget what the prophecy in this chapter must have sounded like to the exiles who first heard it. Here they were, sitting in a Babylonian prison camp, somewhere far away from home. All they knew was that everything they loved (and, likely, a lot of people they loved, too) were gone. Their nation had been destroyed and their homeland devastated by Nebuchadnezzar. I’m sure it must have all seemed hopeless.
Imagine, then, how this prophecy must have sounded: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (vs 25-29)
Apparently, this was God’s No Israelite Left Behind program. He promised to gather everyone back home, restore their fortunes, rebuild the land, and never send them into captivity again. How unbelievable that must have sounded to those Israelites sitting in Babylon. How hard it must have been for them to believe that God would or could do what He said.
Yet He did.
I think it’s important for us, too, to remember that God knows the end of the story. And often (if not all the time), the end of the story is something that we could never imagine. It makes me think of what God said to Habakkuk, another of His prophets who was complaining about all the evil he saw in the world. God replied, “Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Hab 1:5)
When life looks hopeless, when nothing seems to be going your way, and when it’s impossible to think that there could ever be a change in your circumstances, hold on. God sees a different picture than you do! He knows the end of the story—not just the chapter you’re currently stuck in. He has a plan to bless you—even if there’s no way you can imagine how that could possibly happen!
He knows the end of the story.