TEXT: EZEKIEL 16:53-63.
🔑KEY VERSE “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant” (EZEKIEL 16:60).
One inescapable truth about humans is their inability to always keep their word or fulfill their promises. Man lacks the capacity to honour his word every time, regardless of his good intentions are noble desires. This is because man is limited. But the almighty God is not so. He is faithful and always true to His word and promises.
God promised the descendants of Abraham the Promised Land and with a stretched-forth hand, brought them out of Egypt and took them to Canaan. He required them to obey His commandments and not to be like heathen nations. Israel rebelled and committed abominations, idolatry and whoredom like heathen nations. God sentenced them to suffer the consequences of their lewdness and abominations because they broke the covenant. Nevertheless, the Lord will remember His covenant with Israel and establish a better and everlasting covenant.
The measure of God’s amazing faithfulness is that He is absolutely reliable and dependable. Events have shown time and again that God and His words are eternally constant. Time does not change Him, nor does His words become less relevant and obsolete. According to His promise, salvation and holy living have been made available to all who will believe.
The merciful God is ever ready to forgive the repentant sinner who genuinely comes to Him.
He does not bear His anger forever. He forgives and forgets. Israel repeatedly failed Him; yet whenever they realised and sincerely asked for pardon, they were forgiven. Trust God for your salvation, sustained sanctification and holy living. When everything and everyone else fail you, God will not. He is a covenant Keeper and His word will not be unaccomplished in your life.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Time does not change God or His word.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: 2 SAMUEL 1-2.
Avoid learning in a hard way
- Hope of restoration after chastisement
a. God promised to deliver them from captivity v53.
b. God promised to remember His everlasting covenant with them v60,62.
c. God promised to restore them to their former glorious status (former estate) v55.
- Wasted years and opportunities
Before this could be possible, some avoidable events happened.
a. Captivity in Babylon for 70 years (over 2 generations wasted).
b. Public and prolonged humiliation, shame and slavery in a foreign land due to their stubborn addition to self will v54,57,58,61,63.
c. Many of their children’s lives and destinies were wasted through deaths, famine and sword.
d. Destruction of their lifelong investments and possessions as Nebuchadnezzar invaded their land.
e. They learnt their lessons in a hard and costly way before they could abandon their self life and yield themselves to God.
- How to avoid learning in a hard way
a. Don’t experiment with disobedience to the word of God. The result is always bitter. Ask the children of Israel.
b. The will of God is always the best. Don’t condone self will. Take your to the cross when you are finding it difficult.
c. Don’t delay acting on any warning you receive from the Lord and His messengers. When you are ready for God, He may not be ready for you.
d. Let the wordings of the Hymn below guide your prayers.
Lord, I bring my heart to you. Let the cross crucify to death all forms of self will in me
Lord, deal and destroy all natural tendencies in me that experiment, consciously or unconsciously, with self will and disobedience
God of mercy, don’t leave me to waste my time and destiny at any time
Lord, cause the word of God we are hearing and reading to effectively crush all self will in the life of all of us
HYMN None of self, all of Thee
- O the bitter shame and sorrow
That a time could ever be
When I let the Saviour’s pity
Plead in vain, and proudly answered:
All of self and none of thee!
2 Yet he found me; I beheld him
Bleeding on th’accursed tree,
Heard him pray: Forgive them, Father!
And my wistful heart said faintly:
Some of self and some of thee!
3 Day by day his tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Sweet and strong and, ah! so patient,
Brought me lower, while I whispered:
Less of self and more of thee!
4 Higher than the highest Heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, thy love at last has conquered;
Grant me now my spirit’s longing:
None of self and all of thee!