Ezekiel 28 … Consider Him Who Will Manifest His Holiness

Thus says the Lord God, “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob,” (28:25).

This chapter continues with God’s pronouncements against Tyre, but specifically towards the king, an actual king, not merely imagery. I just wonder the outrage this king must have experienced when news made it to him of what the prophet had spoken against him. After all, he was convinced he was a god.

“Because your heart is lifted up
And you have said, ‘I am a god,
I sit in the seat of gods
In the heart of the seas’;
Yet you are a man and not God,
Although you make your heart like the heart of God,”
(28:2).

And in his depraved, deceived heart, he elevated himself in his own wisdom, claiming himself wiser than Daniel, renowned throughout all of Babylon. The king remained convinced that the wealth of Tyre was by his doing; lifting himself up in pride. And this king, who fashioned himself like God, was completely oblivious to the fact that he was being fashioned for destruction.

Behold, you are wiser than Daniel;
There is no secret that is a match for you.
“By your wisdom and understanding
You have acquired riches for yourself
And have acquired gold and silver for your treasuries.
“By your great wisdom, by your trade
You have increased your riches
And your heart is lifted up because of your riches—
Therefore thus says the Lord God,
Because you have made your heart
Like the heart of God,
Therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon you,

The most ruthless of the nations.
And they will draw their swords
Against the beauty of your wisdom
And defile your splendor,” (28:3-7).

And another lamentation is assigned, this time for the king, referring to him as,” the seal of perfection; full of wisdom and beauty; in Eden, the garden of God; and the anointed cherub.”

And God’s summation:

“You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you,”
(28:15).

Scholars conclude this could be an allusion to Adam before the fall, or to the fallen Lucifer (as some suggest due to the similarities presented in Isaiah 14). Many agree that it likely refers to both, as the spirit of the enemy is always at work in the heart of those who are dead in their trespasses and sins.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, (Ephesians 2:1-2).

And as the Lord turns His attention to yet another bordering land of Israel, Sidon, His resounding truth emerges: no matter the feeble attempts of man or the feigned strength of the enemy to raise themselves up to the place of God, there is but One God, and He alone Is the One True God. He Will Manifest His Holiness; and in so doing all will know that He alone Is LORD.

Consider Him Who Will Manifest His Holiness.

When God said, “I will manifest My holiness,” He spoke just one word, but it was not a noun, as though Holiness was some thing that He would put on display. God spoke a verb, conveying the Truth that He is the God Who Is immutably and continually setting Himself apart, consecrating Himself, and showing Himself entirely in keeping with His nature.

Holiness: 6942. קָדַשׁ qāḏaš: A verb meaning to be set apart, to be holy, to show oneself holy, to be treated as holy, to consecrate, to treat as holy, to dedicate, to be made holy, to declare holy or consecrated, to behave, to act holy, to dedicate oneself. The verb, in the simple stem, declares the act of setting apart, being holy (i.e., withdrawing someone or something from profane or ordinary use)… “ Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

Holiness. It’s really an abstract concept in the minds of fallen man, for we have never seen it or experienced it in the natural. And because we cannot grasp His Holiness in the sense of perfect purity and righteousness, for we have never known that in this life, perhaps the best understanding we can take hold of is how completely separate He is from His creation.

And I wonder if God is simply telling us, that through His judgment and through His salvation, He is simply being Who He Is, completely set apart from the ways and thoughts of man. So separate, so set apart, that the contrast between the two is infinite.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts,
(Isaiah 55:8-9).

He is Holy and everything He does is in keeping with Who He Is. And today, He specifically calls our attention to two actions that are in perfect keeping with His character; two actions that are completely separate and set apart from the thoughts and ways of man; two actions that Will Manifest His Holiness.

  • He Will Manifest His Holiness in His Judgment.
    • “Behold, I am against you, O Sidon,
      And I will be glorified in your midst.
      Then they will know that I am the Lord when I execute judgments in her,
      And I will manifest My holiness in her,”
      (28:22).
  • He Will Manifest His Holiness in His Salvation.
    • Thus says the Lord God, “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and will manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob,” (28:22).

How do we respond to Him Who Will Manifest His Holiness?

His Judgment and His Salvation. Both are manifestations of His Holiness. And both will cause people to know that He Is the LORD.

“…Then they will know that I am the Lord when I execute judgments in her,
And I will manifest My holiness in her,”
(28:22).

They will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards and live securely when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God,” (28:26).

But did you catch the difference?

There will be no doubt to those who remain in their pride and come under His judgment that He is the LORD.

But those who humble themselves and call on Him for salvation will come to know Him as “the Lord their God.”

And this is where we come in. We can respond to His Holiness in that spirit of pride that is constantly at work in the sons of disobedience, or we can respond to the Holy Spirit Who will lead us to the truth of Him Who Will Manifest His Holiness.

He Will Manifest His Holiness in His judgment, and He will be set apart in righteousness and the pride of man will be abased.

So the common man will be humbled and the man of importance abased,
The eyes of the proud also will be abased.
16 But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment,
And the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness,
(Isaiah 5:15-16).

And He Will Manifest His Holiness in His salvation as He sets apart those He has redeemed and purified as His own.

looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds, (Titus 2:13-14).

And when we have been set free from sin and belong to Him through faith in Christ, we have His eternal promise that He Will Manifest His Holiness in us.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life, (Romans 6:22 NIV).

who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (2 Timothy 1:9).

While it may be humanly impossible, let us make it our spiritual aim to understand His Holiness, to understand how truly separate from the thoughts and ways of man He Is.

And as He grows us in our understanding, let us commit to cleansing ourselves from anything that would hinder His grace from setting us apart for His purpose, that we might become fitting vessels for Him Who Will Manifest His Holiness to a world so desperate to come to Him for salvation and escape His judgment.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Let’s Grow Together!

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