Flesh and Spirit – Passage #2 lesson 5
MY WORDS ON THE WINGS OF A DOVE
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 11:18-20 (in Context) Ezekiel 11 (Whole Chapter)
Nothing can explain a heart of stone better than the curse God promised to Israel for their failure to listen to Him, to carry out His commands, their rejection of His decrees, their abhorrence of His laws, their failure to carry out His commands, the violation of their covenant with God.
This curse and the blessing and reward for obedience are found in the 26th chapter of Leviticus.
The verses of the curses are two and one half the length of those for blessing. Yet there is a parenthesis, we will get to that.
A heart of stone will result in the following:
Wasting diseases with fever causing loss of sight and loss of life,
Hunger due to pilferage of food by enemies,
Defeat in battle as God favors Israel’s enemies,
Israel will be subjects to the enemies they hate,
Israel will be in constant fear and seek refuge,
If this is not enough to gain the obedience God desires and Israel swore to in covenant with God then the punishment for these sins will increase seven-fold.
God says he will break down their stubborn pride,
Make the sky above Israel like iron,
The ground beneath like bronze,
Israel’s strength will be spent in vain,
The soil will not yield crops, nor will trees yield fruit,
If in spite of this Israel remains hostile to God he will increase their afflictions another seven-fold as their sins deserve.
Wild animals will be sent against Israel to devour and maim their children and their livestock,
The population of Israel will dwindle till their roads are deserted,
If Israel continues their hostility to God and refuse to listen to him another increase of seven-fold hostility from God will come
God will bring the sword upon Israel to avenge their breaking of their covenant with Him.
He will bring plague to their cities and give them into the hand of enemies,
Food will be so scarce ten women can bake bread for all Israel in one oven, so small will each portion be that no one will be satisfied,
Continued hostility to God brings yet another seven-fold punishment,
Israel will eat the flesh of their sons and daughters,
The high places and incense alters of foreign god’s will be destroyed by God,
The dead bodies of Israel will be stacked on their lifeless idols,
God will abhor Israel,
Their cities will become ruin’s, their sanctuaries will be wasted,
God will take no delight in Israel’s offerings,
God will lay waste the land,
Israel will be scattered among the nations and God will pursue them with a sword,
The land of Israel will lay waste as will her cities,
Then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths, (every seventh year was to be observed as a year to abstain from planting crops to give the soil rest, Hebrew slaves were also limited to servitude for six years, debts were to be canceled, [See also Year of Jubilee-Every fifty years].)
Those Israelites who are still living will be on edge and in constant fear,
They will be in constant fear of suffering death at the hands of their enemies,
They will perish among the nations,
Their enemies will devour them because of their sins and their father’s sins,
The parenthesis has arrived:
But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers-their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile to them so that I sent them into the hands of their enemies-then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin,
I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
For the land will be deserted by the land will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them.
They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.
Yet in spite of this when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them, I am the Lord their God.
But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the Lord,
God’s grace is real even when we his children do not deserve mercy. Pray for Israel.
If you are hostile to God, and not an Israelite, remember that Paul admonished you and I to remember that if God punishes those he has chosen… how much more, we who are not of the covenant.
Confess your sins and begin to serve God today, Give up your heart of stone!