25 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. 26 I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them. 28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. 29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations. 30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. 31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”Ezekiel 34:25-31 (NIV)
At times it can be easy to miss the obvious. We can become so accustomed to the everyday details in our lives that we do not even notice them. There are aspects of our lives which seem to naturally occur without us even giving any thought to them. A good example is our breathing. Stop for a moment and focus on your breathing. Notice each inhale and each exhale. This occurs over and over without our conscious thought. A blessing which keeps us alive but goes unnoticed most of the time.
The passage from Ezekiel talks about the blessings which God plans to bestow on the Israelites. God promises the Israelites that there will be a covenant of peace. God will remove all dangers from them. They will be given showers to provide them crops and fruit. The yoke of oppression will be removed. They will be kept in safety. The land given will provide abundantly. This will show them that God is with them and they are God’s people. Over time, the Israelites will begin to take all of this for granted. In the Bible this is referred to as forgetting their God.
Sadly, we can be like the Israelites when it comes to taking God and the blessings which God provides for granted. As creator of all things, God blesses us with everything surrounding us and even our life itself. How often do we stop to take notice of these blessings which God provides. Just as the breathing exercise above, if we are not deliberate in noticing the everyday blessings, they will not be apparent to us. Ezekiel reminds us that these blessings alert us of the presence of God and that we are God’s people. So take time to notice and remember your Lord.