Ezekiel 36 … Consider Him Who Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went,’” (36:22).

God calls Ezekiel to speak to the mountains of Israel.

“And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord,’” (36:1).

And a prophecy is addressed to the whole land, the mountains, the hills, ravines, and valleys, which may seem odd to us. But the land was an integral part of God’s promise to His people.

I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord,” (Exodus 6:8).

The land was to become the possession of His people, set apart for Him, the place where they were to dwell with Him in holy fellowship. But because of their adulterous idolatry, the land itself had become the topic of criticism and ridicule; and God took the insults personally.

“Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My wrath because you have endured the insults of the nations.’ Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘I have sworn that surely the nations which are around you will themselves endure their insults,’” (36:6-7).

God speaks of His jealousy and His wrath, and those emotions don’t translate well when we process them through our own flawed perspective. But everything about God is in perfect keeping with His Holiness, and the unfaithfulness of God’s people to Holy Faithful God moved Him to jealousy and wrath; and that makes sense, even to us.  For He had called His people to be His alone. Is it any wonder He was moved to anger?

But what really doesn’t make sense to our natural minds is what His jealousy and wrath moved Him to do; He was moved to do the impossible, moved to proclaim His miraculous promise of what He will do, of what only He can do, in a way that only He can. For what had been repeatedly demonstrated in His people is that they were utterly incapable of remaining faithful. Something radical was needed, like a radical surgery needed to eradicate a vicious disease.

 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (36:26-27).

And the promise of a new heart and new spirit to eradicate the vicious disease of sin would be required, and would be fulfilled through the sacrificial offering made by Christ on our behalf.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come… 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, ( 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21).

And while we so love to think on all He has done for us, all He has done on our behalf, all He has done that we might be restored to Him (and rightly so), the fact of the matter is, He did not do it for our sake. He Acted for the Sake of His Holy Name.

Consider Him Who Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went,’” (36:22).

And God instructs Ezekiel to prophesy of His Acts; Acts we often assume He would accomplish for our sake. But He clearly told us that because His Name had been so profaned before the nations, He would Act, and it would be for the Sake of His Holy Name, not for the sake of sinful man.

  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to vindicate the Holiness of His Great Name.
    •  I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst…” (36:23).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name that the nations will know He Is the LORD.
    • “…Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God…(36:23).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to prove Himself Holy in the sight of man.
    • …“when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight,” (36:23).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to gather and bring His people into His promised inheritance.
    • “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land,” (36:24).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to cleanse His people from our filthy idolatry.
    • “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols,” (36:25).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to give us a new heart and spirit.
    • “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, (36:26).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name as He puts His Spirit in us that we might walk in obedience.
    • “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (36:27).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name that we would be His and He would be our God.
    •  You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God,” (36:28).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to save us from all our uncleanness.
    • “Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness…” (36:29).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to remove the disgrace of the curse.
    • “…and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations,” (36:29-30).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name that we would loathe our iniquities and abominations against Him.
    •  Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations,” (36:31).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name, that when faced with our shame and disgrace, we would truly know it is not for our sake that He Acts.
    • “I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!” (36:32).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to rebuild the waste places and replant that which was desolate in the sight of all.
    • ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by,’” (36:33-34).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name that the nations will know that He will accomplish all that He speaks.
    • “They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it,” (36:35-36).
  • He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name as He answers our prayers that we will know He Is the LORD.
    • ‘Thus says the Lord God, “This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so will the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am the Lord,”’” (36:37-38).

How do we respond to Him Who Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name?

I was so convicted today as I had to admit that far too often I tend to make myself the star of the show, the center of His universe, as though He should act for my sake. Can you relate?

It is humbling to think on all He has done, but even more so to realize why He has done it. It is not about me; it is not about you; it is only about Him.

And I couldn’t help but wonder what the body of Christ would look like if those of us who claim to know Him as LORD would always Act for the Sake of His Holy Name, and not for the sake of ourselves, our own loved ones, or our own church, our own country, but only for the Sake of His Holy Name? It is certainly something to consider.

He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to give us a new heart and a new spirit so that we would walk by faith and not by sight. Oh, let us choose to do so.

for we walk by faith, not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7).

He Acts for the Sake of His Holy Name to give us a new heart and a new spirit so that we would walk according to the Spirit, and not according to our old flesh. Oh, let us set our desires on the things of the Spirit.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, (Galatians 5:17).

Today, we need to remember, He has performed the radical surgery we need. Oh, let us ask Him to grow us in our dependence upon His  Spirit and in our gratitude for His love that gave His life that we might receive a new heart and new spirit. Let us pray that He would so grow us to live by faith in Christ Who lives in us, that we would live in keeping with our new heart’s desire to always Act for the Sake of His Holy Name.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

Let’s Grow Together!

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