Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 14:12-16:41 (additional reading: Psalm 106:1-12 & Proverbs 27:4-6)
In chapter 15 Ezekiel has used a parable about a useless vine, which bears no fruit and is too twisted to build with, to inform the people of their worthlessness to God and the coming judgment. The people do not believe him because they think that simply being the chosen people will spare them from God’s judgement. The reality as they are about to learn is so different. Being born into the Israelite nation was not sufficient – just as being born into a Christian family is not sufficient for salvation. So we come to chapter 16 and in this chapter Ezekiel does two things. First he points out the ‘The Glory of God’s Grace’ and secondly ‘The disgrace of Israel.’
The picture painted in chapter 16 isn’t beautiful but it a picture of something Unclean, Unloved, Uncared for, Unclothed, Unclaimed and Uncontrollable. That is the picture painted here by Ezekiel of this child. Unclean – The child has never been washed but remains in the state in which it was born. Here is the picture of us in our sinful state – unclean (Rom. 3:23, Is. 64:6)
Unloved/Uncared for – this child has not even had it’s umbilical cord cut. (Psalm 142:2 ‘No man cared for my soul.’) Unclothed – this little one is left naked before a hostile world. Again we see ourselves here – we are clothed and think we hide our shame, our guilt and our sin – we do it very well from other people but the reality this morning is that before God each of us is naked and exposed.
Yet when we get to verses 6 – 9 we find a wonderful picture of the wonderful compassion which God has for people. In these verses God is pictured as one walking past who stoops down and rescues this child from a certain death. In these verses we see what Christ has done for everyone who has placed their faith and trust in him. He came to us. Ezekiel says that the Lord sees the helpless and hopeless situation and reaches down into the midst of all the mess and rescues. The Lord speaks but one word ‘Live’. Death was a certainty but his voice speaks life and brings life. Doesn’t matter how much mess you might have in your life or how certain failure looks God can speak life into it.