The Promise and the Premise

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Behind the Word – inquire (Hebrew) darash pr. Daw-rash’ –  When referring to God means the Lord  allowing Himself to be enquired of or sought out. Stem and mood, niphal, the passive of Qal, often expressing a reflexive action.

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I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 36:36-38 NKJV)

   First century Israelite historian, Josephus, wrote that on the Passover as many as 120,000 lambs were brought to the temple mount to be sacrificed to Yahweh as a remembrance for His deliverance of Israel from slavery. Imagine that gruesome scene! Thousands of Levites would be gathered to the Temple Mount for a day of continuous ritual slaughter. Here, through Ezekiel the Lord is promising to restore Israel’s soon to be depleted ranks to numbers like those sacrificial sheep — I will increase their men like a flock. Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days….   

   This is a promise from God and He doesn’t break His promises — I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it…. God is faithful, but this promise comes with a premise — I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them. God is saying He will allow Himself to be sought out for increase. We seek out God, we inquire of God, in prayer. We should always pray with a confident expectation that God will respond. God promised increase but allowed that the promise would only be fulfilled in response to the prayers of the faithful. He has chosen that He will do it when we have plead for the fulfillment of His promise which is stacked up in heaven waiting to be released at the sound of my voice. God doesn’t need a reminder. He remembers, when I remind Him it indicates that I too remember.  

   I look at the spiritual condition my nation and I whine and complain about it. I shake my head and say it is a sad state of affairs. I wonder what God might do if instead I simply prayed for revival. Our cities are in distress. Detroit has plans to level 25% of its area and plant grass. I wonder if I prayed for them if God instead would send revival — so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men… of God.

   The world’s great revivals have been initiated with prayer. Azuza Street began with prayer. The Argentine revival began with prayer. It seems insignificant when I pray for such a great movement, but I wonder if the American revival is left dangling for lack of prayer. My prayer. The Lord’s promise is clear. Pray, and I will do it. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.

    Do your prayers seem too small for the world’s large problems?

    What promise might God be waiting for you to inquire of so He can fulfill it?

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