The Glory Of God In His Promise To Us

 


Ezekiel 36:36

Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.

Experience is constantly at war with intellect. Often what we believe to be true doesn’t line up with what we experience to be true. I don’t believe this means our experiences don’t matter or that they are our enemy, rather I believe this tension is meant to push us further into God and his promises.

One such answer can be found in Ezekiel 36:36 where we see the purpose of God in all he does, hopeful promises for our lives and the reason we have for confidence in God.

  • God is devoted to his glory

“Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord…”

God is first and foremost passionately devoted to his own glory. This verse begins with a declaration that whatever God has done, and whatever he is about to do, is going to serve the eternal purpose of validating his name to those watching; it is all about the elevation of our Lord.

To many this makes God out to be an egocentric maniac obsessed with using his power for his own good but nothing could be further from the truth for two reasons.

  1. There is nothing more perfect for God to be devoted to than his own glory.

We are called to seek the glory of God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31). In fact if we seek to elevate anything, good, bad, or morally neutral, above the glory and supremacy of God we become idolaters. The same is true for God. For God to worship anything more supremely than he worships his own glory would cause God to break the second commandment.

  1. There is nothing that is better for us than for God to be devoted to his own glory.

This is where the supreme wisdom of God is revealed, because what we know from scripture is that the best possible thing God could do for us is to pursue his own glory. God’s pursuit of glory is never at the expense of doing good for others, in fact the best good God can do for us is to pursue that which is most noble, most worthy, most beautiful, and most holy.

God’s pursuit for his glory and the lifting high of his name overflows into eternal benefit for us. One example would be the cross of Jesus Christ, where God was given great glory (Ephesians 1:6-7) and yet it is also the cross where we find meaning, hope and new life. The cross is a beautiful example of the glory of God colliding violently with what is good for you and I, grace and mercy.

We can take great comfort in knowing that God is doing the most perfect thing he can, pursuing his glory, and this is not at the expense of our good but rather it is the precise thing that fuels what is good for us.

  • God is rebuilding the ruined places in our lives

“I have rebuilt the ruined places…”

Now that we have established God’s purpose in what he is going to do we see in the very next sentence in the verse that God is about rebuilding the ruined places.

A ruined place gives us the picture of something that once was built, something that once held strong and could be seen, yet through years of hardship and trial has been broken and destroyed.

I think of our trust. That once upon a time we perhaps were trusting, then relationship after relationship was damaged, person after person violated and betrayed us, and our trust in others has waned and run out. God promises that he is rebuilding the ruined place of our trust. He is rebuilding our trust by giving us himself, the always faithful, always trustworthy God.

I think of our holiness. Maybe once we were confident in how we pursued God, we were confident in our external actions and our battle against sins but slowly over time we gave into temptation and participated in the very things we used to judge so harshly. Yet now God is promising to rebuild the brokenness of our holiness, by being holy for us, then calling us to follow him in his holiness by the power of the Spirit.

What broken places do you have in your life? Where were you once strong that now you are weak? God is rebuilding the ruined places for the praise of his glory and the good of our souls.

  • God is replanting in the midst of desolation

“And replanted that which was desolate…”

If there are areas of our lives that are merely damaged and broken, they are nothing compared to the areas of our lives that are desolate. To be desolate means to be in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness. To have nothing to give, nothing to celebrate, to feel as though you are woefully wretched and inconsolable.

The picture of replanting is the idea that God is going to cause to grow that which was not there before.

You can’t cause growth in the midst of desolation…unless you are God. No one seeks to produce fruit and life and growth out of desolation, instead you find a new place to plant. But not our God, he walks right into the midst of the desolate areas of our life and proclaims, “I am planting here. I am causing growth here. I am bringing life here!”

The idea of desolation being made new offers us the greatest hope in the midst of our darkest despair.

  • God’s promises prove true because of his character

“I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it.”

Finally, we have confidence that God will indeed fulfill his promises because of who he is.

The character of God is the anchor for our hope in God accomplishing that which he has promised.

Perhaps you hear about broken places being made new and desolating bringing about life and you are already making excuses as to why this doesn’t apply to you or the brokenness in your life.

God disagrees. He bases his confidence in himself. He reminds us he is the Lord and there is no other (Isaiah 45:5), that when he speaks his creation responds (Psalm 29:9), and that he will do all that he has promised (Deuteronomy 7:9).

We need no further guarantee than the very nature of God, for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13) and seeking his glory and bringing life from desolation are a part of his very nature. God’s promises are always based upon his character.

Who God is, gives us hope about what God will do.

Let us together lean in to the promises of God full of hope that he will be found faithful because of who he is.

 -Mark Resch
Youth Pastor