Blessed Bondage

Ezekiel 34:27 (ESV) … “And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.”


This is definitely a prophecy of future events, because the returned remnant didn’t have an august ruler caring for them, nor did “showers of blessing” come to the land. The economic situation at the beginning was difficult, the harvests were poor, and the peoples of the land were opposed to any Jewish presence there. But when Israel is regathered to her land in the end times, the Messiah will rule over them and be their Shepherd-King. The “prince” (v. 24) will not be King David, resurrected and enthroned, but the Lord Jesus Christ whom Israel will receive and trust when they see Him (Zech. 12:9–13:1; see Jer. 23:5; 30:8–10; Hosea 3:5). Ezekiel mentions “David the prince” in 37:24–25; 45:22; 46:4, and these references point to the Messiah.


Agriculture in the land of Israel depended on the early and latter rains from the Lord, and He promised to send the rain faithfully if the people honored His covenant (Lev. 26:1–5; Deut. 28:9–14). But if they disobeyed Him, the heavens would turn to brass and the ground to iron (Deut. 11:13–17; 28:23–24). If the people repented and sought His forgiveness, He would send the rain and heal the land (Deut. 30; 2 Chron. 7:12–14).


The Lord also promised that the people would be safe in the land and not be oppressed by the peoples around them. Except during the reigns of David and Solomon, the nation of Israel has been attacked, conquered, and ravaged by one nation after another, but this will cease when Messiah is on the throne. A “covenant of peace” would govern the land (Ezek. 34:25; see 37:26), which probably refers to the New Covenant that Jeremiah promised in Jeremiah 31:31–34. The law of God would be written on the hearts of the people and they all would know the Lord and obey His will.


Neither the pain of scarcity nor the shame of defeat will rob the Jewish people of the blessings the Lord has planned for them. In the past, their sins forced the Lord to turn His face against them; but in the future kingdom, He will smile upon them and dwell with them. Ezekiel had watched the glory of God leave the temple (Ezek. 11:22–23), but he would also see God’s glory return (43:1–5). The name of the holy city would become “Jehovah Shammah—the Lord is there” (48:35).[1]


Charles Spurgeon puts it this way: It appears from the text that there is a process by which God’s own people are brought to know the Lord. This process takes place when he breaks the bands of their yoke. Then they know that the Lord is God. It is clear, therefore, that he must first of all permit his own chosen, for a wise purpose, to come into bondage. They must be in bondage, or else they would not wear the yoke, and there would be no opportunity for the Lord to break that yoke. I do not commend the bondage; it is a thing to be deplored; but, as Augustine once cried out, “Beata culpa!” “Happy fault!” when he saw how sin had made space for the wonderful display of divine grace, so I venture to say, “Blessed bondage, which gives an opportunity for our God to come in and set his children free, and by thus breaking the bands of their yoke to teach them that he himself is the Lord.”[2]




[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (2000). Be reverent (pp. 154–155). Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor/Cook Communications. [2] Spurgeon, C. H. (1879). The Yoke Removed and the Lord Revealed. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 25, p. 134). London: Passmore & Alabaster.