GOD’S COVENANT – ATONEMENT
Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 16-17
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Key Verses: Ezekiel 16:62-63
“And I will establish My covenant with you. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done,” says the Lord God.
Ezekiel, true to his calling as a prophet, is representing God to humanity, and in particular to God’s people, Israel. Imagine the capacity of God to feel abandoned, betrayed, unloved, and unwanted. We have feelings which can be hurt, but do we consider God’s feelings? God considers all who believe in Him to be His Bride (read Revelation 19:7-9). Ezekiel tries to shame God’s people into repentance by comparing them to a prostitute and an adulterous wife who breaks wedlock. He even says that Jerusalem is worse than Sodom, a city which God destroyed because of its evil. But God, true and faithful to His side of the covenant, renews His marriage covenant by Himself. He provides a way to erase the past through the atonement provided by the shedding of blood (Leviticus 17:11 and Hebrews 13:20-21). God promised an everlasting covenant. He has done His part; now we must receive it, sign it, believe it and keep it as true believers.
Chapter 17 begins by God asking Ezekiel to pose a riddle. The dictionary says that a riddle is “a question or statement intentionally phrased so as to require ingenuity in ascertaining its answer or meaning.” Why would God use this tactic? It seems that God will try every possible means to help us think deeply. Someone has said, “When a person begins to think, God has the advantage.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Thank You, Lord God, that You did not put the Covenant and the Atonement into a riddle. You made it so very plain so that a person can understand that You are committed to the most solemn and binding agreement into which any two parties can enter. You have kept Your part in this act of total commitment to us. I pray for daily grace to keep my part. In legal language, You are the “Party of the first part,” and I’m the “party of the second part.” Thank You that I don’t need a law degree to understand that! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Our first Crossroads Treasurer was the late George Inkster. I was Pastor to the Inkster family in Sudbury, Ontario, for five years. At least twice Norma-Jean, our children and I were Sunday dinner guests at the Inkster home. Both times George had a riddle for us to think about and talk about during the meal. One of the Inkster children told me that their Dad did this regularly. I would say that all the Inkster children turned out to be deep thinkers about all the matters of life. George could also throw out amazing mathematical challenges. He had the answers to complicated problems clearly figured out in advance.
I mentioned above that God has the advantage when we begin to think. Shauna Simmons Jenkins hosted an amazing children’s TV show for our network, CTS, called, TQ. Later she launched a video series for teens called, Make You Think! I recommend this for the very reason stated in the name of the series. During my “Thank You Canada” tour to 180 cities during 2010 to 2012, I sold this video series to a number of churches for their youth group discussions. I highly recommend these well-done quality DVD’s. For information on purchasing this excellent production go to makeyouthink.com.
Yours for learning how to think with greater depth than ever,