It is clear in Scripture that God’s glory is paramount. Everything that the Lord does is with the goal of revealing the greatness of His glory. All that He does in history is a revelation of who He is.
At Covenant we are in the midst of reading through the Bible in chronological order. Today we start Ezekiel 20. There is one phrase that has come up twenty two times in the first twenty chapters of the book. It will come up many more times in the remaining chapters. The phrase is “shall know that I am the LORD.”
Ezekiel was a priest and was one of the first exiles deported in the Babylonian captivity. His prophetic ministry started in 593 BC – seven years before the fall of Jerusalm. His ministry from Babylon was to prophesy about the fall of Jerualem and then interpret the meaning of God’s work.
Israel’s exile was due to their spiritual adultery. They had forsaken their husband, the Lord, and committed adultery by turning to idols. Jeremiah speaks of Jerusalem being full of idols, idols on every street (Jeremiah 11:13). After Israel rejected the prophets the Lord sent to call them to repentance, the Lord brought his judgment upon them. Israel was acting like the Lord did not exist. God will use the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile to teach them that He alone is the LORD.
When the Lord acts the result will be that everyone “shall know that I am the LORD.” Israel will know when they experience the anger of the Lord (chapters 5-6). The evil counselors who have prophecies falsely in the Lord’s name, will know when the wrath of God is poured out on them (chapter 11). The same will be true for the the false prophets (13) and elders of Israel (14). All those who once disregarded the Lord, will know that he is God.
Throughout the rest of the book of Ezekiel this same phrase will continue to be repeated. This is meant to remind us of some important truths.
- The Lord is faithful and will always do as he says he will do. Sometimes that is in the context of judgment, such as Ezekiel. Other times it is in reference to our salvation and the promise of the forgiveness of sins. Whatever the context, the Lord can be counted on.
- The Lord always completes his word and promises. When the Lord says that he will complete your salvation (Philippians 1:6) there is not even the slightest chance that will not happen.
- The Lord reveals himself in his mighty works. All that happens to us and around us is part of God’s work. What happens in your life is always the work of the Lord. He is sovereign in all of history. Nothing in your life is by chance. All has been decreed by the Lord.
- Live with confidence and faith. What the Lord has said will happen and what happens is part of the Lord’s plan for you. I can live in confidence facing the future because God has already decreed it.
What area in your life do you need to repent of your unbelief and believe the Word of God?
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