Seeing His Heart

One of the places I have been reading is Ezekiel. I assume that most of us would not read chapter 16 and find great encouragement in it. Here we have Yahweh labeling Jerusalem, more specifically the inhabitants, in some very unflattering ways. In fact, the descriptions of pending judgement and the reasons for it are more than unflattering, they describe a perverse and rebellious group of people, a people who have despised and rejected love and mercy. What is most interesting is how the chapter ends.

62 “And I will establish My covenant with you. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth anymore because of your shame, when I provide you an atonement for all you have done,” says the Lord God.’” Ezekiel 16:62–63 (NKJV)

In spite of all of their sin and rebellion, Yahweh affirms that as part of establishing His covenant He will provide atonement for them. What this really tells us is about His heart! Many view the Old Testament (OT) as Law and the New Testament (NT) as grace, as we see in John.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:14, 17 (NKJV)

Jesus embodied grace and truth in His incarnation. However, that doesn’t mean it was absent in the OT era. The purpose of the Law was to bring us to Jesus.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:21–24 (NKJV)

While we clearly have the Law in the OT. Paul tells us why it came about.

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Galatians 3:19 (NKJV)

The original plan was relationship, and after the fall in Genesis 3 when we read further, we still see the pattern of Yahweh seeking relationship. The pattern is there with Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and continues. He always wants obedience, but His desire is that it would flow from a heart of love not a fear of punishment. Hence the ending of Ezekiel 16.  

While we clearly see grace and truth in the NT, when we look closely, we see it in the OT as well. The bottom line – Yahweh is always seeking to draw us into relationship and to have us draw on His atoning grace. That is His heart.  

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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

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