Sunday School Material 8-26-12: God Promised To Be With Us

(Ezekiel 34:23-31; 8/26/12)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God has plans to restore His sinful people. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to obey God, so we can avoid the pain of the text.

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Body:Read Ezekiel 34:23-24<br>

I.Promise of a Shepherd. God promises a shepherd to tend to His people. This shepherd is His “servant David.” This idea is declared with great authority.

Applications –

- Hierarchy in restoration. Notice in vs. 23 of our Sunday School material that there will still be a hierarchy in glory – sheep and shepherd. For those who have problems following leadership, there is no relief in sight.

Let’s work on trusting God enough to follow the leadership that He sends. God’s ways are best for us. And God will see to it that all things work together for the good of His people.

- God’s love. Notice in vs. 24 of our Sunday School material that God has not given up on His people, in spite of their sins. We should remember that the reason things are as difficult as they are for God’s people in the text is because they kept on sinning. God punished their sins by using human enemies to capture them.

However, God’s anger and punishment doesn’t last forever. God has plans for the restoration of His people. First, we should strive to avoid sin, so we don’t have to experience the pain of punishment.

Second, no matter how bad things seem, we can trust that God still loves His people and is working things out for our good. Third, we should be careful about how we treat God’s people, no matter what state they are in, because God loves His people.

Let’s work on trusting that God keeps on loving His people, in spite of their sins.

Read Ezekiel 34:25-29

II. Promise of Blessings. God promises great blessings. There will blessings associated with the land like no more threat from wild beast and there being ample rain. And there will be blessings associated with human enemies like God rescuing His people from the hands that enslaved them.

Applications –

- Peace. Notice in vs. 25 of our Sunday School material that God seeks peace with His people and for His people. First, God wants there to be peace between Him and His people.

God doesn’t like being angry with us. He strongly prefers that there be peace. However, sin disturbs the peace between God and His people. Second, God wants His people to have peace with others – animals and enemies.

God is not indifferent about our well-being. He wants us to have a blessed peace. Let’s work on trusting that God wants peace, and let’s do our part to experience this peace. Our part is to obey God’s will. At the core of God’s will is for us to be saved and then live a life focused on loving God, ourselves, and others.

- God’s power. Notice in vss. 25-29 of our Sunday School material that God is over nature, humans, and psychological threats. The lions, tigers, and bears are no match for God’s care. The military might of our human enemies are no match for God’s care.

And even our psychological fear (vs. 28) can be conquered by God’s care. Let’s live like we believe that God is stronger than all that threatens us. Such living should be known for joyful confidence and obedience.

Read Ezekiel 34:30-31

III. Knowledge of God. The text teaches that the people will know, after all of the above has taken place that God is with them and that they are God’s people. Verse 31 seems to be some type of reiteration of verse 30 but with an emphasis on present tense, instead of future tense.

Applications –

- Avoiding the pain. Notice in vs. 30 that even though God has a marvelous plan of restoration, the pain of the text could have been avoided, if God’s people would have simply obeyed. So it is in our lives. We can skip over so much pain, by simply obeying God. Let’s work on simply obeying God, so we don’t have to go through all of the pain of the text.

Conclusion: Based on our Sunday School material, let’s work on obeying God, so we can avoid the pain of the text. God has much for those who obey His will.

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