A Thousand Years as a Day – Ezekiel 37

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  2 Peter 3:8 (NASB)

21 And say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “Behold, I am going to take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land… Ezekiel 37:21 (NASB)

Approximately 2,500 years after Ezekiel delivered this prophecy about the future regathering of God’s people, it was fulfilled with the creation of the nation of Israel towards the middle of the twentieth century.

During the interim period, dozens of generations of families were born and died.  Several great world empires were raised up and later struck down or crumbled into dust.  Countless people went through the suffering and hardships of terrible wars, disease, famine, and finally, two great World Wars.  Untold numbers of people were killed as a result, including millions in the brutal and inhumane Holocaust of World War II.

God saw all of this coming.  For Him, these two thousand years flew by as if they were two days.  It was never His will that people should suffer so – this suffering was brought on by people, often under the influence of evil and demonic forces.  God mourns deeply and grieves as we suffer.  But His eyes are always looking into the hope of eternity that Christ has purchased for us through His own suffering.  Here the Lord has created a place for us that will have no evil – in fact, all wrongdoing and its bitter fruits will be cast out of His new kingdom.  The horrors and heartaches of life that have been so widespread throughout the history of Man will be once and for all be ended in God’s coming kingdom.

The apostle John describes this coming hope in the Revelation of Jesus Christ:

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”  Revelation 21:2-4 (NASB)

This new eternal kingdom will be ruled by the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  It will be according to God’s will and in His timing.

We know from several prophets, including King David’s prophet Nathan, that the Messiah will be born in David’s messianic line within the tribe of Judah.  Nathan delivered this divine message to his king, which is sometimes referred to as the Davidic Covenant:

Now then, this is what you shall say to My servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of armies says: “I Myself took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have eliminated all your enemies from you; I will also make a great name for you, like the names of the great men who are on the earth. 10 And I will establish a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will malicious people oppress them anymore as previously, 11 even from the day that I appointed judges over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also declares to you that the Lord will make a house for you. 12 When your days are finished and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind, 15 but My favor shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” 17 In accordance with all these words and all of this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.  2 Samuel 7:8-17 (NASB)

Christ was the fulfillment of this magnificent prophecy.  He did suffer from the beating and crucifixion of men, but not for His own wrongdoing, as He lived His entire life without sin.  When Jesus went to the cross, He was bearing the sins of you and I, and He took the punishment that we deserve upon Himself.  When Jesus arose from the dead after three days in the grave, we believers, too were able to be raised up with Christ.

 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.  Romans 6:4 (NASB)

The trials and travails of life on earth are a reality, a by-product of a fallen world resulting from the sin of people.  But the Lord has planned a restoration for His creation, making all things new without fault or blemish.  He has offered that gift to each one of us who would receive it.  In Christ, a new hope and bright future are available for all who choose it.

Reflection

Lord, we ask for a complete renewal and restoration in our lives through the forgiveness, mercy, and grace offered through Jesus Christ.  Lead us and guide us as we seek to walk according to Your will.  Thank you for your many gifts of favor, healing, and blessing.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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