Summary: How Ezekiel reveals that Jesus is my everything
EZEKIEL 161-14 MY EVERYTHING
In the TV programme Ally McBeal Barry White sings that wonderful song about someone being his first, his last, his everything. John, in the series, usually dances along quite oblivious to the world around him. This morning I want to share with you from Ezekiel someone who is my everything and can and should be your everything. But first let me set the context for the whole passage so that we understand what is being said and why.
Ezekiel’s ministry as a prophet spanned 22 years between 593BC and 571BC. Ezekiel was amongst the Jews exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar and his ministry was to confront the people of God with the reality that their exile would not soon end. One of the saddest passages in all of Scripture is written in chapter 24 where Ezekiel is told by God that ‘the delight of his eyes will be taken from him’ and within 24 hours his beloved wife dies. Ezekiel informs the people of God that their delight, Jerusalem, is going to be taken from their eyes and that is exactly what happens. In chapter 15 Ezekiel has used a parable about a useless vine, which bears no fruit and is too twisted to build with, to inform the people of their worthlessness to God and the coming judgment. The people do not believe him because they think that simply being the chosen people will spare them from God’s judgement. The reality as they are about to learn is so different. Being born into the Israelite nation was not sufficient – just as being born into a Christian family is not sufficient for salvation. So we come to chapter 16 and in this chapter Ezekiel does two things. First he points out the ‘The Glory of God’s Grace’ and secondly ‘The disgrace of Israel.’
This morning I only want to look at ‘The Glory of God’s Grace.’
In the verses read to us this morning God is dealing primarily with the city of Jerusalem. Once more in the history of the people of God they have deserted their first love and gone chasing after idols and become an adulterous nation. In the first 14 verses of this chapter Ezekiel points out the following:
1. There is a wretched condition
2. There is a wonderful compassion
3. There is a wonderful change.
There is a wretched condition.
We may have naturally winced a few times when the passage from Ezekiel was being read. It was not a pretty picture being painted with words. In the Ancient Near East children at birth were washed, the umbilical cord cut, they were rubbed with salt for antiseptic purposes and wrapped in clothes. The picture given in verses 1-5 is the very opposite. We see an unwanted, uncared for, unloved child (a girl) being abandoned and exposed to the elements in order that she might die. Ezekiel says to the people this is/was your wretched condition before God came to you. In this picture there is the perfect picture of all mankind before Christ came. Listen to me – this is the picture of everyone of us in this church this morning. Let us look at little more closely at verses 4 and 5.
Verse 4 – 5 Unclean, Unloved, Uncared for, Unclothed, Unclaimed and Uncontrollable. That is the picture painted here by Ezekiel of this child.
Unclean - The child has never been washed but remains in the state in which it was born. Here is the picture of us in our sinful state – unclean – as Rom. 3:23, Is. 64:6 tell us – we are all unclean in the sight and presence of God. The result of that uncleanness, sin, is that we are separated from God – in exile from him.
Unloved/Uncared for – this child has not even had it’s umbilical cord cut. It has not been washed, no one has rubbed salt into her body to keep it free from germs that would harm her and her body is not clothed – she has been left naked and exposed to all the dangers of the world into which she had been born. It would appear that everyone around this little child hated her to the point of wanting to commit infanticide. You know here is the picture of the world in which we live. Satan, the world and sometimes members of our own families have not and do not care for us, nor love us. That is why David could say in Psalm 142:2 ‘No man cared for my soul.’
Unclothed – this little one is left naked before a hostile world. Again we see ourselves here – we are clothed and think we hide our shame, our guilt and our sin – we do it very well from other people but the reality this morning is that before God each of us is naked and exposed. He knows everything about us – we are clothed before him only in the rags of our sins – Hebrews 4:13.