7.20 Ezekiel -- Summary of Ezekiel Racial Teachings
a. The Lord is sovereign. He appears to Ezekiel, in all His glory, even in Babylonia. This means He is Lord of all nations, and not merely a tribal deity like the idols surrounding Israel.
b. Ezekiel’s chief mission is to Israel, which remains the chosen people. The prophet’s words and symbolic actions show beforehand the wonders that the Lord will perform, both to His people and on their behalf. Much of the Lord’s will for the nations remains unspoken in this book.
c. Judgments are pronounced on the nations, in many cases partly because of their ill-treatment of Judah and Jerusalem. But Babylonia is the Lord’s servant in bringing judgment. The Lord testifies that other nations are less sinful than Judah, and would repent if He sent them His prophet.
d. When Israel and Judah are cleansed and restored, the Lord will "show Himself holy" through them and make Himself known to the nations. Even when He gathers a great, apocalyptic, multinational army to attack His people, and then destroys that army, some nations are left to bear witness.
e. Judah has been set in the center of the nations for a purpose, a revelatory and saving purpose. Although some nations (Egypt, Sodom) seem to be restored mostly to serve as object lessons to Israel, the nations are not simply slaves or tribute-bearers to the chosen people. While they may not enter the Temple, they may inherit land and are to be considered as "native-born Israelites." But the full realization of this is left to the day when the Lord provides a new heart and a new spirit.
f. In the New Jerusalem that Ezekiel foresees, the messianic role is present but undeveloped, and the significance of foreigners is minimized.