Ezekiel is inspired to foretell the confusion of the enemies of Israel who have brought about her calamities, and who delight in her humiliation, and in their contempt deride her sorrows. But this in itself is small con-solution. And he adds predictions of the restoration, recovery, and revival of Israel after "her warfare is accomplished, and her iniquity is pardoned." The land and its inhabitants are naturally, as well as poetically, associated in his mind. The restored and rejoicing sons of Jacob till the soil which has been long neglected, and the soil rewards their labors with abundant fruitfulness. It is obvious that these prophetic descriptions have an application to the spiritual renovation of a repenting nation, to the Church of Christ under the genial influences of the Holy Spirit, and to the ransomed race of men in millennial prosperity.
I. THE AUTHOR OF THIS REVIVAL. "I," says the Lord, "am for you, and I will turn unto you." The Creator is the Source and Giver of all life, both in the natural and in the spiritual realm. If the wilderness is to be as the garden of God, it must be through the fall of showers from heaven, through dews of grace, through the Divine breath awakening the dead to life, through the sunshine from God's own countenance calling forth the vitality and the fragrance of the spiritual spring.
II. THE SCENE OF THIS REVIVAL. The land which has been so long desolate by reason of its occupation by hostile armies, and by reason of the deportation of its inhabitants, is visited by reviving mercy. The waste places, the dismantled and forsaken cities, are regarded in compassion and visited in mercy.
III. THE SUBJECTS OF THIS REVIVAL. These are living men, moral natures, capable of true life. "I will multiply men upon you;" "I will cause men to walk upon you." It is the men who make the land what it is, who till the soil, occupy the cities, garrison the fortresses, fill the temples, raise to heaven the free song of trust and praise. The return of the Hebrew captives to their inheritance, the land given to their fathers, was a joyful occasion, and was the earnest of good things to come. When God gives blessing, it is to living, spiritual, immortal natures that he gives it. He blesses his Church by raising up and consecrating to his service holy men and women, who in every position and vocation of life fulfill duty under a sacred impulse and with a noble aim.
IV. THE TOKENS OF THIS REVIVAL. Fruitfulness, increase, abundance, - these am the signs that God is working, that the winter is over and past, that the blossoms of the spring, the promise of the year, have not been delusive. "Herein," says Christ, "is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."
V. THE MEASURE OF REVIVAL. "I will do better unto you than at your beginnings." Such is the gracious assurance of the Almighty. Israel had known times of benediction and prosperity; she should know them again, only more abundantly. All past experience is transcended when the Lord stretches out his hand to bless. - T.
Whereas the Lord was there.
As Palestine was preserved from the enmity of Mount Seir by the presence of Jehovah, so the Church, and each separate member of it, is constantly kept by the power of a present God, despite the rage of adversaries.
I. A DESPISED PEOPLE CONSTANTLY TRIUMPHANT BECAUSE "THE LORD WAS THERE." The people of God have always been, in every age, a hated and despised people. This may be seen if you will notice a few facts.
1. The adversaries of God's Israel have often thought in their hearts that they would utterly destroy them. One of the Roman emperors set up a monument, "In the memory of a destroyed superstition called Christianity." But was our holy religion destroyed? Could the dragon prevail against the remnant which kept the commandment of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ? Behold the multitudes who this day bow the knees at the name of Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord being there, immortality, nay, eternity was in the Church. God is eternal, He is in the Church, and His Church is immortal too.
2. The enemies of the Church have frequently shown their scorn of her by the ridicule which they have cast upon her attacks. But as the cake of barley bread fell upon the tent of Midian and smote it that it lay along, even so the Church is more than conqueror. Sydney Smith said, when Carey talked of evangelising India, that a consecrated cobbler was going out to preach the Gospel to educated and enlightened Hindoos, but the consecrated cobbler took his post and digged in India a well of which thousands shall yet drink. That man of God has placed the battering-ram of the Gospel in such a position that ere long the hoary bastions of idolatry will tremble, and the world shall see that the weakness of God is stronger than man.
3. The world's estimation of the Church has frequently been seen in the way in which it will mock at all her teachings. The wise men of this world have always something far superior to anything that the Bible can reveal. Ah! we can well endure their boastings, for the doctrines of grace are the loftiest of all philosophy and the most intellectual of all teachings — because Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is in them; and where God is, there is perfect wisdom; where God is, there is incomprehensible knowledge.
