SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
35:1 The Lord’s message came to me: 2 “Son of man, turn toward Mount Seir and prophesy against it. 3 Say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Look, I am against you, Mount Seir;
I will stretch out my hand against you
and turn you into a desolate ruin.
4 I will lay waste your cities,
and you will become desolate.
Then you will know that I am the Lord!
5 “‘You have shown unrelenting hostility and poured the people of Israel onto the blades of a sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment. 6 Therefore, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will subject you to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. 7 I will turn Mount Seir into a desolate ruin; I will cut off from it the one who passes through or returns. 8 I will fill its mountains with its dead; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines, those killed by the sword will fall. 9 I will turn you into a perpetual desolation, and your cities will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
10 “‘You said, “These two nations, these two lands will be mine, and we will possess them,” (although the Lord was there); 11 therefore, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will deal with you according to your anger and your envy, by which you acted spitefully against them. I will reveal myself to them when I judge you. 12 Then you will know that I, the Lord, have heard all the insults you spoke against the mountains of Israel, saying, “They are desolate; they have been given to us for food.” 13 You exalted yourselves against me with your speech and hurled many insults against me—I have heard them all! 14 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will turn you into a desolation. 15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I deal with you—you will be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom—all of it! Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
36:1 “As for you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: ‘O mountains of Israel, listen to the Lord’s message! 2 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The enemy has spoken against you, saying “Aha!” and, “The ancient heights have become our property!”’ 3 So prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Surely because they have made you desolate and crushed you from all directions, so that you have become the property of the rest of the nations, and have become the subject of gossip and slander among the people, 4 therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys, and to the desolate ruins and the abandoned cities that have become prey and an object of derision to the rest of the nations round about; 5 therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Surely I have spoken in the fire of my zeal against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who with great joy and utter contempt have made my land their property and prey, because of its pasture.’
6 “Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, the ravines and valleys, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I have spoken in my zeal and in my anger because you have endured the insults of the nations. 7 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I vow that the nations around you will endure insults as well.
8 “‘But you, mountains of Israel, will grow your branches and bear your fruit for my people Israel, for they will arrive soon. 9 For indeed, I am on your side; I will turn to you, and you will be plowed and planted. 10 I will multiply your people—the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities will be populated and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will increase the number of people and animals on you; they will increase and be fruitful. I will cause you to be inhabited as in ancient times and will do more good for you than at the beginning of your history. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will lead people, my people Israel, across you; they will possess you, and you will become their inheritance. No longer will you bereave them of their children.
13 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because they are saying to you, “You are a devourer of men and bereave your nation of children,” 14 therefore you will no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Sovereign Lord. 15 I will no longer subject you to the nations’ insults; no longer will you bear the shame of the peoples, and no longer will you bereave your nation, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
16 The Lord’s message came to me: 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel was living on their own land, they defiled it by their behavior and their deeds. In my sight their behavior was like the uncleanness of a woman having her monthly period. 18 So I poured my anger on them because of the blood they shed on the land and because of the idols with which they defiled it. 19 I scattered them among the nations; they were dispersed throughout foreign countries. In accordance with their behavior and their deeds I judged them. 20 But when they arrived in the nations where they went, they profaned my holy name. It was said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, yet they have departed from his land.’ 21 I was concerned for my holy reputation, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they went.
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake that I am about to act, O house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy reputation, which you profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will magnify my great name that has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I magnify myself among you in their sight.
24 “‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. 25 I will sprinkle you with pure water, and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative, and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my regulations. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it; I will not bring a famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the trees and the produce of the fields, so that you will never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil behavior and your deeds that were not good; you will loathe yourselves on account of your sins and your abominable deeds. 32 Understand that it is not for your sake I am about to act, declares the Sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and embarrassed by your behavior, O house of Israel.
33 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will populate the cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be plowed, instead of being desolate in the sight of everyone who passes by. 35 They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; the ruined, desolate, and destroyed cities are now fortified and inhabited.” 36 Then the nations that remain around you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken—and I will do it!’
37 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will allow the house of Israel to ask me to do this for them: I will multiply their people like sheep. 38 Like the sheep for offerings, like the sheep of Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so the ruined cities will be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
37:1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and placed me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. 2 He made me walk all around among them. I realized there were a great many bones in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said to him, “Sovereign Lord, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and tell them: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Lord’s message. 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: Look, I am about to infuse breath into you and you will live. 6 I will put tendons on you and muscles over you and will cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will live. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. There was a sound when I prophesied— I heard a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 As I watched, I saw tendons on them, then muscles appeared, and skin covered over them from above, but there was no breath in them.
9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath—prophesy, son of man—and say to the breath: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these corpses so that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as I was commanded, and the breath came into them; they lived and stood on their feet, an extremely great army.
11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are all the house of Israel. Look, they are saying, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope has perished; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to open your graves and will raise you from your graves, my people. I will bring you to the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. 14 I will place my breath in you and you will live; I will give you rest in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord—I have spoken and I will act, declares the Lord.’”
15 The Lord’s message came to me: 16 “As for you, son of man, take one branch and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another branch and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the branch of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 Join them as one stick; they will be as one in your hand. 18 When your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what these things mean?’ 19 tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to take the branch of Joseph that is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and I will place them on the stick of Judah and make them into one stick—they will be one in my hand.’ 20 The sticks you write on will be in your hand in front of them. 21 Then tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to take the Israelites from among the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from round about and bring them to their land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king will rule over them all. They will never again be two nations and never again be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will not defile themselves with their idols, their detestable things, and all their rebellious deeds. I will save them from all their unfaithfulness by which they sinned. I will purify them; they will become my people, and I will become their God.
24 “‘My servant David will be king over them; there will be one shepherd for all of them. They will follow my regulations and carefully observe my statutes. 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your fathers lived; they will live in it—they and their children and their grandchildren forever. David my servant will be prince over them forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be a perpetual covenant with them. I will establish them, increase their numbers, and place my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then, when my sanctuary is among them forever, the nations will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel.’”