READ: Ezekiel 19-21
THINK: Consider these words from the great preacher Charles Spurgeon, speaking on Ezekiel 20:34-38:
The Lord chastens His people, thus, that He may bring them into their own land of promise into the rest of His love. Whereas this text tells us of the rebels—that they shall not enter into the land of Israel—it is implied that those who obey the Divine command shall enter into the land of promise and peace. Blessed be God for the land of promise into which we enter by faith! What a subject! I wish I had a week in which to preach upon it! When you quit the desert of Sinai, or the Covenant of Works, you enter into the land of promise, or the Covenant of Grace—and then you plead the precious promises of God and realize the riches of His Grace to the delight of your soul! Then is it true, “so shall you dwell in the land and verily you shall be fed.” But no man ever gets to live upon the promise of God until, first of all, he is weaned from all self-reliance and all self-glorying. When God has stamped self with the seal of death and we have seen destruction written upon all carnal confidence, then we are glad to accept as a gift that which we can never win as a re- ward!
The table of Covenant-Grace is loaded when, in all the land of human merit, there remains not a morsel of bread! None so joyfully enter into the land of Grace as those who are weary of the wilderness and can find no rest in their own doings. As the way to Canaan was across a desert, so the way to the Covenant is often by a bitter experience. And as the land that flows with milk and honey was all the lovelier because of the howling wilderness, so is Grace all the more precious because of the utter failure of self!
Last of all, the great end of all is that we may know the Lord. I speak thoughtfully when I say I fear that large numbers of professors do not know the Lord. That is to say, the Lord Jehovah—as known to Ezekiel, is not known by many who profess to believe in the true God. Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. But He is not the god of the 19th Century. This generation has made a god of its own. The effeminate deity of the modern school is no more the true God than Dagon or Baal. I know him not, neither do I reverence him! Jehovah is the true God—He is the God of Love—but He is also robed in Justice. He is the God of forgiveness, but He is also the God of Atonement. He is the God of Heaven, but He is also the God who sends the wicked down to Hell. We, of course, are thought to be harsh, narrow-minded and bigoted—nevertheless, this God is our God forever and ever. There has been no change in Jehovah! He has revealed Himself more clearly in Christ Jesus, but He is the same God as in the Old Testament—and as such we worship Him.
When a man has smarted because of his sin and has been made to feel the burning coals of anguish in his own spirit. When the Lord has set him up as a target and shot at him with arrows which drink up his life. And, when afterwards he has been saved and the splendor of infinite love has shone upon him, then he knows Jehovah! When God has brought the contrite man into the place of security, comfort, joy and delight in Christ Jesus, then he knows the Lord! The full-orbed Deity is beheld by the broken and contrite in the day of his deliverance—neither does he know which to adore and ad- mire most—the power, the wisdom, the justice, or the Grace of God! We love everything that is in God when we are brought under the bond of the Covenant. May God bless this word to many sorrowing spirits, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.
PRAY: Today, take some time to truly consider your own sin and the depths from which God has saved you. And worship him for the “splendor of his infinite love!”