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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - January 13

  • 2016 Jan 13

Ezekiel Says to Worship Our God of the New Heart

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; . . . I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them."-Ezekiel 36:26-27, emphasis added

Ezekiel saw God's glorious majesty. All these sights--"awesome gleam of crystal . . . glowing metal . . . like fire [like a] rainbow" (1:22, 27-28 NASB)--were given to Ezekiel to remind him of how awesome, how glorious, and how indescribably majestic God is! Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. [For] the Lord sits as King forever (Psalm 29:2, 10b).

Ezekiel saw God's final authority. Seeing God's throne taught him that He was in control (1:25a). Ezekiel was a prisoner of war; he was surrounded by numerous enemies who had vandalized his home, dragged him away, and savagely ended the lives of thousands of his people. Yet, in the midst of even that, all the fears of life melted in the radiance of God's sovereign throne. And because God is on His throne, the words of this well-loved song hold true: When peace like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like the sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, "It is well with my soul."

Ezekiel saw God's absolute supremacy. The term "high up" really spoke to him because the throne of God is atop all else (1:26b). As Ezekiel saw the destruction of his nation he learned that God is not thwarted by man's disobedience. Though God is grieved and saddened, His plan will not fail. Nothing is beyond His throne or above it. God reigns!

Ezekiel saw God's unveiled glory in Christ. The sight of Christ "like a man" (1:26c) reminds us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3, NASB). Ezekiel got to see Jesus Christ, and now you and I get to see Him in His Book, the Bible.

Ezekiel saw God's unchanging promises. "Like a rainbow" (1:28) is given by God as a sign that He keeps His Word. What He says, He will do.

Clearly, we can see that God's servants submit to Him: The word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the Lord came upon him (Ezekiel 1:3, NASB).

Did you know that the Word of the Lord can expressly come to you? I don't mean visions; He wants to talk to you through His Word. Will you let Him speak to you today? If you are God's servant, you will be open to God's Word. This means being attuned to His "still small voice" so that you can obey His directives as Elijah did on the mountaintop after the wind, earthquake, and fire of 1 Kings 19:10-12. Otherwise, you might miss a real treasure from the Lord!

Ezekiel waited for the hand of the Lord to lead him--like these angelic beings who followed the Lord's leading exactly, and were in concert with Him: Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels (Ezekiel 1:20, NASB). I would not want to go anywhere if the hand of the Lord was not on me. Would you? That is what God's servants are like.

Ezekiel demonstrated being in concert with the Lord through the loss of his lovely wife (16:2) who died (24:16-18). God in His sovereignty took her life as a preaching illustration for Ezekiel to Judah. Though saddened, Ezekiel followed the God of the new heart's lead to show these people that they needed a new heart. Are you willing to follow His lead regardless of the personal cost?

To find this message online and read about some of the history of Ezekiel, please click here.

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