couple enjoying retirement September 3 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Ezekiel 47, 48

The Ideal Retirement Center

What is your idea of the perfect retirement center? Plush gardens with a fountain of youth? Golfing everyday? Excellent fishing? No crime? Luxurious accommodations with excellent management? The best of health with no sickness? Fine restaurants? Sounds good, doesn't it?

Jerusalem will someday be the ideal retirement center. The Bible describes the future nation of Israel as the land of milk and wine (Joel 3:18), meaning it will be fruitful and prosperous. There will be a river of life flowing from the throne of God in the temple. It will flow west to the Mediterranean Sea, east into the Jordan Valley, and south to the Dead Sea. Its life-giving waters will heal the Dead Sea so there will be excellent fishing. Along the way are trees with fruit which will be absolutely delicious, and its leaves will heal all ailments (Ezekiel 47:1-10).

Never again will there be in it [Jerusalem] an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed (Isaiah 65:20, NIV).

This is not Israel’s situation when Ezekiel prophesies to them—she is cursed for her wickedness! Her people are in exile in Babylon and their homeland is destroyed. The Israelites are grieving the losses of their homes, relatives, and land. In their time of trouble, an angelic man comes to Ezekiel and describes a great future for her.

Today's Bible reading describes their beautiful land and its boundaries. In future lessons we will learn that Israel does not fully obey the LORD, so these promises remain unfulfilled. When Jesus comes back to rule and reign, however, they will be fulfilled. In that day, Israel will be in her own land, all twelve tribes will be re-unified, at peace with one another, and living together on the western side of the Jordan River.

Their territory will extend from Syria to Egypt—farther than it has ever extended—even more than in the days of King Solomon. The Jews will have their own land, according to their tribes, and in equal parts (see map). They will receive the inheritance which was promised them from the days of Abraham (Genesis 17:8). Gentiles will be welcomed to live among them and also receive an inheritance in the land (Ezekiel 47:22-23). Even the future name of the city will encourage the exiles. The presence of the LORD had departed from Jerusalem many years before, but from that day forward the name of the city will be “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezekiel 48:35).

In that day, there will be a worship center, the temple, where the LORD God Himself will be present. It will be a place of sacrifice, feasting and praise (Ezekiel 46). The greatest worship music sung and played will adorn the greatness and holiness of God.

In that day, The Lord Jesus will reign as king. There will be no crime in the world, but there will be peace. Even vicious animals and reptiles will be at peace with one another, and parents will not need to worry about them harming their children (Isaiah 11:5-9). Perfect justice all over the world will be exercised because His dedicated faithful followers will help Him govern the peoples of the earth (Revelation 20:6). Satan, that great enemy of all, will be bound—he will not be able to exert his evil influence on the world (Revelation 20:1-3). For one thousand years, the world will be at peace and will prosper. What a great retirement for believers, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

Lessons for Living

  • Are any of us troubled by our circumstances? If we are not a follower of Christ, we should turn from our sins and trust in His sacrifice for our salvation (more...). If we are followers, remember Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b, NIV).
  • There will be a glorious retirement center for Jewish believers and anyone who wants to live with them. And, God will be present there in His temple. God will be adored and His name lifted up in glory and praise. Wouldn’t you like to go to that church service?

Focus Verses

1Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-- kept in heaven for you.

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A Look Ahead: Egypt is great and powerful but will be conquered. Nebuchadnezzar, having conquered most of the kingdoms of the known world, is proud and, like King Jehoiachin of Judah, must be humbled. Learn how God shows them Who is King.

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