4. Do they not, also, very frequently cast in our teeth our trials? Nebuchadnezzar can cast in but three, he cannot, however, cast out the fourth; where the Church shall be, Christ shall walk the coals with His people, and they shall come out of their trials triumphant, for God is there. Where God is, there is everlasting love; where God abideth, there is immutable affection; and therefore let this be our comfort, God is with thee, Israel, passing through the fire.
5. The world shows its disesteem of us by the way in which it often treats the Christian. It sees him poor and naked and miserable, and therefore pushes him about as though he were a beggar and not one of the blood royal. Little do they know that, however poor the Christian may be, the Lord is there. The very honour and dignity and majesty of Deity itself guards every follower of the Saviour, however much he may be despised among men.
II. THE MAN OPPOSED AND YET A CONQUEROR.
1. The early convictions of a newborn soul are always the subject of Satanic attack. Satan hopes that with the laugh, the jeer, the jest and merriment he will destroy utterly all convictions of sin; little does he dream that "the Lord is there," and where God sends the arrow home, no devil can ever draw it out.
2. Then, as the fend has tried to destroy conviction, he will next shoot his arrows against our faith. Poor, feeble follower of Jesus, he will worry thee. But the faith which God gives to us overcometh the world — yea, and overcometh the old dragon too.
3. Have not you always found that not only your faith but all your good works are the subjects of Satan's attacks? I never yet had a virtue or possessed a grace but what it was sure to be the target for hellish bullets; whether it was hope bright and sparkling, or love warm and fervent, or patience all enduring, or real flaming like coals of fire, the old enemy of everything that is good has tried if he could destroy or mar it. And why is it that anything virtuous or lovely survives in you? There can be no reason given to this, but "God is then."
4. Note how sedulously Satan aims against the perseverance of God's people. They will never hold on their way, saith he. You and I have thought we never should. And yet you have not fallen from grace yet, not yet have you disgraced your character, not yet gone back to your old lusts. How is this? Why, God was in you, and if He had not been there, then indeed had you been a prey unto your adversaries. A Christian is something like an express train. On some of our railroads, you know, there are express trains which do not stop to take water, the water lies in a trench in the middle between the rails, and as the train runs it sucks up its own supply of cold water, and so continues its course without a pause. Our God in grace has forestalled our needs, He prepares supplies for His own people, so that without their stopping to seek the streams of creature confidence, sometimes without the use of means, He is pleased to speed them on their pathway towards heaven, fed by a Divine arrangement of grace. Oh, it is blessed to think that if God be there, everything a Christian can want for his final persevering, for his eternal life, is ready at hand.
5. I have no doubt, beloved, we shall find that when we come to die, our dying confidence will be the object of the enmity of all the powers of hell. Perhaps like John Knox you may have your blackest day at the last, but oh! thanks be unto God that giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, we have no fear for our dying confidence, for "God is there," even there where the billows are the most tempestuous and the water is most chill; we shall feel the bottom and know that it is good, our feet shall stand upon the rock of ages even in our dying moments.
III. A DESOLATE SOUL NOT DESTROYED, BECAUSE GOD IS THERE. "My purpose is," says Satan, "that be shall dwell forever with me, in misery extreme. I have laid hold upon him," says he, "and he hath made a league with hell. He is mine, he is mine forever." But stop, stop, the Lord was there before the devil. Does the devil purpose? Ah, but God's purpose is older than the devil's purpose. Does the sinner make a covenant? Ay, but then, God's covenant was made before that sinner was born, and what is the devil's purpose compared with God's purpose? You see, God is there before him — "Whereas the Lord was there." "Ah, but," said Satan, "he is mine, I will have him, I will go and take possession, he is mine"; and so he is about to enter the vineyard, and take possession of the vines of sour grapes, when lo! someone meets him on the threshold, and says, "What dost thou here?" "I am come to take possession," saith he. "Take possession!" saith Christ; "I have a claim upon this vineyard, I bought it and paid for it with drops of blood; what dost thou here? Thou sayest, 'I will possess this land,' whereas the Lord was there": and He shows the fiend the print of the nails, and points to His wounded side, and says, "Whatever thy claim may be, Mine is a higher claim; I bought, I paid for, I have the acceptance from the Divine hand, and this vessel of mercy was Mine, Mine long before thou couldst have any claim upon it."
