Chapter 28:20-26 (ESV) - The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Sidon, and prophesy against her and say, Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I am against you, O Sidon,
and I will manifest my glory in your midst.
And they shall know that I am the Lord
when I execute judgments in her
and manifest my holiness in her;
for I will send pestilence into her,
and blood into her streets;
and the slain shall fall in her midst,
by the sword that is against her on every side.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.
“And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.
“Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”
Question to consider: How does the gathering of Israel here point to the church at Pentecost?
Sidon, the sister city of Tyre, is the 6th land which had rejoiced in, benefited from, or aided in the destruction of God’s holy city, Jerusalem, by the Babylonians. There is not much to say of their destruction other than they would know that the Lord had come against them because He foretold of it through Ezekiel. Though the Lord would manifest His holiness in Sidon in this judgment, there is listed in the gospel accounts of Matthew and Mark an encounter Jesus had with a woman of that region when He and the disciples took a trip up to Tyre and Sidon to get away from the crowds and angry Pharisees in Capernaum. She demonstrated a greater understanding of the mercy of God for all nations and the role Jesus played in this than the disciples who were still more concerned with offending the Pharisees than letting a Gentile receive mercy from Christ.
Once all of the nations surrounding Israel had been judged, the Lord promised a time of peace for Israel from their enemies. He would gather them back from the nations and rebuild the holy city once the land enjoyed its seventy sabbaths which were missed over the 490 years leading up to their exile.
This was also a type and shadow of the ultimate Jubilee promised to Daniel which would occur at the coming of Christ 490 years after they had been restored to the land. At some point, I will cover the book of Daniel, but the angel, Gabriel, gave a promise to him of “seventy sevens” that would be “decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy [one].” (Daniel 9:24)
They would be gathered back to Jerusalem at Pentecost after Jesus was crucified, rose, and ascended. At this time, the Holy Spirit would manifest the holiness of God among them, and they would enter into a new covenant which would last forever because it would be kept by the one who was anointed most holy. This Christ would also bear the sin of all nations so that even their neighbors who had treated them with contempt could be reconciled to God.
I know there are those who think of the regathering to the land of Israel by the Jews as something that was inaugurated in 1948 and will be fulfilled in the future, but as the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “ For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22). It is Jesus who “sealed up both vision and prophet” and has done the work to clothe us in righteousness and restore us to God.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for the hope of salvation we have in Christ. Help us to live as redeemed people who look forward to the day when Christ returns, and there will be no more sin and death. Amen.