WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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A NEW BEGINNING
(GOD provides an inheritance for all of HIS people)
In Ezekiel 47, verses 13-23, we see laid out by GOD, the instructions for the boundaries of the land of Canaan, of which the twelve tribes of Israel, (which now included two shares for the tribe of Joseph, one for each of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh), would share in.
“These are the boundaries of the land: The northern border will run from the Mediterranean toward Hethlon, then on through Lebo-hamath to Zedad; then it will run to Berothah and Sibraim, which are on the border between Damascus and Hamath, and finally to Hazer-hatticon, on the border of Hauran. So the northern border will run from the Mediterranean to Hazar-enan, on the border between Hamath to the north and Damascus to the south.
The eastern border starts at a point between Hauran and Damascus and runs south along the Jordan River between Israel and Gilead, past the Dead Sea and as far south as Tamar. This will be the eastern border. The southern border will go west from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh and then follow the course of the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean. This will be the southern border. On the west side, the Mediterranean itself will be your border from the southern border to the point where the northern border begins, opposite Lebo-hamath”. (NLT)
The Israelites were to divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes as an inheritance for themselves and the Gentiles who had joined them, and were raising their families among them, under the rules of the GOD of Israel. Those who were once foreigners would be treated just like native-born Israelites, and would be given land within the specified territory with whatever tribe they resided among in the family of Israel, after their return from Babylon (Vs.21-23).
The land as it was, had been divided among the tribes of Israel by Joshua (Joshua chapters 13-21) but had never really been under the exclusive control of its people. Some of the tribes, because of their disobedience and unfaithfulness to GOD, never conquered the specified lands of their inheritance. And even though David and Solomon seized a bit more of those lands during their respective reigns, the Israelites continued rebellion against GOD led to their losing, first, northern Israel to Assyria in 722 B.C., and then later, the remainder of the nation of Israel to Babylon in 586 B.C.
Here in Ezekiel 47 GOD tells his prophet, in no uncertain terms, that the land was still all under HIS control, and now HE was ready to return it back to HIS people, and, to the Gentiles who dwelled among them. It would be considered a new beginning, not because they deserved it, but rather, because GOD remained faithful to HIS promise to Abraham and David, and HE also wanted to restore honor to HIS OWN name, which had been damaged considerably by HIS chosen people, while they were having an adulterous love affair with the world.
After witnessing the restoration power of the living waters flowing from the temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12), Ezekiel could now see and understand clearly, the new message from GOD regarding a new and wonderful future for all people whose hearts were with HIM. And just as GOD had new plans for the people of Israel on the other side of their Babylonian captivity experience, so GOD has plans for all HIS people in this day, on the other side of our earthy experience in this life. HE has plans for the better, if we choose to obey and put our trust in HIM, and for the worse, if we don’t.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website