A helpless baby lying beside the road
Ezekiel 16: 4-14
In the book of Ezekiel we have a wonderful epitome of God’s marvelous grace.
One may wonder how God could love a people such as Israel, with all their rebellion and idolatry.
But then we also wonder how God could love sinners such as we were!
When Ezekiel gave this prophecy Israel was in a state of apostasy. They had wondered far from the statutes of their God.
In spite of their disloyalty God began to deal with them. He reminded them of their history and how they were when God called them out.
I think it is good at times to remember where we came from; the horrible pit from whence God found us.
Many of you were a sight to behold until Jesus washed you with His precious cleansing blood.
Notice verses 4-6, “And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
5 None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
6 ¶ And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
What a sad and gruesome picture! God compared Israel with an abandoned newborn baby that had been cast aside into some open field.
Such a birth may very well have happened.
It is said that when Israel was taken captive by the Chaldeans babies would be born during their long exile march. The Chaldeans showed their brutality by taking the newborn from its mother and leaving it on the side of the road.
The navel cord was left unprotected, its body still covered with blood, left there to die either from starvation, the sun’s scorching heat, or devoured by some wild beast.
A helpless baby lying on the side of the road!
This was the condition Israel was in. They were a neglected people in their humble beginnings.
Their ancestors were idolaters. They had no superior dignity passed down from their forefathers.
The kindness of common humanity had been denied them.
Their ancestors, the Amorites cared nothing for them.
They were cast out, despised, and “cast out in an open field” where they were vulnerable to all sorts of dangers.
They had no protection, no security and were hated by all nations.
To the Egyptians they were an abomination! And to make things worse, Pharaoh wanted to exterminate their entire nation.
What a terrible picture! Israel, a helpless, dirty, unwanted baby by the side of the road.
Now notice what verse 6 says; “And when I passed by thee………….”
Aren’t you glad Jesus passed by your way?
There you were, a helpless creature left to die beside the road of life.
Your righteousness was as filthy rags!
No one to pity you, and no one to have compassion on you.
Dying in the filth of sin and degradation, but Jesus passed by!
You were unwashed, no one to take pity on you, exposed to the devil and all his powers against you!
But Jesus came by!
Again verse 6 says, “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.”
Oh my friend, this is a perfect picture of every sinner; polluted by their own sins, lying hopelessly beside the road of life, unable to save themselves.
Yet Jesus came by and saw that ole sinner in that hopeless condition. And Jesus said “Live.”
Yes, He came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
Whoso ever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”
I John 5:11 says, “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His son.”
Now notice verse 8; “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love, and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness.”
The act of God casting His skirt over Israel means He would take them under His protection.
Also that God would cover their shame and humiliation.
No longer would they be exposed to the elements of the world and its brutality.
No longer would their sins be open and exposed to God.
And I would like to think that God is still casting His skirt over us!
Our sins were exposed before a Holy and Just God. There was nothing we could possibly do to save ourselves from the curse and consequence of sin.
But He placed His robe of righteousness around us!
Isa 61:10 ¶ I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
He has clothed me with the beauty of His holiness!
You see, we have no righteousness of our own, but as saints of God we are clothed with His righteousness!
It is not that we have become righteous by ourselves, or through our good works, but He has covered me with His righteousness.
We are justified by the blood of Christ! It is the blood of Christ that hides our sinfulness and iniquities from God.
Now, God told Israel in verse eight that He made a covenant with them; they would be His people.
He said, “Thou becamest mine.”
Verse 9 says, “I washed thee with water”; Water being a symbol of salvation here;
I washed thee, I washed away thy blood from thee!
He washed away all our sins! We have been washed in the blood of the Lamb!
My friend, are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Isaiah 1:18 “………….though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Then notice again what God said to Israel; “I anointed thee with oil.”
A symbol of healing!
God wants to heal you today! He wants to heal your hurts! He wants to heal your broken heart! He wants to heal the scars and wounds in your spirit.
Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
Then God said to Israel in verses 10-14;
I girded thee with fine linen
I covered thee with silk
I decked thee with ornaments, put bracelets upon thine hands and a chain around thy neck, even a crown upon thine head.
Verse 14, “And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty….”
Or, you have become a celebrity or famous, or prominent instead of an outcast!