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August 25 Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 20-21
“The Bond of the Covenant”
How I delight to hear the omnipotent God of all grace, God who “delighteth in mercy,” say, “I will.” — When God says, “I will,” that means it is a done deal. When he says, “I will,” nothing can hinder him. — “You shall!” God never says, “I might,” and “maybe you shall.” He never says, “I will, if you will.” Oh, no! Not God! He says, “I will,” and “you shall.” That is a matter of certainty, because the cause is in him.
“I will cause you.” — If we are the willing recipients of his grace, it is because he made us willing in the day of his power. If we come to Christ, trusting him alone as our Savior and Lord, it is because he chose us and caused us to approach unto him. If we love him, it is because he first loved us. If we are alive unto God, it is because he gave us life. If we are redeemed, justified, saved, and sanctified, it is because he redeemed us, he justified us, he saved us, and he sanctified us!
“I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.” This was God’s word to Israel by his prophet, Ezekiel, at a time when the Israelites, scattered in every country, had forgotten who they were, had forgotten God, and had plunged themselves into gross idolatry.
Doctrine of Balaam
Being scattered among the nations of the world, they adopted the doctrine Balaam. — Living among pagans and idolaters, they behaved very pragmatically. They decided it would be wise and prudent, as much as possible, to pare off the rough edges of their doctrine, melt into the pagan society, mix the worship of God with the worship of idols, and become like the heathen around them.
The Lord God would not tolerate such compromise. He would not tolerate such idolatry. Neither would his purpose of grace be thwarted. He would not forsake his own. And he would not let his chosen forsake him. Therefore, he graciously intervened. — “And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, we will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone” (v. 32). Thank God for his omnipotent, intervening grace!
It is as though he said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I chose you to be my people. I redeemed you with the blood of my own darling Son. I will not lose you! I will not let you go!” Whether they delighted in it or not, he would not let them go. He pronounced a solemn oath concerning them, — “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you” (v. 33). They shall no more become Babylonians, than of old he would suffer them to become Egyptians.
At the Appointed Time
At the appointed time of love, all who were sanctified by God the Father, and are preserved in the Lord Jesus Christ shall be called by the irresistible, saving power, and omnipotent grace of God the Holy Spirit. — All who are the objects of covenant grace shall be made to experience all the blessedness of covenant grace.
Christ’s sheep shall never perish. Goats they cannot become. His chosen shall never be made reprobate. Run fast as we may to hell, the hardness of our hearts, the obstinance of our wills, the corruption of our lives, and all the powers of hell combined could not prevent the purpose of God and keep the Almighty from saving his own! — If you are his, you shall be his. He will make you willing in the day of his power. Sooner or later, he will “cause you to pass under the rod” and “bring you into the bond of the covenant.” He may drag you through hell along the way; but he will have you with him in heaven in the end.