Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 599 · 3 months ago

Living Life in the Glory of God (Ezekiel 28:20-26)

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Ezekiel 28:20-26

Our Lord God. If it were not for you, we would not know the way of your statutes and we would constantly turn away from even the little bit that we can see. We would not desire to obey with our hearts, but instead, with our hearts wholly perverted, to fall after every wicked thing, to cast our eyes on every worthless thing, to have our inclined, to incline our hearts toward every evil. And so this is why we are so desperately in need of the power of your grace, of your work of love in our lives, to teach us and to help us to see, to give us delight in your paths and in your ways. Lord, we ask that you would help us, even now, as we come to the reading and preaching of your word and is equal, that you would help us to have a better sense and knowledge of you, of who you are, of what you've done, to not think too smallly, of too small of you. We asked, Lord, that you would, in your word, confirm your promises to us, that you may be feared, give us life, O Lord, in Jesus Name. Amen. Let's turn remain standing, if you're able, I please, and let's turn to Ezekiel, Chapter Twenty Eight, is Ekiel Twenty eight versus twenty through twenty six, so that's twenty through the end of the chapter. Give your attention to the word of the Lord. Ezekiel, Chapter Twenty Eight, Verse Twenty. The word of the Lord came to me, son of man. Set your face towards Sidon and prophesy against her and say, thus says the Lord God. Behold, I am against you, of Sidon, and I will manifest my glory in your midst, and they shall know that I am the Lord when I execute judgments in her and manifest my holiness in her, for I will send pestilence into her and blood into her streets, and the slain shall fall in her midst by the sword that is against her on every side. Then they will know that I am the Lord, and before the House of Israel there shall no more be a briar to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who they have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God. Thus says the Lord God, when I gather the House of Israel from the People's among whom they are scattered and manifest my holiness in them, in the sight of the nation's then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob, and they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord, their God. You may be seated. Oseekiel, in this passage comes to yet another place...

...where God calls upon him to prophesied judgment against one of Israel's neighbors. You remember that for most of the book of Ezekiel, up until just the recent few chapters, the word of the Lord was against his own people. is against his own people, on for their sins, for their many sins, and he promised destruction of Jerusalem and there their country. He promised to scatter them to all the places and that the blood that they shed would be shed by them. Their own blood would be shed in for justice for the sins they had committed. But as Jerusalem fell, Israel's neighbors saw it as an opportunity to treat them with contempt and in various ways they saw an opportunity to make fun of them, to laugh at them, to steal from them, to have pride in themselves instead of humility for their own sins, instead of submission to the God who was bringing this judgment. They thought they were above the judgment themselves. And for that God is showing that he is righteous and fair and all his ways, and he's bringing judgment on Israel's neighbors as well. And tonight he comes against Sidon and he says, I will manifest my glory in your myths. He says that they will know that I am the Lord. Israel will know that he is the Lord. All the world will know that he is the Lord because of about wow, about what he is going to do. If you remember, this is a phrase that's come up over and over and over again throughout his seekul. God's desire is for us to know him, and it is because of a rejection of him and not listening to him, a disobedience against him, that he responds in this way. He says he is going to make his glory known, and that is what I want to focus on this evening. What does it mean to live life the midst and in the glory of God. Well, there's not one answer to that. Really depends on how you relate to God, but I want to think about that, think about God's glory in light of this passage. Glory describes the magnificence of something, the splendor of something. It's a it's an attribute of weightiness, of heaviness. It's an attribute that lends, that lends, but leads to praise. Right, if you see something glorious, whether it's a mountain or a machine, work of art, a system the is built and human culture, it's the kind of thing that you say, wow, that's amazing, that's awesome, that and you you be you feel almost this natural expression of desire to praise that thing. That's what glory does. It leads us to pray. Something that is glorious, something that is magnificent, something that is splendor filled of splendor, is something that we praise, we want to hold on to. It can also make us fear. Right, glorious army when it's coming at you, may be glorious, but it still might cause you to run the other direction. A glorious thunderstorm, with all of its lightning strikes and and heavy winds might be glorious and...

