“A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until He comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to Him I will give it.”
In days such as this it is extremely helpful to be engaged in a program of regular Bible reading. Every day as I begin my day my pattern is to spend time reading, and meditating upon the passages suggested by the McCheyne Bible reading plan a link to which can be found on the service page on the website of First Baptist Church, Brampton. Its address is www.firstbaptistbrampton.org. I have been amazed as over the years that I have been following this plan that regularly the passage set for the day is the very thing that I need for that day. J. Kent Edwards, in Deep Preaching, writes that if we commit ourselves to a systematic exposition, or I might add a reading, of the Word of God that it will demonstrate to us its relevance. We will not have to scramble around trying to demonstrate relevance; we will see it for ourselves.
Earlier this year one of the chapters to which McCheyne called our attention to was Ezekiel 21. This is one of those surprising passages that so often speak directly to our present situation. As we struggle with the uncertainty of life in this world, looking at world history which seems to be spiralling out of control, we find ourselves wondering just how we believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are to respond. It is to this that we find Ezekiel 21 speaking. This is a passage where the people of Jerusalem are facing the threat of the advancing armies of the King of Babylon. They are comforting themselves with all kinds of false hopes which are anchored in the popular misunderstandings of their time. They are the people of God who have received the promise of an eternal Kingdom. Therefore they are a righteous people, no matter what they do. God will deliver them at the last minute, by His gracious intervention, just as He had always done. It is to this that Ezekiel speaks when He pronounces God’s judgment upon them.
Back in 2 Samuel 7:14 & 15 God had made a promise to David which had both conditional and unconditional elements to it. Here is what God said to David.
“I will be his Father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.”
Earlier, in the book of Genesis, God made a promise to Judah when He said, “The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to who it belongs and the obedience of the nations is His.” (Genesis 49:10) Now notice what God tells the people of Jerusalem, all of this prophetic word is being fulfilled. Judgement is coming, in the form of the King of Babylon. It will be a human chastisement. The consequence will be that the rulership of the House of David will be removed from over Jerusalem as a Kingdom in this world, but that a New Kingdom is coming in the form of the long awaited Messiah. To Him the sceptre will be returned.
What God promises here He fulfills perfectly. God overrules every means of decision making of the pagan King so that He will in fact accomplish God’s purpose. That purpose will lead, in time, to the accomplishment of the promise of redemption which God has made to us.
Here is the message for us today. God is still working out His plan of redemption. The details may seem confusing to us, but we can trust ourselves to the great fact that the Sovereign God is in control of everything. Therefore we can trust Him as we look into His Word, and see how He calls us to live. This is the hope that is brought to us as we read God’s Word each day.