And say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they be gone…
Understanding this Divine promise to find its true and complete fulfillment in the kingdom of Christ, we may recognize some of the features of that kingdom as it will one day be constituted.
I. ITS ONE ACKNOWLEDGED HEAD. The ideal "David (vers. 24, 25) is found, not in any future ruler like Judas Maccabaeus, but in Jesus Christ; in him who is exalted to be a Prince and a Savior," the Lord and Sovereign of his people everywhere. A far Greater than David is he (see homily on Ezekiel 34:23, 24). He will have no rival in the day of the Lord, when all the Churches of Christ shall know and love the truth, and exalt him in the eyes of the world.
II. ITS UNITY. (Vers. 21, 22.) The time will come when the Divine Head of the Church will look down upon a united people. There may be a great variety of organizations, but there wilt be no discord or disunion; none, because, while there will be no uniformity of method, but every order of spiritual life, there will be everywhere prevalent the spirit of a benignant charity, of Christ-like confidence, and love; all Churches and air hearts owning one Savior, teaching one redeeming truth, breathing one spirit, living one life, moving towards one goal, and looking for one prize.
III. ITS HOLINESS. (Ver. 23.) There shall be nothing to defile. What the entire absence of idolatry signified in the case of Israel is realized by the Church in the absence of all worldliness and iniquity of every kind from its pale. It is "cleansed" by the truth and power of God, so that vice and violence, oppression and injustice, covetousness and selfishness, uncharitableness and inconsiderateness, are banished from its midst.
IV. ITS GLORIOUS MAGNITUDE. "I will multiply them." If the largest promises made to Israel had been fulfilled to the letter, that fulfillment would have been small and slight indeed when compared with the realization they have had in the establishment and the growth of the Church of Christ. And it is extending its borders still, indeed much more rapidly now than in any century but the first. It has attained to a noble magnitude, and wilt "multiply and still increase," until that little stone of Nebuchadnezzar's dream shall have rolled and grown till it "fills the whole earth."
V. ITS JOY IN GOD. God's "sanctuary is to be in the midst." His "tabernacle shall be with them." He will "be their God, and they shall be his people" (vers. 26, 27). The picture is one of happy, holy converse between God and man. It is a great thing for a nation to rejoice because the Holy One is near, is known and felt to be near. In the "glorious future time," when the kingdom of Christ shall be established on the earth, it will be the very near presence of God that will be felt to be the source of the deepest satisfaction, of the largest and truest enrichment. To be with him, coming into his nearer presence in all the ordinances of religion, to live in the spirit and habitude of devotion, to walk with God all the day long, to be guests at his table, to lift up the face unto him as unto the heavenly Father, to lean on Christ as on the unfailing Friend of the heart and life, - this is the heritage of the good in the blessed kingdom of our Lord. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
WEB: Say to them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, where they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: