Ezekiel 19 and 20
Every now and then a prophet becomes a song writer. Every now and then a song writer becomes a prophet. In chapter 19 the prophet/priest Ezekiel writes a song lamenting Israel. Israel the captive lion and burned up vine is mourned. And the ramifications of the downfall of Israel are about to manifest itself by spreading (that will come in a few more chapters).
But first, God states that rebellion was in Israel’s heart since they were held captive in Egypt. It continued for generations in the wilderness and even in the promised land. It was for His own name sake that He continued to spare His people so other nations would know that He is the true God. This pattern continues with a prophecy at the end of chapter 20 in which God promises to bring His people back to Israel again to “manifest his holiness among you in the sight of the nations (Ezk 20:41).”
I love the book of Ezekiel and God for this reason, 20 chapters in, God’s greatest desire is for the world to know He is God by forgiving and showing grace to people that resist Him. It is His character to continue to forgive and restore despite continuous rebellion.
It’s as if He has eternal patience and resilience. As chapter 18 reiterated God doesn’t like bad people dying. His greatest desire is for humanity to know how deeply He loves us as individuals. How He desires whole nations to worship Him at once. He is the God who sings over the world and shows the world His great love in so many ways.
Why do we resist Him? Why do I choose false loves? Why do I harm myself with sin? God, may you have my heart wholly so we might rejoice together over what you’ve done rather than have someone lament my rebellion. Jesus, we love you. Maranatha.