Ezekiel 18:1-19:14, Hebrews 9:1-10, Psalms 106:32-48, Proverbs 27:10
Today is November 8th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor, as always, to be in your presence. And it’s quite an honor that together no matter where we are in the world, as separated by geography as we might be, we are all in the presence of the Lord. So, what’s not to look forward to about that. It is a great to be here with you today as we take the next step forward in our journey through the Scriptures. And we’re reading from the Names of God Bible this week. Ezekiel chapter 18 verse 1 through 19, verse 14 today.
Okay. As we continue to move through books of prophecy like Jeremiah, like Ezekiel that we’re reading right now, we can find ourselves…we can find ourselves like bogged down in page after page of like impending destruction. And after a while we might notice that this is subtly shifting our focus toward the heart of God. We might begin to unfairly consider Him furious, like and vengeful toward people, which is where this idea of an angry God comes from. But we need to remember something. The prophets were foretelling an outcome that hadn’t happened. And although very difficult times were experienced, they could’ve been avoided. And God spoke about this in Ezekiel today. God said, I don’t want we could people to die. I want them to turn from their evil ways and live. That’s different than a God who will smite the earth and everyone upon it. So, the prophets weren’t sent by God and their writings weren’t preserved simply to reveal that God woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided to destroy people. Instead God explained carefully why things were going sideways, why things were spinning out of control, why things were headed in a spiral downward. And this usually boiled down to covenant breaking. And, so, we were talking about a covenant yesterday when we talked about the book of Hebrews. So, the idea of covenant is in no way a foreign concept in the Bible. In fact, it’s like ubiquitous, but it’s not so different for us now. Well you think…that's…that’s way back then…but we still enter into covenants today. We may call them agreements. We might call them a contract, but when we sign them we warrant and covenant about what we’re agreeing to, right? And when we sign it, it’s binding. But an actual true covenant goes deeper than the paper that was printed on. Like, if we were to break the covenant of marriage by committing adultery the onslaught of pain and destruction and scorched-earth that would follow would not be God’s fault. Like, no matter how we try to frame Him for it, it would not be God’s fault. We will reap what we sow. And the prophets spoke to people who had some wickedness, like wickedness that God says they were doing things that never even entered His mind. So, they had sown wickedness for generations. And, so, they were about to reap the results. So, I mean, as we’ve seen so many times as we move through the Bible this year, the people of God continually broke the covenant and the prophets served as an advanced warning. Like instead of like announcers of doom. Like these dark, mysterious, weird, long-haired, dirty robed figures who come in out of the desert saying bad things are going to happen. Instead of that, they were actually God being long-suffering. Like, He didn’t have to warn anybody about anything. The covenant was entered into. And if the covenant was broken then the curses of the covenant were to come upon the person who broke the covenant. That’s how covenants work. Just like the example we used about adultery, like, that’s how it works. I didn’t have to send any prophets to say, hey, this isn’t gonna work out, you’re going in the wrong direction. So, fundamentally, the messages that the prophets came with has an arc to it. It’s basically God saying, listen we had an agreement and we entered into a covenant and you’re breaking the covenant. And, so, the curses of the covenant are coming upon you and because you’re breaking the covenant your separating yourself from me. And that’s going to lead you into all kinds of trouble if you keep going in that direction. But even if that’s what you choose to do, even if that’s what happens, and we are estranged, I will not forget you. There will be another side to this and on the other side of this I’ll still be waiting for you to come back to me and there will come a day and all will be restored again. But, I mean, rather than me putting this into my own words, we can hear the words from God Himself. And I quote from Ezekiel 18. Change the way you think and act. Turn away from all the rebellious things that you have done so that you will not fall into sin. Stop all the rebellious things that you are doing. Get yourselves new hearts and new spirits. Why do you want to die? I don’t want anyone to die declares Adonai Yahweh. Change the way you think and act. So, it should be crystal clear. It wasn’t people God wanted to destroy, it was wickedness that he wanted to eradicate. And anything that would seduce God’s people into wickedness and deception was also going to be something that was going to entice them to break the covenant. And, so, the passage that we’re reading clearly gives us language for God’s heart in the prophetic books as well as his posture toward humanity. So, we talked about this lots of times as we’ve made this journey this year. The choices we make are going to eventually add up to our destiny. That’s how it works friends. And we’re gonna either remain in a covenantal relationship with God or we’re not. God’s heart toward us is that we will live, and He has certainly remained faithful to us. And if we want the benefits of the covenant, which pretty much encompasses everything we believe as Christians, then we’re also going to have to be faithful. It just doesn’t work any other way, right? I mean you can’t just step out on your spouse anytime you want and it’s all good. Even if you were to make that kind of agreement with your spouse, even if you were to agree that this was okay it will deteriorate, it is going to fall apart, the bonds of the covenant are broken. And, so, whatever it is that you end up having, it will be something substandard something sub what God intended for marriage, right? We know this, and yet we seem to ignore this with God. If we’re not going to be faithful, then it’s not going to work. There are terms and we have to respond. We can navigate our lives into a full-blown mess. We can certainly walk directly into destruction, but we cannot blame God for it. But as God invited us from the book of Ezekiel, we certainly can repent. We certainly can change our minds. We certainly can get new hearts and new spirits in us, we can come running home. The choice is ours.