Ezekiel 16:1-4 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths.”
Ezekiel is required to confront God’s Covenant People with the reality of the whole of humanity’s solidarity in sin. It was something they did not want to hear or face up to.
Sadly, our society is in exactly the same position today! We have been collectively and effectively brainwashed into thinking that we are born basically GOOD, and we should give no credence to an ‘outdated’ theology that speaks of ‘Original Sin’ because such a concept is harmful to our self esteem. Humanistic psychologists warn us about the ‘damaging’ effects of negative feedback on young people, and, sadly, the product of this advice is a generation that is confused and lost with regard to spiritual truths and realities.
The LORD goes on throughout this chapter to point out the depth of his passionate love for his chosen people, and the lengths he was/is prepared to go to rescue them from their condition and re-unite them to him as his beloved ‘wife’. The purpose of this revelation is obvious: Unless they first REALISE the seriousness and the depth of their need they can never respond to his loving affections in the appropriate way! It’s pretty much what Jesus was getting at when he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32).
Like all the other faithful OT prophets, Ezekiel’s important message was falling on deaf ears. The people had no understanding of what he was saying because they wanted to ignore his accurate diagnosis of the problem. Perhaps this is why the Gospel seems to be having so little impact on our floundering and desperately needy society. Until we really believe, as King David did, that “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5), we will never be born again and united in a covenant of love with our gracious Saviour.
Why not take some time now to read the whole of Ezekiel 16 and be reminded of just how God feels about us, what he was prepared to do to SAVE us, and how prone we are to undervaluing his LOVE by failing to SEE how ‘original sin’ renders us helpless to save ourselves. (One of my ‘lockdown’ projects has been to read John MacArthur’s ‘The Vanishing Conscience’ and ‘Ashamed of the Gospel’ which make all this abundantly clear.)
“I am not skilled to understand what God has willed, what God has planned, I only know, at his right hand stands one who is my Saviour. I take him at his word and deed: Christ died to save me: this I read, and IN MY HEART I FIND A NEED of HIM to be my Saviour. And was there then no other way for God to take? I cannot say, I only bless him, day by day, who saved me through my Saviour. That he would leave his place on high and come for sinful man to die; you count it strange? So once did I before I knew my Saviour. And O that he fulfilled might see the travail of his soul in me, and with his work contented be, as I with my dear Saviour. Yes, living, dying: let me bring my strength, my solace from this spring: that he who lives to be my King once died to be my Saviour.” (Dora Greenwell).