This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Ezekiel 36:22-28 ‘Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Ezekiel 36:22-28 

‘Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.’


    This glorious passage, from the prophecies of Ezekiel, is not usually read from verse 22 through to verse 28, simply because the essence related to this lovely entire passage, is more often than not, considered to be found primarily focused on one single verse, namely verse twenty-six. This is very understandable, and yet in setting it apart from its beautiful context, seems in many ways, to be plucking a lovely flower out of a perfectly gorgeous garden. To continue the metaphor of a garden, we wish to set down before the reader, the entire landscape of an infinitely well-kept floral blessing.

Therefore, say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: I do not this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for my holy name, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, saith the Lord Jehovah, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

The New Covenant promise, as we may well say, the kernel [central or essential part], is most assuredly, that which is found encapsulated in the twenty-sixth verse, and is consonant with, or at the very least, parallel with, our verse from the thirty-sixth chapter of the prophet, Ezekiel; and is found in Jeremiah 31:33, in language and expression almost identical with Ezekiel. 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.

This prophecy is repeated, for the reader of the Word of God, in Hebrews; in two different chapters; chapter eight and chapter ten, with the citation found in the eighth chapter being the more extensive than that in chapter ten. A most important part of that “extension” is the inclusion of the statement from Jehovah, and found in both passages; from Jeremiah’s as well as Ezekiel’s, although somewhat inverted; still expressing the same blessed truth, namely,

in Jeremiah, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, while in Ezekiel, it is, ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Though inverted, they pronounce identical Truth. And this, we submit, may be the wrapping that is the more essential promise, that Jehovah promises, through this grand covenant, that He will be their God forever, and they shall ever be His people.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

    We may encounter somewhat of this direction toward this concept of being the people of the living God, and His being our Jehovah God. We may recall the book of Ruth, almost at the very beginning, setting forth for us this wonderful relationship between the living God and His ‘peculiar people.’ Actually, they are referred to as His ‘peculiar people,’ in the King James Version of the Word of God. In other English translations, the phrase, ‘peculiar people,’ is not found, but rather, as in the American Standard Version, and others, including the English Standard Version, where the phrase is not ‘peculiar people,’ but ‘A people for God’s own possession,’ or something very akin to that.

    The reality of what is involved in being ‘A people for God’s own possession,’ is, of course, marvelous in and of itself, and a product of God’s sovereign grace toward His chosen people. It just happens to be and unhappy use of words, when it is rendered ‘peculiar.’ Now the definition of ‘peculiar,’ is given in Webster’s dictionary, as “1. Private property. 2.of only one person, thing, etc. exclusive. 3. particular, special. 4. odd, strange.” It would seem that most uses of the word gravitate to mean more often than not, the last meaning in Webster, namely, ‘odd, or strange.’ And this meaning is often taken as a referent for Christians; that they are a ‘peculiar people.’ But, is it not more understandable to denominate such, as, “A people for God’s own possession? That does not mean that we may be often considered, for sure, to be ‘a peculiar people.’ Yet, is it not true that if we are ‘a peculiar people,’ for the very reason that we are ‘A people for God’s own possession.’? Are we to be ‘unworldly’? We are definitely ‘not of this world,’ for we have been bought with a price, yea, ‘a people for God’s own possession.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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