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Ezekiel 20 (ESV)
40 “For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41 As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
Ezekiel gives a “comprehensive review” of the history of the Israelites’ rebellion against God in this chapter. The focus is on God’s miraculous deeds to bring back the nation of Israel, and God’s tolerance and compassion for the people’s constant rebellion. Ezekiel’s message is: the people are responsible to God for their sins, and God will eliminate those who are stubborn and insist on resisting God to the end. At the same time, God will also bring faithful people into the “land of Israel” (v.42), a land flowing with milk and honey that God promised to give to the ancestors of the nation of Israel, so that they can experience how gracious He is. Moreover, God “will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations” (v.41), which means that through God’s discipline and restoration of Israel, the Gentiles will recognize God’s justice, love, and faithfulness, and admit that He alone is the only true God, this is also the ultimate goal of God choosing Israel. Salvation has never been based on human merits, but because of God’s own disposition. From God’s active grace to people’s rebelliousness, and then God forgives and disciplines for His name’s sake, this pattern is constantly recurring in the Israelites in exile, and it will continue to appear in today’s Christians.
Make a comprehensive review of your history of rebelling against God and being disciplined and forgiven by God. Count God’s blessings and give thanks to God. Not only thank God for His salvation, but also for His grace of rebirth through leading and disciplining you continuously. Pray for God to strengthen your heart, so that you will not deviate from God’s way in weakness and failure, experience God’s deeper moulding of your life, and establish a more intimate relationship with God.
He Will Hold Me Fast – youtu.be/936BapRFHaQ