GOD DEALS with us for HIS NAME’S SAKE
September 1 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 19-21
"Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers. And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name's sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel," says the Lord God. (Ezek 20:42-44)
In chapter 20, prophet Ezekiel gives us a panoramic view of the history of Israel. It is in two parts: her rebellious past (vv. 1–31) and her glorious future (vv. 32–44). The first part surveys all that God had done for the nation, and the nation’s sorely inadequate response. The mood changes dramatically at verse 33 where, in a series of the words “I will”, the Lord promises what He will accomplish on behalf of His people. The second part describes the coming judgment of those Jews who will be living at the conclusion of the Tribulation period when Christ returns to earth. He will bring the faithful into the blessings of the new covenant in the kingdom.
When the nation is restored to the land of Israel, they will no longer worship idols, but they will worship the Lord in holiness. The summary verse (44) indicates that it is for God’s name’s sake that Israel will be restored in spite of their wicked ways and corrupt doings. When God is finished they will know that He is the LORD!
God chastens us that He might restore us and there is always hope. The repeated “I will” statements in verses 33-44 assures us that God is working for us and not against us. Remember that God does all this for His name’s sake only. For His name’s sake, God forgives our sins (1 John 2:12), guides us (Psalms 23:3; 31:3), deals with us (Ps. 109:21), and revives us (Ps. 143:11).