Ezekiel 11:1-25; Hebrews 6:11-20; Psalms 105:8-15; Proverbs 22:26-27
OT: ““Therefore say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Though I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’ “Therefore say, ‘This is what the Lord God says: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ “When they arrive there, they will remove all its abhorrent acts and detestable practices from it. I will give them integrity of heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so that they will follow my statutes, keep my ordinances, and practice them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts pursue their desire for abhorrent acts and detestable practices, I will bring their conduct down on their own heads.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 11:16-21 CSB)
While Ezekiel was exiled in Babylon, the Lord appeared to him in a vision – and in the vision, He swept Ezekiel off to Jerusalem and allowed him to witness the depravity that was going on behind closed doors, which led to God’s judgement of Jerusalem and the departure of God’s glory from the temple. It was quite a sobering and somber experience. Yet, in the midst of the despair and hopelessness, God gave Ezekiel this promise.
Though God’s people had been taken into exile… though God’s glory had left the temple, and the temple would soon be destroyed, there would come a day when God would assemble all His people from the nations of the world and bring them back home. God would then give His people integrity of heart and fill them with a new spirit. He would remove their hardened heart of stone and give them a new and living heart of flesh. With that new heart and new spirit, they would be able to follow God’s statutes, keep God’s ordinances, practice His ways, and remove the depravity from the land. God declared it, therefore God would do it.
The initial fulfillment of God’s promise occurred when the exiles were allowed to return to the land and rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem. God’s promise of giving His people a new spirit and a new heart was initially fulfilled through the salvation and new birth that is experienced through faith in Christ. The ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise has not yet happened. One day, at the end of the age, Christ will return to completely defeat His enemies. Sin, death and the devil will be completely destroyed once and for all, and a new heaven and earth will be populated by the redeemed sons and daughters of God forever. The hope that God gave Ezekiel so many years ago is still the blessed hope of all who call on the name of the Lord and place their faith in Him.
Psalms: “He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he ordained for a thousand generations — the covenant he made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob as a decree and to Israel as a permanent covenant: “I will give the land of Canaan to you as your inherited portion.”” (Psalms 105:8-11 CSB)
God is faithful to His covenant forever. Whatever He says He will do, He will do. Fulfillment delayed is not fulfillment denied. The promise that He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – though it tarried over the course of generations – was fulfilled. The promise that God made to Ezekiel was fulfilled and will continue to be fulfilled. The new covenant that was sealed through the blood of Christ and offered to all who place their faith in Him is being fulfilled will ultimately be fulfilled at the end of the age. For those who place their hope on God and on His Christ, their hope is secure and will not be denied.
NT: “Now we desire each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the full assurance of your hope until the end, so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance… Because God wanted to show his unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because he has become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:11-12, 17-20 CSB)
God’s purpose is unchangeable and the truth of His word is unchangeable. If God purposes in His heart to do something, and says that He is going to do something, it will be done. God’s purpose and all of His word is fulfilled in Jesus Christ who is our firm and secure anchor of Hope. As Christ was resurrected bodily to reign forever with God, we too have a promise of a bodily resurrection and a joint inheritance with Christ. He was our forerunner… our prototype. As He is, we will be in Him, at the end of days – provided we persevere through faith to the end. That is why it is imperative that we do not grow lazy in our waiting, but continue to press on to take hold of the upward call that is in Christ Jesus. Our hope is assured and is steadfastly anchored in Christ. We just need to be diligent to walk by grace through faith as we look to Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the steadfast and secure hope that I have in You. Regardless of what life may throw at me, You are unchanging, and I can seize the hope I have in You and hang on to it by faith. Help me to not grow weary of well-doing and lazy in the waiting, but to persevere by grace through faith to the end. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
4 thoughts on “09/08/W – Our Anchor of Hope”
Ask him,”how can God be faithful to His covenant forever” if man has a free will?
Your readers must be confused as to how your theology works in practicality as you have stated the following below. (I (Paul) am not confused I say this to make my point, I know your position very very well). I will now prove that you contradict your own position and pit Scripture against Scripture.
“If God purposes in His heart to do something, and says that He is going to do something, it will be done.”
“He would remove their hardened heart of stone and give them a new and living heart of flesh. With that new heart and new spirit, they would be able to follow God’s statutes, keep God’s ordinances, practice His ways, and remove the depravity from the land. God declared it, therefore God would do it.“
In light of what you stated mainly that when God purposes in His heart to do something………He will do it and it will be done. How can this be since mans free will is the deciding factor in all decisions and god even when he desires to save someone cannot even save a single soul without mans free will decision? Your theology teaches that god cannot override or violate mans free will. So shouldn’t this devotional be saying the exact opposite of what you have stated? Shouldn’t you have written, “if man purposes in his heart to do something, and says that he is going to do something, it will be done if things happen to work out that way?” Because after all we know that man has no real power to make all things within his heart come to pass. Or maybe you should have said something like, “If God purposes in His heart to do something, and says that He is going to do something, it will be done BUT only with the cooperation of man because god cannot override or violate mans free will. After all god cannot accomplish his purposes without mans free will.” Jamie- You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Let me explain:
Your theology teaches that god is sovereign and in control of all His creatures and that when He purposes to do something He does it, while at the same time contradicting this same teaching by saying that man has a free will and that mans decisions are the deciding factor as to what takes place in gods world.
Which one is it Jamie? Either gods purposes are done or mans purposes are done. I will answer for you because you don’t really believe that the God of the Bible purposes and accomplishes all He desires. You believe that mans free will purposes are done.
For example: You teach that god desired to save Pharaoh and yet Pharaoh rejected god by his free will. Can’t you understand that this is teaching that mans free will is the deciding factor and god’s desire and purpose was not accomplished because Pharaohs free will was the deciding factor? Isn’t this called the sovereign will of man? And according to this teaching in fact, gods purposes are being thwarted every second. For your god desires to save everyone that has ever lived, is living now and ever will live and yet his purpose to save everyone is not accomplished.
Please Jamie, for the sake of truth and the glory of the true God and the true Jesus Christ- explain why you are teaching that gods purposes are accomplished when in fact they are not because mans free will is ultimately the deciding factor and the free will of man thwarts gods desires and purposes. Furthermore you are teaching that gods purposes are only accomplished with the help of mans free will. You are teaching the heresy of synergism or at the least the heresy of some form of palagianism or semi-palagianism. Either way it is heresy.
Repent of believing in a false god and another Jesus. Believe the Gospel and the true Jesus Christ who is the all sovereign almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Very Well said Paul !
God knows what he planned to create before He set creation in motion; therefore, it is impossible for a man to have Free Will.
The objector in Romans 9 knew what The Apostle Paul was saying with perfect understanding; otherwise, The objector would have never said “ Who can resist His will? Why did you make me like this?
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