Thursday, September 27th, 2018
“I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” Eze 34:25
It is important for God’s elect to believe in God’s promise to take care of His covenanted people through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection. Eze 34:20-25 tells us that when God appoints Davidian Shepherd, He would make a covenant of peace with Israel. This recalls Ezekiel 16:60 where God said He would make an eternal covenant with them. David in this case means the Messiah, Jesus, Who came from the line of David.
This eternal covenant of peace means the end of God’s wrath upon His people who believe in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.
It is similar to Isa 54: 7-10, also promising a covenant of peace.
We have seen that God’s wrath is terrible in the historical account throughout the Bible directed to those who disobey His Law and Prophets. However, after each of this horrible event, God renewed His relationship with man. Likewise, in the book of Ezekiel, God promised terrible judgment to Israel as an expression of His wrath, then promised a new covenant of peace. God’s covenant is unilateral and there is no condition for new covenant of peace. In the Old covenant Israel had to obey God’s Law in order to experience His peace. In Eze 34:25-30, God describes the benefits, restoration and salvation bestowed in the covenant of peace.
Covenant Peace Brings Benefits
According to the passage above, God will banish wild animals from their land so that they can live without fear of attack. V 25 God will make the people and the place a blessing for others. V 26 There will be rain and it will rain at the right time for greater harvest. V 26 God will break their yoke and deliver them from the captivity V 26. Their neighbors will have no power to devour them. V 28 They will not suffer reproach from unbelievers. V 29 The end result of all this is that they will know that God is their God and they are His people. In other words, they are in covenant with God. They are His sheep, of His pasture. Isa 11:1-9 describes a similar situation where Jesus restores man to the state of Eden, where there is absolute peace and harmony. This will come about through God’s mercy and grace. We can also notice the benefits of the covenant of peace in Lev 26:4-13 where God promised security and prosperity.
Covenant Peace Brings Restoration
Covenant is the way God relates to His people. It is the destruction of the old that allows for the new. After God destroyed the earth by water, God was able to proceed anew with Noah, making a covenant with him. In Ezekiel, after destroying Jerusalem, God is able to proceed with a new covenant of peace. In this new covenant God reverses the curse of the old covenant. Where God make them vulnerable to their enemies before, now God makes them secure. Where God made the land desolate under the curse, God now will make it productive under the new covenant. The glaring differences, though, is the lack of conditions placed in the new covenant to experience peace. God initiates Israel’s restoration for His own purpose. Over all of this restoration, the main intent and purpose is for Israel to know that He is God. V 30 Likewise, Jesus said the gift of eternal life is to know God the Father. The concept of peace with God is important to God’s elect. Peace with God is brought to us by Jesus. The angels delivered it at the birth of Jesus. We once were subject to God’s wrath. Eph 2:3 says we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. God’s wrath brings destruction. However, today through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness, God’s elect have been restored with peace in Christ.
Covenant Peace Brings Salvation
The worldly mind does not take God’s wrath seriously because it does not take sin seriously. Yet if sin is as bad as the Bible declares it to be, nothing is more just or reasonable for the wrath of the holy God shown against us. In the OT there are more than 20 words used to express God’s wrath. More than 600 passages deal with it…..We have to understand the horror of sin and the fullness of God’s wrath to appreciate the gift of salvation. We have to convey this knowledge to others as we witness to them. We have to convince our hearers of the unwelcome diagnosis before we can expect them to welcome the news of the remedy. Personally if I had one hour with every man, I would spend the first 45 mins telling them about God’s wrath upon them because of sin and the last 15 mins talking about the great salvation found in the Gospel Truth. Jesus presented the Gospel this way to Nicodemus in John 3. He said God sent Him to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. John 3:16 Yet He said those who do not believe are “condemned already.” John 3:18 They are condemned already because they are objects of God’s wrath. What a horrible thing to be. Now we are at peace with God through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness. Rom 5:9 Paul said in Rom 9:23 in contrast to the vessel of wrath we have become vessels of mercy who have received salvation by God’s grace.
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