Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wednesday - Ezekiel 36 - Better Than Before

HE interactions between God and Israel (that make up the bulk of this chapter) are a microcosm of God's interactions with the rest of the human race. The chapter begins with a few more references to ldumea (see Ezekiel 35). ldumea may not seem to be so important from our view point.  But when Israel went into captivity, ldumea was important.

The thing we are really talking about here is redemption. Israel was a broken nation. The human race is also broken. Spiritually, Israel had a heart of stone. So, do we. The Jews had no moral beauty that would have obligated God to rescue them. Neither do we. God saved (and is saving) the Jews for the sake of His own reputation, and as a product of His own character. The redemption of the human race has that same foundation.

Many people have asked the question: "Why did God make the world like this?" What they seem to mean is, "Why did God make a world with the possibility of evil, pain, and death?" I don't know that anyone will ever answer that question satisfactorily.  But the wonderful thing about the redemption of Israel is this: the end will be better than the beginning was.  Israel’s stony heart will be made tender.  Potential for failure will be removed.  And, best of all, the love of God for them will be proved to them beyond question.

Concerning the human race, we were innocent; now we are forgiven. We were free; now we are perfected. We were loved, but now His love has been sealed. We were the keepers of a garden; now we are set to inherit heaven. In a very strange way, God's grace is so great that (in Christ) we are actually better off than we were before (Ezekiel 36:11 & 27 and Romans 3:5-8).

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