Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 29, 2017

“I will establish an everlasting covenant with you” – “I have forgiven you for all that you have done”

Today’s devotion comes from Ezekiel chapter 16.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+16&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing;  you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths.  No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you.  Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.

“When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’  Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’  I made you numerous like plants of the field.  Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments;  your breasts were formed and your hair had grown.  Yet you were naked and bare.

“Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love;  so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness.  I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God.  “Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil.  I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet;  and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk.  I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck.  I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.  Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth.  You ate fine flour, honey and oil;  so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.  Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord God.

“But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing.”  

Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged;  and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy.  I will also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels, and will leave you naked and bare.  They will incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.  They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women.  Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers.  So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more.  Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head,” declares the Lord God, “so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations.

“Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.  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.  Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, so 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.”  Ezekiel 16:1-15 and 38-43 and 60-63.

—————————————–

In this vivid figurative history of Israel summarized in one chapter, we are shocked by both Israel’s faithlessness and God’s faithfulness.

We think of the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation a/k/a Five Points of Calvinism a/k/a TULIP. 

We see God’s grace toward Israel described so richly in verses 1-14 (making us think of “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of TULIP) , Israel’s response of harlotry in verses 15-34 (making us think of “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”), God’s punishment of Israel in verses 35-43, and a summary of God’s grace alone to “establish an everlasting covenant” with Israel in verses 60-63 (making us think of the unconditional nature of the covenant).   

Other doctrine teaches that God’s covenant is a bilateral agreement made and maintained by two parties and bases man’s performance of his part of the covenant on duty and thankfulness.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that God’s covenant is an unilateral action made and maintained by God alone.  To God alone be the glory!

“…  He takes away the first in order to establish the second.  By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;  but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.  For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.  And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us;  for after saying,

This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will write them,”

He then says,

And their sins and their lawless deeds
I will remember no more.”

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”  Hebrews 10:9-18.

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