Tag Archive for Ezekiel 36

Ezekiel: Complete Salvation

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Ezekiel 36:22-38

God’s people had failed, but God’s purpose would not fail. He would bring about a sweeping, dramatic salvation for His people. He would not do it for their sakes, for they had proven themselves unfaithful and unworthy. He would do it to vindicate His reputation among the nations. Note that He was not acting out of selfish interest, but because He was determined to show His love to our entire race.

In Ezekiel 36:24-38, God gives the specifics of what He would do.

  • He would regather His people from the lands where He had scattered them (v.24). Their exile had been a dramatic show of their failure. Their regathering would be a dramatic presentation of God’s power, goodness, and faithfulness to His people.
  • He would cleanse them completely from all their sin – not by their actions or by their worthiness, but by His own doing (v.25).
  • He would put within them a new heart and a new spirit – His own Spirit – to enable them to obey (vv.26-27). He would empower them to be His holy people, from the inside out.
  • He would bless their relationship with Him. They truly would be His people, and He would be their God (v.28).
  • He would give them the gift of a broken heart and true repentance (v.31). They would see their own sin in the light of God’s goodness.
  • He would bless their land, turning the desert into a Garden of Eden, so that all the nations would know that Almighty God, eternally faithful and loving, had done this (vv.30, 33-36).
  • He would increase their men (vv.37-38). Why? To any society decimated by war and captivity, especially a patriarchal society like Israel, the restoration of its male population was key to its recovery.

How good is our God! He doesn’t abandon us to our weakness and failure. By His own power and love, He acts unilaterally to save us from the inside out. He enables us to be far more than we ever dreamed we could be. Praise to Him!

Ezekiel: When We Ruin God’s Reputation

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Ezekiel 36:16-21

God called Israel to be His own special people. He had set them up as a “light to the nations”, to be a living example of God’s people. He longed for the whole world to see them and understand what a great and loving God He was.

Instead, Israel’s sin had “profaned His holy name” among the nations (Ezekiel 36:20). They had given God a bad reputation. They had shamed Him. Their sinful ways and their public idolatry had given Him a bad name among nations who knew nothing else about Him but what they saw in their neighbor, Israel.

Their sinfulness finally forced God to punish them in a very public way. He handed them over to their enemies and sent them into exile – the northern kingdom of Israel around 722 B.C., and the southern kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C. Of course, by this forced discipline, the Jews had made God’s reputation even worse. Their failure made God appear cruel and impossible.

But God’s deep, burning love never gives up on His gracious purpose. He loved both His covenant people, Israel, and all the other nations who had been given a negative opinion of Him. So what did He do? He announced that He would act dramatically, in a brand new way:

“It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name…Then the nations will know that I am the Lord…when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.” (Ezekiel 36:22-23, NASB)

His people had failed to show the world how holy and loving He is. So would God withdraw His blessings, His presence, and His salvation from His undeserving people? No. God’s overall purpose is always driving toward salvation, never away from it. He would make His salvation even greater and more gracious.