Ezekiel 36:16-21

Be Careful How You Represent God to Others


1 Peter 4:17 says, “judgment begins with the household of the Lord”  NASB

What we know about God; who He is, His love and mercy, His law and His expectations, etc. was brought to us by Israel, the covenant people of God. At Mount Sinai the people agreed to be the people of God and God would be their God.  God then gave them the law and told them if they put his Word into practice He would bless them. God’s people were to introduce God and His Word to the rest of the world by living it and proclaiming it.  However, the people turned from God to the idols of the nation’s around them so instead of Israel being an influence on the world the world influenced Israel drawing them away from the covenant relationship and profaning God’s name in the eyes of the world. It was not their words that profaned the name of the Lord, but their actions. Their actions made their message invalid and unimportant in the sight of others.  In a sense they were mocking God by how they lived and so God brought judgment on the nation of Israel in the sight of the world so the world would know God said what He meant and He meant what He said.

Now if God is willing to do this to Israel how should we think He will respond to the Church if the Church profanes God’s name in the sight of the people the Church is to bring the Gospel to?  I heard the other day the Church is comprised of Christians but the majority of the “believers” are Christian Atheists.  Christian Atheists are people who claim to be Christians and may go to church but the way they live their lives and the things they practice are no different from those who do not believe in God at all. Paul describes in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that in the last days this will be the case.  I believe that when he described these people as holding on to a form of godliness that he was describing the condition of the Church in the last days. Clearly, our Lord warned five of the seven churches in Revelation 2&3, that they were drifting away and He was about to remove them as witnesses to the world.

So what about the church in the United States? I think we would be smart to read Hebrews 2:1-13 and ask ourselves if we are seriously representing God in our actions or profaning God’s name.  If we call ourselves Christians, do our words, actions, and conduct say we are Christians

God’s discipline of Israel was not for condemnation but for correction. The balance of Ezekiel 36 from verse 22 on speaks of what God is going to do after Israel turns back to the Lord.  Keep in mind that even in correction and discipline God is for us and wants to bless His people so the Word of God and the good news of the Gospel can be understood by the lost because they have heard it and seen it in practice.

 May God bless and guide.

Pastor Dave