August 23, 2021
"For here is what the Lord, God says: ‘I will do to you as you have done – you treated the oath with contempt by breaking the covenant I made with you..."
“For here is what the Lord, God says: ‘I will do to you as you have done – you treated the oath with contempt by breaking the covenant I made with you when you were a girl and will establish an everlasting covenant with you. Then you will remember your behavior and be ashamed of it as you receive your older and younger sisters and make them your daughters, even though the covenant with you does not cover that; and I will re-establish my covenant with you. Then you will know that I am the Lord; so that you will remember and be so ashamed that you will never open your mouth again, so ashamed will you be when I have forgiven you all that you have done,’ says the Lord, God.” Ezekiel 16:59-63
Today’s chapter makes use of blunt words to convey Israel’s spiritual prostitution. Charles Spurgeon, who preached in Victorian England, felt that Ezekiel 16 was so graphic that “A minister could scarcely read it in public.”
Though the chapter comprises a single unit, Ezekiel is actually speaking of Israel – referred to by its capital city, Jerusalem – in 3 time dimensions: Past, present, and future. It is the future that I wanted to focus on in today’s passage.
The secret to a good marriage is good communication and the willingness to extend an unlimited amount of grace! But there are some kinds of behavior in a marriage that cannot be overlooked. And such behavior goes against the very essence of a marriage relationship. Of course, I am speaking of infidelity, and that was precisely the case with the “marriage” of God and His people. Divorce courts are full of such relationships; one party chooses to be unfaithful, and the other simply cannot live in such conditions.
But the rare couple is one where infidelity has taken place, some level of separation or divorce takes place, true repentance occurs on the part of the unfaithful spouse, and in response, the offended spouse agrees to re-enter the marriage covenant. Instead of focusing on the “true Hollywood stories” aspect of today’s chapter, I chose to spotlight the hope that unfaithful followers of God have once they repent.
The Church-at-large may become so corrupt that it no longer deserves to be called “Christian”; nevertheless, there will always be a group of believers to worship God as He prescribes. That is something to bear in mind as we read this chapter. Also, we can’t think of ourselves above the level of judgment that God levied on Jerusalem. Jesus said:
“Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is one who loves me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him.” John 14:21
Jesus was not saying that we are “saved” by keeping His commands. Instead, He was saying that those who are truly “saved” desire to obey Him. What if believers disobey?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9