The new heart and a new spirit (Ezek 36:26-36:27)

“I will give you

A new heart.

I will put within you,

A new spirit.

I will remove

From your body

The heart of stone.

I will give you

A heart of flesh.

I will put

My Spirit

Within you.

I will make you

Follow

My statutes.

You will be careful

To observe

My ordinances.”

Yahweh was going to help the returning Israelites, by giving them a new heart and a new spirit. He was going to remove their old hearts of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Yahweh was going to infuse them with his Holy Spirit. Thus, they would follow his statutes and observe carefully all his ordinances.

Advertisements

The rebellion (Ezek 20:21-20:21)

“But the children

Rebelled

Against me.

They did not follow

My statutes.

They were not careful

To observe

My ordinances.

By their observance,

Everyone shall live.

They profaned

My Sabbath.”

This is the 3rd mention of a rebellion in this chapter. This time, even the children of those wandering in the desert rebelled. It seemed to be a major theme of Ezekiel in his history of the Israelites. In each case there was a rebellion. First there were those in Egypt, then those in the wilderness, and now the children of those in the wilderness. They failed to follow the statutes of Yahweh. They failed to observe his ordinances that gave life. Finally, they profaned his Sabbath.

No promise land (Ezek 20:15-20:16)

“Moreover

I swore to them

In the wilderness

That I would not

Bring them

Into the land

That I had given them.

That is a land flowing

With milk and honey,

The most glorious of all lands.

Because they rejected

My ordinances.

They did observe

My statutes.

They profaned

My Sabbath.

Their heart went

After their idols.”

Yahweh swore to them in the wilderness that he was not going to bring them into the land that he had given them, that land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. They had rejected his ordinances. They did not observe his statutes. They profaned the Sabbath. Their hearts went after their former idols. Things did not look good for these wilderness wanderers.

The great judgment of Yahweh (Ezek 5:7-5:9)

“Therefore thus says

Yahweh God!

‘You are more turbulent

Than the nations

That are all around you.

You have not followed

My statutes.

You have not kept

My ordinances.

But you have acted

According to the ordinances

Of the nations

That are all around you.’

Therefore thus says

Yahweh God!

‘I,

I myself,

Am coming against you.

I will execute judgments

Among you

In the sight of the nations.

Because of all your abominations,

I will do to you

What I have never yet done,

The like of which

I will never do again.’”

Yahweh now spoke directly to Jerusalem, as if Ezekiel was not even there.  The God Yahweh proclaimed his judgment against Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem were more turbulent than all the other nations around them. They have not followed Yahweh’s statutes. They have not kept his ordinances, but acted according to the ordinances of their surrounding nations. Thus Yahweh said that he himself was coming against them. He was going to execute his judgments on the people of Jerusalem in the sight of all the other countries. Because of their abominations, he was going to do what he had never done before or would ever do again.

The indifference of Israel (Jer 8:4 -8:7)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘You shall say to them.

When people fall,

Do they not get up again?

If they go astray,

Do they not turn back?

Why then has this people turned away?

Why are they perpetually backsliding?

They hold fast to deceit.

They have refused to return.

I have given heed.

I have listened.

But they do not speak honestly.

No man repents of wickedness.

Saying.

‘What have I done?’

All of them turn to their own course,

Like a horse

Plunging headlong into battle.

Even the stork in the heavens

Knows its times.

The turtledove

Observes the time of its coming.

The swallow

Observes the time of its coming.

The crane

Observes the time of its coming.

But my people do not know

The ordinance of Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, points out the indifference of Israel. Most people when they fall, they get up. If they are lost, they turn back. Why are these Israelites continuing to backslide? Why do they refuse to return? They are deceitful. Yahweh was listening, but they were not speaking honestly. No one was repenting for what they had done. All of them went their own way like a horse plunging headlong into a battle. The various birds, like the stork, the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane, know when to come and go. However, the people of the Lord do not know and are indifferent to his ordinances.

Praise Yahweh for all he does for you (Ps 147:12-147:20)

“Praise Yahweh!

O Jerusalem!

Praise your God!

O Zion!

He strengthens the bars of your gates.

He blesses your sons within you.

He grants peace in your borders.

He fills you with the finest of wheat.

He sends out his command to the earth.

His word runs swiftly.

He gives snow like wool.

He scatters frost like ashes.

He hurls down hail like crumbs.

Who can stand before his cold?

He sends out his word.

He melts them.

He makes his wind blow.

He makes the waters flow.

He declares his word to Jacob.

He declares his statutes and ordinances to Israel.

He has not dealt thus with any other nation.

They do not know his ordinances.

Praise Yahweh!”

The end of this alleluia psalm naturally has the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This section begins and ends with that phrase. This is a long description of what Yahweh is doing in the current time to help Israel with the use of the present tense. He keeps the bars strong on the gates into the town. He blesses them with children. He grants them peace at home. He fills them with a good harvest of wheat. Yahweh commands the whole earth. His word controls the climate as snow, frost, and hail follow his command. He sends out his wind to make the snow melt and the waters flow in the various rivers. He has given his word, his statutes, and his ordinances to Jacob or Israel. No other nation is like Israel. Notice that this is not the Mosaic code but the ordinances of Jacob.

Let me live (Ps 119:169-119:176)

Tav

“Let my cry come before you!

Yahweh!

Give me understanding

According to your word!

Let my supplication come before you!

Deliver me

According to your word!

My lips will pour forth praise.

Because you teach me your statutes.

My tongue will sing of your promise.

All your commandments are right.

Let your hand be ready to help me!

I have chosen your precepts.

I long for your salvation.

Yahweh!

Your law is my delight!

Let me live!

Thus I may praise you.

Let your ordinances help me!

I have gone astray

Like a lost sheep.

Seek out your servant!

I do not forget your commandments.”

This long psalm concludes with the last or twenty-second consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tav. This psalmist wanted to live and be saved. He, on his part, would not forget the commandments of Yahweh. He wanted his cry to come before Yahweh. He wanted to understand the word and law of Yahweh. He, on his part, would give praise to Yahweh with his lips and tongue. He will sing of his praises because Yahweh has taught him his statutes and commandments. All he wanted was help in salvation. He delighted in the law. Thus his ordinances would help him. However, the psalmist admitted that even though he had gone astray like a lost sheep, he still had not forgotten Yahweh’s commandments. Thus we have a fitting end to this long psalm about the importance and beauty of the law.