Monday, August 20, 2012
a heart transplant
And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
In renewed covenantal language, God promises to restore His people Israel. This promise tempers the stern message of judgment that Ezekiel's generation has been given by God. In fact, in the immediate context, god has told the people that they are meat boiling in a pot. They were boiling judgment and Jerusalem was the pot in which they were stewing. Ezekiel himself was very impacted by this message as its circumstances played out. While giving this prophecy, and official dies, greatly disturbing the prophet (Ezekiel 11:13).
But this message of hope helps bring perspective. I notice that God is sovereign not only in judgment, but also in His restorative work. God gives them a unified new spirit of repentance and obedience. Through the restorative judgment of the captivity, God removes the stubborn cold hart of stony disobedience and defiance of the Law. Israel is renewed with a divine cardiac intervention. God transplants a new heart into the nation.
The result of this intervening grace is that Israel would now desire to serve the lord and obey His law. The covenant with Israel is re-instated after this restorative operation. Once again the uniqueness of Israel's exclusive relationship with God is affirmed. He is their God and they are His people. The beauty and grace of the covenant is confirmed beyond judgment. It is a perspective on the scope of God's love and grace that even in severe judgment God looks forward to restorative sovereign work in the lives of His people!