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A Faithless Bride

"'I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you all that you have done, declares the Lord GOD’” (Ezekiel 16:62-63).

The prophet Ezekiel delivered some difficult messages. God first appeared to him after the Babylonian Empire had conquered Jerusalem and carried away most of its people as captives. Ezekiel was one of the ones taken. But he was still faithful to God, and God gave him the enormous task of speaking His words to the other captives. They were still in sin, and they needed to repent.

In one particularly graphic prophecy, God compares the people of Israel to a faithless bride. He tells of His great love for her, how He has cared for her since she was a child and given her everything she could ever want. But she was not satisfied with Him, and she sought pleasure from others. She has prostituted herself to other nations, worshiping their gods and throwing the true God’s gifts in His face.

So God would give her over to her own desires. He would let her innumerable lovers overtake her, and then she would realize what she had done. She would face judgment for her deeds and find just how guilty she has become.

But that is not the end of God’s story. For though Israel has rejected God, God has not rejected Israel. He will punish them for their sins, but then He will bring them back to Himself. He promises to make a covenant with them again, to re-establish them as His people. In that day, confronted with the incredible mercy of God, the people of Israel will be silent in their shame. They will know exactly what they have done, and they will know that they do not deserve forgiveness.

But God will give it to them anyway. For they are His people.

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