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Davis Opening Most of us do not think of grace when we think about the book of Ezekiel but it is full of portraits of God’s magnificent grace. Today we will look at Ezekiel 16:1-14 and we will catch a glimpse of who we really are: lost and sinful. But we will also get insight into the powerful and compassionate grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. So…let’s pray and then get to work and we will see how God’s word will impact our lives today. I. Introduction
The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices 3and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite… Ezekiel is told by the Lord to “confront” Jerusalem and her “detestable practices.” The KJV of the Bible uses the word “abominations” where the NIV uses “detestable things.” In reality, every city has inhabitants, and so God is speaking to those who are dwelling in Jerusalem. Ezekiel’s job is to make those dwelling in Jerusalem come face to face with its sin and idolatry; to come to grips with its terrible rejection of God. Jerusalem was not always the Jerusalem we read of in the scriptures. Ezekiel is reminding the people of Jerusalem of her “ancestry.” Before Jerusalem became Jerusalem and became the home of God’s people, the Hittites and Amorites inhabited it. These were people who God allowed Israel to defeat when they came into the land He had promised them. But Ezekiel is reminding Jerusalem that there was a time when she was unimportant and insignificant in the world. No one knew about Jerusalem and no once care for this little piece of land that had been promised to God’s people. But… II. Grace For The Pitiful Baby
the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. One day God passes by this insignificant little city and has compassion on her. He compares her to an
unwanted child. When God comes by He sees a city who like a neglected child is lying naked. The child had not been washed and so it was covered with the blood and effects of being birthed. The child had not been salted. Some commentators suppose this was a common practice that helped to kill the bacteria that would have been on the child from the birthing process (Smith, 2005, para. 4). When God passes by Jerusalem He sees her as a terribly neglected and unloved child but He has compassion her by helping her to grow… III. Grace For The Young Lady
" 'Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" 7 I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew up and developed and became the most beautiful of jewels. Your breasts were formed and your hair grew, you who were naked and bare. 8 " 'Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine. 9 " 'I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. God looks at this neglected child who it seems is about to die and says, LIVE! But not only does God give life to the child but also He helps the child to grow. Because she is being cared for and loved by God she develops properly and becomes beautiful but is still naked and bare. But because He loves her God does not want her to be immodest and exposed. When He passes by and sees her condition His grace provides for her a garment. He covers here nakedness so she will not be exposed to the elements of this world. But God goes even one step further. He doesn’t just cover her BUT He enters into a covenant with her and makes her His own. He makes her His bride! He enters into relationship with her and by doing so provides a way for her to be clean and spotless from the corrupting elements of the world. But God doesn’t stop at simply marrying this young lady… IV. Grace For Hs Wife
I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. 11 I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, 12 and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was fine flour, honey and olive oil. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. 14 And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.
This wonderful Husband gives her all the finest things: embroidered dresses, new shoes; fine linen and costly garments; expensive jewelry is given to her as a sign of His love for her. He lavishes love on this once neglected child. This pitiful baby and naked child has now grown into a fine woman and has been taken as the bride of God! No longer is she the pitiful and neglected child be she has “rose to be a queen.” The news of her rise has spread all over the world and she is known as someone of beauty and splendor. Why? Because the Sovereign LORD had MADE HER BEAUTY PERFECT! Application What a beautiful story about our beautiful God. But some of you may be asking, “What does this parable about an ancient city and an ancient people have to do with me?” Well, I am glad you asked. Let me just draw some parallels for us today because not only is this a picture of Jerusalem but also one of you and I and our Great Savior: Jesus Christ. • Just like the child in the field you and I were hopelessly lost in our sinful condition. We were not clean but rather covered in the sin we inherited from our father Adam. • No one cared about us! Sure we may have loving families but in the end the enemy, called the Devil, was out to destroy us. He was out to devour us as children. • Like this child we were exposed to the harmful elements of our sinful nature and to its effects. But we were also exposed to the abuse and pain that others, because of their sinfulness, caused us. • Just like that pitiful baby we were without hope unless someone came around and had compassion on us! That someone is Jesus! He has seen us in our worst possible condition. He has loved us even while we were sinners who rejected everything about Him. He loved us, the pitiful baby, enough to show His eternal compassion by surrendering His life for ours. But not only does God have compassion on us but He gives us the opportunity to LIVE! Paul told the church at Ephesus for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great
love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. We were “dead” in our transgressions and our sins. All we wanted was to fulfill the cravings and desires of our sinful man. BUT Christ came in His great love and compassion and snatched us up from the hands of the destroyer and made us ALIVE! Christ, by His saving work at Calvary, not only makes it possible to have real life (John 10:10) but He washes away our old man and makes us into a new man (2 Cor. 5:17). He raises us from death to new life (Rom. 6:4). And in doing this He makes us a part of His body or what is also called – “The Bride of Christ.” I could go on but let me just sum it up like this… God looked upon you and I. We were unwanted, unloved, uncared for and lost but instead of passing us by He loved us. He called us into relationship with Him. He made covenant with us – a covenant of love and honor. We who were naked and ashamed; we who were dead in our transgressions have, because of Jesus, been made alive in Christ. We have been given the opportunity to live a life that is abundant and overflowing (John 10:10).
References Smith, Chuck. "Ezekiel 16-20." The Word for Today. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Jun 2005. 2010. 10 May 2010. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm? AuthorID=1&contentID=6869&commInfo=25&topic=Ezekiel&ar=Eze_16_3 >
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