...magnificent, but also terrifying in something that you want to get away from. That thunderstorm image is something that God even expressed himself at. It expressed his glory in that way when he gave the Ten Commandments. Remember when God, I'm called Moses up to the mountain. He covered the mountain in thick smoke and flashes of lightning. The earth was shaking and he commanded Israel not to even touch the mountain lest they die, and they didn't want to either. This glory of God is truly awesome. On light of that glory, there's really upple ways to live. One way is described in Romans chapter one, and I'll turn there, Romans Chapter One, versus twenty two and twenty three in particular, but I'll pick up just a little bit before that. We're going to start in verse eighteen. For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven Against All ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who, by their unrighteousness, suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse, for although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became feutile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Paul picks up the language of creation. Let us make man in our in our own image, after our own likeness. Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the live stock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. This this Lang which that God made everything and all that's in crowned it with man made in his image, a reflection even of his glory. Man then takes that creation and turns it all on its head. Instead of giving glory to God, it treats it as God. This is one way people live. In light of the glory of God, claiming to be wise, they are fools and they exchange God's glory for false glory. The other way to live is described in first chronicles sixteen twenty four. In this command declare his glory among the nation's, his marvelous works, among the people. One exchange is the glory of God for created things. The other attributes glory to him and to him alone. Now we might choose one of these two paths, but in one sense it doesn't really matter, because in this sense God is not changed by it either way. His glory and his magnificence is his alone and it's not dependent on what we think of him. Isaiah Forty two eight says this. I am the Lord, that is my name, my glory. I give to no others, nor my praise to carved idols. So we might choose to glorify other creatures, we might choose...

...to go after idols of our own making, but this does not weaken God in any way. This does not make God ineffective or make him lose his glory in some way. He's not threatened by it or undone by it in any way. No, he simply says I'll make my glory known, and we see an example from that right here in Sidon. Sidon did not glorify the Lord Got Sidon, did not follow him and glorify him and behold his marvelous works. That they had, if they had just seen the fall of Jerusalem, they would have repented, sackcloth and ash as Lord, save us from your wrath, from your holiness, from Your glory. Instead, they mocked Israel, they laughed and contempt they saw her. She saw herself as above her sister city. And so God said, does hear what he promises to do? And as Isaiah Forty Eight, I am the Lord, that is my name, my glory. I give to no others, nor my praise to carved idols. Is Ekiel, is Ekiel, twenty eight, twenty one. Behold, I am against you, O side, and then I will manifest my glory in your midst. God will make himself known. And how is he made known? Insidon, he's made known in his power, in his might, as he executes judgments and Sir, as he sends pestilence and blood in her streets, as the slain are fallen, as the slain fall in her midst, as the sword goes against her on every side. God, in his mighty power, take a moment and imagine the most powerful thing you can, the biggest machine you've ever seen, the strongest storm wave, maybe a great wind that knocked over something you once saw, a big tree or something like that. All of these things are just creations of God. These things are are nothing to him. He, in his power, can move any tree, any mountain, any nation, any king, any heart. God in his power can move planets, can create planets. God in his power can become incarnate, rise from the dead. God in his power is beyond anything that we can know, anything we can compare it to. His glory will be made known when he desires to make it known, and it is made known here in his power. Side and will not be able to say no side and will not be able to put up a defense to hold God off a little bit longer. When God decides to do what he wants to do, he simply does it. That is the glory of God, the power of God. God's glory is also made manifest in His Holiness. In some ways they're very similar ideas and we see them parallel here. He says they shall know that I'm the Lord when I execute judgments in her and manifest my holiness in her. Holiness is perfection. Holiness is perfect...

