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In Ezekiel 20, the Israelite leaders ask Ezekiel to inquire of God, and God gives them a history lesson in response: “On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands … But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.”

Like many of us, Israel had a history of rebellion and repentance. Throughout the generations, God blessed the Israelites and freed them. But still, they turned their backs on God and worshiped figures made of stone and wood. They turned to God only to turn away again.

But what’s more striking than Israel’s rebellion is God’s faithfulness. Instead of pouring out wrath, God brings them out of Egypt. When they rebel against God in the desert, He “looked on them with pity and did not destroy them or put an end to them” (Ezekiel 20:17). God was true to His word. He did not leave them or forsake them (Deuteronomy 3:16). And the same is true for us.

Think back over the course of your life. Have you ever followed God more closely than you are following Him today? God’s mercy is endless and patient. If you are going through a hard time right now, perhaps God is trying to get your attention and bring you back into relationship Him, just like He did with Israel.

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