That they shall know…

I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.

Ezekiel 16:62-63 is an incredible passage.  The preceding verses record God’s charge that though they (Israel) have been unfaithful to Him, God will remember His established covenant with His people through atonement so that they shall know that He alone is God.

In fact, as you run through the entire book of Ezekiel you find that the common aim for the prophetic warnings, judgments, and declarations of gracious deliverance are all given by God so that His people will know that He is God.  Every act of judgment is for His renown.  Every gracious and merciful act is for His renown.  Every warning of impending doom (if they do not repent) is for His renown.  Again and again the phrase, “they shall know that I am the Lord” (or some similar variation) shows up.  It is consistent, strong, and clearly the greatest good for His own.

Do we understand that?  Do we grasp the goodness of all the means to this good end?  We rush to agree, and say “Amen!”, that our aim is to know Him as Lord, yet the means He employs to awaken us to His fame often cause us to question this good end.  I’m guilty of this.  It often starts with a grand difficultly that produces a lingering doubt of the goodness of the circumstance.  If unchecked by the gospel, this lingering question begins to produce a darkness that seems to come in around the periphery as if we are about to faint.

This is why the weight of God’s covenant reminder is so powerful at the start of Ezekiel.  It is a profound reminder of God’s gracious redemption.  It is the precursor to the gospel as revealed in the New Testament.  It is a covenant to be finally finished in Christ, through His atoning work.  So, we have a witness and a testimony here to remind us to remind ourselves of God’s covenant keeping nature and the gospel itself.

When those circumstances close in, remind yourself that you have been purchased, redeemed, blood-bought, and are the gracious recipient of God’s promise-keeping nature in covenant relationship.  When He causes or allows injury, gives deep (nearly overwhelming) conviction of sin, shouts great warning in His Word should we treat sin lightly, we must know that all of it is not merely for the avoidance of harmful effects, rather it is for His renown and, therefore, our good.

Our God is our greatest good.

All that He causes or allows is so that we shall know that He is Lord, and while the circumstances may not always be pleasant, for the believer, they are good.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

 

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