...purity, ultimate morality, perfect in every way, spotless. We see the holiness in the glory of God. Together in another passage, like Isaiah, six, three and one called to another, that is, angels in the Heavens and said Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts. The whole Earth is full of his glory. The glory of God is manifested in His Holiness and His Holiness is manifested in his glory and in every single other aspect of God's character. We see God's holiness is perfection in his wisdom, in his works, in his justice, in his benefits and his promise. There's nothing that God does that isn't holy. Men, when we try to do things all the time, are are even the best of our deeds are tainted. Our wisdom is not perfect, our works are not perfect, are justice is not perfect. They promises that we make are not perfect. But God, in His Holiness, always is, and this is how he will manifest himself in these and even in these darker works of pestilence, of blood, of people dying in the street, of armies and swords. It can be hard for us to imagine sometimes that this justice is an aspect of God's glory and of God's character. How could God do these kinds of things? How could God kill people? But that sense of justice that we have, or sorry, the sense of justice that God to place here. We can see the his holiness in it in a couple of ways. One way we see it is in as he UN vindicates himself for these things. God, when he acts, never acts with just cruelty or spitefulness. He doesn't act ever in any way except because of perfect fairness and justice. We have a hard time imagining God acting that way because we don't, because we don't act that way. We don't act in perfect holiness when it comes to justice. But we long for it, don't we, when justice isn't done, when things are unfair and all, you know, topsy turvy on their heads and we cry out with longing hot who's going to make this right? This is not fair, and those moments we sense that justice can be good, that justice is right, and justice sometimes needs to be very, very strong, partly because justice sometimes, maybe all the time, not only upholds a standard for justice, but it also protects people. Justice protects those who would be harmed otherwise, if someone steals from you, for example, someone goes, let's say, over to your house, steals your car and takes it away on let's say that person is is caught and prosecuted and and and the car is impounded and gotten back and all of that. That's done for the sake of justice. Right with that? It's right for up that person to be punished, but it's also done to get you your car back, and that's maybe what we want most of the time anyway. We want a sense of fairness, but we also want to be protected from evil things. We want to be protected from unfair things, from unrighteous things, from evil things,...

...and God, in his great king be kingly power, in his great glory, executes that Justice. And we see him doing that here for his people. He will condemned, condemns Sidon and tire and these other places. And why? And one of the reasons he does it, he says in Verse Twenty Four, is so that in it so that for the House of Israel there shall know me more be a briar or a prick or thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. They will know that I and the Lord, and so we see at the end of this passage is something that we see a lot in scripture, is that judgment is salvation, that judgment is salvation, that when God comes and judges a sin, when God comes and Judges Evil, God come conquers his enemies. It is salvation for all those who belong to God. When God saves us from our sin, he is a conquering God. When God saves us from this from Satan, he is a conquering God. In order for us to be saved from evil, God must defeat evil, and that's what we see in a passage like this. I'll close with this. The place where we see this the best and the place where we see this the most is, of course, the Cross, where judgment and salvation come perfectly together in one person, where the judgment of God is poured out even on himself, so that he can save us from our sins. Imagine if God had spared judgment on the cross. Where would we all be? If God had decided not to pour out his wrath for sin, if God had not decided decided to with whole justice, where would all of us be? We would not have a sacrifice for sins, we would still be our sins, we would still be in slavery to our sins and to death. But because God was just, because God brought his judgment, we know that we are saved. But he also gaves US grace, because he didn't pour the judgment out directly on us. He poured it out on himself, on the Sun. When we live in the glory of God, we do right to keep these things in mind. To Live for the glory of God and in the glory of God is to keep in mind who he is in all of his magnificence, in his wisdom and his power, in his works. We consider the splendor and the magnificence of all that he is, how praise is due to him in every way. We consider his strength and his justice and His Holiness, his might. And as we consider these things and as we look to the Cross of Christ, we see our salvation. there. We see that when he comes again into the world to judge the living and the dead, we will have no need to fear because judgment is already passed for us. The Salvation is all ours. And then when we see the glory of God, as Paul Rights in the face of Jesus Christ, our Savior. We put our faith in him and we follow him and live in him and by his every word. So let that be your prayer tonight. As we come to greater understanding of who God is in his glory, and as we come to greater desires to live for him, let's look to the Lord Jesus, so that...

...we might find salvation from our sins and not find ourselves on the side of Sidon, but instead on the side of Israel, through God's own son, and Israel provided for us. Let's pray our heavenly father, we thank you for your word to us and we thank you for Your Majesty and Your Glory. Indeed, there is no god like you. All of the idols that we would worship in this world pale and comparison. They don't even, we can't even compare them to who you are and to all that you are capable of doing. Lord, we ask that, as we come to see your glory in the Cross of Christ, that you would help us to live in light of it. Let us always look to Jesus as as the author and perfector of our faith and live only in and through him, giving him all glory and honor and power and praise. Lord, we ask that you would teach us these things and help us, help us to rest in them, knowing that you, in the glories of your grace, are for us and not against us. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

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