Grace For The Journey
God says in Ezekiel 16:8-9, “I made My vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil.”
These words from the prophet Ezekiel caused me to think about how good the God is to His children. In His words to ancient Israel, God is communicating to them His determination to abide in His faithfulness to them. They had been rebellious to their God. Israel had been unfaithful, and yet, He would not (could not!) be unfaithful to her. I want to these dig into these truths that God declared so long ago to Israel and pray that God will help us understand that no less of a commitment has been given to all who are His children today through faith in Jesus Christ.
Truth #1 – “I made My vow to you and entered into a covenant with you…and you became mine.”
It is good for all of us to remember that God does not accept us on a probationary basis. He has entered into covenant with us through the blood of His Son. Jesus is the One who has secured the payment that was is required to bring us into relationship with the Father. Praise God, Jesus provided the sacrifice and when we called upon Him to forgive and save us, but let’s never forget that we were written into this covenant before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). This covenant redemption from God preceded us, our sin, our need, our response and the sacrifice that sealed the transaction. Spend a moment in silent awe to recognize that the covenant and vow of God over us was in His heart before we ever began this life. Now that is Good News!
Ezekiel continues in verse 8. “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord GOD.”
As the Holy Yahweh observed the maturity of His elect people He desired a deeper relationship. Just as a young woman comes into maturity and is ready for marriage, so our Holy Lord compared His people with this example of deep love. This act began after He freed them from the bondage in Egypt. He had led them to Mount Sinai as described for us in the book of Exodus chapter 19, “1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.3 And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
Truth #2 – “Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you…”
God Is Love. He Is The One Who created love and He definitely knows how to lavish it out on His own. Our Holy Father has taken the one(s) He loves and has washed away all our impurities. He has taken our sins and has cast them away as far as the east is from the west and has promised to remember them no more. Just stop and meditate on this fact. He has cleansed every stain of our past, present, and future lives – forever. The Bible says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’”
1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 11 speaks about three wonderful conditions God does for us after we are saved, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” When you are justified by God you are free from the penalty of sin. As the song of worship goes, ‘”hat can wash away my sin, nothing but the Blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again, nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” As His child living on this earth, He then Sanctifies us. We are freed from the power of sin. Yes, we still bear about the old man but our precious God has given us His Great Holy Spirit Who lives in us. The last action not mentioned in verse eleven is Glorification. God will remove from us the presence of sin. O what a glorious day that will be!
Truth #3 – “… and anointed you with oil.”
God did not merely give Israel a clinical washing from her defilement. He spoke of making her beautiful, or giving her a fragrance of renewal via an anointing of oil. He tells her that he would refresh and revitalize her.
Oil speaks of many things in Scripture. Oil was used in various anointings – for separation unto purpose, for medicinal healing, for appointment into a calling and assignment, for beautification and for empowerment. I must confess that I am constantly captivated by the symbolic significance of oil in the bible. An anointing of oil was never accidental in the Bible. It was always planned, intricately prepared, applied in the proper manner and then attached to the intended purpose.
When God tells Israel that He had anointed her, He is saying that He has gone beyond cleansing her from her blood. He is making her beautiful. He is being tender and intentional with her. He has purpose for her and loves her. Friend, He has done the same with me and with you. The enemy wants to bury the shine that God gives us through the Holy Spirit under the dust of doubt and fear. If you continue to ask, He will continue to pour His oil on your head and allow it to flow all the way down to your feet. He has purpose for you. He loves the beauty he places upon you. His purposes for you are not complete – He is not done winning for you.
Olives were used for many things in biblical times. Then, and still today, you can cook your food with olive oil. It was also used as medicine. If we follow along with our Lord’s description of rescuing this unwanted child, He applied oil to the wounds of this child after washing her. In this act you can see Him care for all emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. As a Loving Father, He cured all the ailments that afflicted her.
Oil was also set apart as something special. It pictured the anointing of a person by the Holy Spirit. It’s first use in this special way important of dedication is listed in Exodus 40:1-16 where the Bible says, “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. You shall put in it the ark of the Testimony, and partition off the ark with the veil. You shall bring in the table and arrange the things that are to be set in order on it; and you shall bring in the lampstand and light its lamps. You shall also set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the Testimony, and put up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. Then you shall set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. And you shall set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. You shall set up the court all around, and hang up the screen at the court gate. And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy. You shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar. The altar shall be most holy. And you shall anoint the laver and its base, and consecrate it. Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.’ Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did.’”
If we just take some time daily to reflect on these three verses, it will do so much to help us get and keep our priorities right. We will recognize that we are not the masters of our own ships; that we were bought with an expensive price, that is, by the Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in Isaiah 61: 10, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
So, I pray that the ancient words of Ezekiel have helped you today. May they constantly remind you that you are loved by God, cleansed by His blood, anointed special service and relationship, secured in eternal covenant.
So are all of you who are in Jesus.
Therefore, today may you see how good God is to us!
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”