Sunday, March 23, 2014
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV).
The Great Physician must perform this surgery if His beloved patient is to live!
Nearly 500 years after the Abrahamic Covenant was given, JEHOVAH God delivered the nation Israel from Egyptian slavery. He gave them a series of tests in the wilderness: Exodus 15:25 says, “he proved them.” God miraculously converted bitter water into potable water for “murmuring” (grumbling/ungrateful) Israel (Exodus 15:22-26). A month later, in Exodus chapter 16, Israel complained that they had no food to eat: they were ungrateful and they again “murmured” against God. Nevertheless, as Exodus 16:11-36 says, God provided Israel with manna (bread) and quail (meat)—they wound up eating that manna for 40 years! Israel even disobeyed God’s instructions when collecting the manna. In Exodus chapter 17, Israel again complained against God that they had no water to drink. Again, God faithfully and miraculously provided water for Israel (verses 1-7). He even gave them a miraculous military victory when the Amalekites fought them for that water (verses 8-16)!
When the LORD through Moses told Israel they would have to keep His commandments to be His nation, Israel replied, “All that the LORD hath spoken, we will do” (Exodus 19:8). After Moses received the Law and came down Mount Sinai to deliver it to Israel, he was angered to see Israel dancing naked around an idol, the golden calf. Israel had not even heard God’s commandments, and yet they had already broken them! They forsook JEHOVAH, their deliverer and caregiver, and preferred to worship a stupid, lifeless idol.
As the centuries passed, Israel fell into greater and greater sins. From Moses to Malachi, a period of about 1,100 years, Israel waxed worse and worse. Her kings and people grew increasingly corrupt and apostate. Consequently, she lost her economy, her monarchy, her God-given religion (Temple, priesthood, animal sacrifices, et cetera), her real estate, her blessings from God, her God’s presence, everything.
The Great Physician diagnosed Israel’s condition—she needed a new heart….