Dedicated to the Passionate Pursuit of the Glory of God.

Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Name: Mike
Location: California, United States
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Warning! Graphic Material - Part IV

Today we will conclude the series on Ezekiel 16. After all that God has done for Israel, we saw that Israel returned the favor by not only rebelling but prostituting herself. We saw that we are really no different than Israel and deserve the same response. This response was one of Anger where God sharply rebukes the nation and says that She is worse than Sodom!

Today we will see that even in the midst of this God is loving. Consider the Word of the Lord:

60"Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

61"Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant.

62"Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD,

63so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done," the Lord GOD declares.

There is even apart of this that still hints at God's anger towards Israel and her sin. However, we must contemplate our initial reaction to this. Do we get defensive (for ourselves or Israel)? Do we shy away from this humiliation and shame that we have? Or can we, by the Grace of God, hear this and shout "verily verily". We are indeed wretched sinners and we must never forget this. We have terribly offended God and we deserve everlasting shame.

There is a famous preacher named Charles Simeon and he has a quotation that I liked. I briefly searched for it and amazingly he cites this very passage as support!

From Simeon:
I have never thought that the circumstance of God's having forgiven me was any reason why I should forgive myself; on the contrary, I have always judged it better to loathe myself the more, in proportion as I was assured that God was pacified towards me (Ezekiel 16:63).

I'm not convinced that we must agree with him entirely, but this is quite counter-cultural and it is definitely worth thinking through.

Now then, we have contemplated and reflected on our estate, we must proceed to meditate on God's deed. In the midst of all of this, He promises to give us a New Covenant, an everlasting covenant. This covenant, as we know in retrospect, is the substance to which all previous shadows have pointed. In this covenant, the New Covenant, God himself (viz. Jesus) condescends and becomes a man. He lives a perfect life in the place of our disgusting life. He then, in the only completely unjust death of human history, is murdered. The very wrath of God is poured out on Jesus as he takes upon Himself our sins. Accordingly, God can now justly forgive us "for all that [we] have done".

This, indeed, is a beautiful picture of the love of God. It is true that it is couched behind some uncomfortable imagery, but we must never lose sight of this image. We must see the love of God, humiliation of self, and exaltation of Christ. What is the purpose of all of this? V. 62 "And you shall know that I am Lord."

In Christ alone,


Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Great Post Mike, The Lord does remember us even in his Anger. The new covenant in his blood is ours for Jesus has given it to us.

5:50 PM  

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