Today’s Reading: Ezek 36:1–37:28, Rev 18:1–24, Job 38:1–11
Today’s Theme: New Creation
Today’s theme looks at God’s work, regeneration and new creation in the believer and in the earth. In Job, we look back at God’s amazing work of creation. God is the creator and regenerator.
The Land is God’s
therefore thus says the Lord God: Surely I have spoken in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey.(Ezekiel 36:5, ESV)
This echoes what the nations do with Israel today too, however as the text says, the land of Israel is God’s possession and He has given it to the children of Israel as a testimony.
“Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity.(Ezekiel 36:17, ESV)
That is vivid imagery, God is saying that their ways were like used sanitary towels.
God’s concern for his name
But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.(Ezekiel 36:21, ESV)
God is rightly uppermost in His own affections, and has concern for the sanctity and glory of His name.
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.(Ezekiel 36:22, ESV)
God acts for His glory, not for us, this is the most noble thing God could do. It would not be good for us if God was man centred, it is to our benefit that God is God centred.
The miracle or regeneration
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.(Ezekiel 36:25–27, ESV)
This is a picture of the miracle of regeneration, where God changes our very nature so that we can serve Him as we really should.
God saves us for his own glory
It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.(Ezekiel 36:32, ESV)
We are not saved through our own goodness and we are no better than others, this was true for Israel too.
And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’(Ezekiel 36:35, ESV)
Redemption includes the creation, it is not just the people. How do we apply this today? The question of our responsibility before God, for the care of the earth, is an important one.
A people reborn
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”(Ezekiel 37:3, ESV)
The miracle of regeneration, not of the heart of man only, but also the very nation of Israel.
Proclaim (prophesy) the truth
Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.(Ezekiel 37:4, ESV)
We must declare the truth to those dead in sin, so that they might live.
The work of the Holy Spirit
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”(Ezekiel 37:9, ESV)
Symbolic of the Holy Spirit’s work in regeneration.
God made us alive
And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.(Ezekiel 37:13, ESV)
We know God is real because we were dead in our sins and He made us alive in Christ.
Backsliding can be healed
They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.(Ezekiel 37:23, ESV)
This is the context of where the word backsliding comes from, it is something that needs to be healed.
The Shepherd King
“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.(Ezekiel 37:24, ESV)
Jesus is the Shepherd King.
God’s call to His people
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;(Revelation 18:4, ESV)
I believe this is God’s call to His people in the Roman Catholic Church and those in any other cult.
The queen of heaven
As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’(Revelation 18:7, ESV)
The queen of heaven, this points to the false worship of Mary.
Capitalism will end
The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,(Revelation 18:15, ESV)
Capitalism (and all other isms) will end, it will be replaced by God’s theocratic kingdom.
Don’t obscure good counsel
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?(Job 38:2, ESV)
Lord, I don’t want to darken godly counsel, and speak pure speculation without knowing the truth.
Where were you?
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.(Job 38:4, ESV)
God’s big question to His challengers who say He never created the earth, this statement alone is so humbling.
God’s humorous challenge
Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?(Job 38:5, ESV)
God even has a sense of humour when laying down this challenge.
The Angels were there
when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?(Job 38:7, ESV)
The Angels rejoiced when God created the earth.
God the greatest scientist
and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors,(Job 38:10, ESV)
God set the laws of physics in motion and maintains them.
God sets boundaries
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?(Job 38:11, ESV)
God sets the boundaries of the sea… how awesome is our God.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Revelation 18