When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered […] then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt.
When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
In Ezekiel, we are right in the middle of the oracles of judgment against the nations. Most prophetic books contain prophecies concerning nations other than Israel and Judah. This shows that God is not just sovereign over the affairs of Israel, but over the whole earth!
God’s sovereignty and power are on full display in Acts 12 as we read of Peter’s miraculous rescue from prison. Peter was put in prison after the apostle James was killed by Herod.
In Acts, James’ death comprises one sentence. But think of the implications. James was the brother of John, the gospel writer and close companion of Jesus. I imagine how sad John must have been as well as the other members of the early church.
Human logic tells us that the church would have shrunk under such severe persecution. But God is not ruled by human logic…
But the word of God increased and multiplied (Acts 12:24).
What man intended for harm, God used for good.
Even today’s passage in Ezekiel ends with an encouraging message. For right in the middle of the foreign nation oracles, God reminds his people that he is judging the nations for their good (Ezekiel 28:35-36).
God’s sovereignty and power are only a comfort in the context of his loving-kindness… He is working on our behalf… He is working for our good.