IV. The same, dear friends, is true with regard to THE ENTIRE WORLD. The world cannot be destroyed, because "Jehovah is there." This world once shone, like its sister stars, bright and fair, but a sad shadow of eclipse was thrown upon it — it became swathed in the mists of sin. and though the glory of the Lord hath risen upon it, yet still much of the gloom and the thick darkness continues. Shall that darkness cover all the nation? Shall the light become dim forever? No, no; "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Shall its groans and travails end in nothing? No, no; the day cometh when "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
, Mount Seir
, Tigris-Euphrates Region
TopicsBuilded, Buildings, Built, Cities, Increased, Inhabited, Multiplied, Multiply, Numbers, Peopled, Places, Rebuilt, Ruins, Towns, Waste, Wastes
Outline1. The land of Israel is comforted, by destruction of the heathen, who spitefully used it8. and by the blessings of God promised unto it16. Israel was rejected for their sin21. and shall be restored without their desert25. The blessings of Christ's kingdom
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 36:8-12
LibraryJanuary 2. "I Will Cause You to Walk in My Statutes" (Eze. xxxvi. 27).
"I will cause you to walk in My statutes" (Eze. xxxvi. 27). The highest spiritual condition is one where life is spontaneous and flows without effort, like the deep floods of Ezekiel's river, where the struggles of the swimmer ceased, and he was borne by the current's resistless force. So God leads us into spiritual conditions and habits which become the spontaneous impulses of our being, and we live and move in the fulness of the divine life. But these spiritual habits are not the outcome of some …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
May 30. "I Will Put My Spirit Within You" (Ez. xxxvi. 27).
"I will put My Spirit within you" (Ez. xxxvi. 27). "I will put My Spirit within you, and I will cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments." "I will put My fear in your hearts, and ye shall not turn away from Me." Oh, friend, would not that be blessed, would not that be such a rest for you, all worn out with this strife in your own strength? Do you not want a strong man to conquer the strong man of self and sin? Do you not want a leader? Do you not want God Himself to be with …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
August 25. "And I Will Put My Spirit Within You, and Cause You to Walk in My Statutes, and Ye Shall Keep My Judgments and do Them" (Ezek. xxxvi. 27).
"And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments and do them" (Ezek. xxxvi. 27). This is a great deal more than a new heart. This a heart filled with the Holy Ghost, the Divine Spirit, the power that causes us to walk in God's commandments. This is the greatest crisis that comes to a Christian's life, when into the spirit that was renewed in conversion, God Himself comes to dwell and make it His abiding place, and hold it by His mighty power …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Holy Nation
'Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. 28. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
A New Heart.
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you."--EZEKIEL xxxvi. 26. In the beautiful and suggestive dream of Solomon, which is recorded in the third chapter of the First Book of Kings, God appears to him, saying, "Ask what I shall give thee"; and Solomon's answer is, "O Lord, I am but a child set over this great people, give me, I pray Thee, a hearing heart." And God said to him, "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life, nor riches; …
John Percival—Sermons at Rugby
Prayer --The Forerunner of Mercy
Now, this morning I shall try, as God shall help me, first to speak of prayer as the prelude of blessing: next I shall try to show why prayer is thus constituted by God the forerunner of his mercies, and then I shall close by an exhortation, as earnest as I can make it, exhorting you to pray, if you would obtain blessings. I. Prayer is the FORERUNNER OF MERCIES. Many despise prayer: they despise it, because they do not understand it. He who knoweth how to use that sacred art of prayer will obtain …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857
The Covenant Promise of the Spirit
I. First, as for THE COMMENDATION OF THE TEXT, the tongues of men and of angels might fail. To call it a golden sentence would be much too commonplace: to liken it to a pearl of great price would be too poor a comparison. We cannot feel, much less speak, too much in praise of the great God who has put this clause into the covenant of His grace. In that covenant every sentence is more precious than heaven and earth; and this line is not the least among His choice words of promise: "I will put my spirit …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891
The New Heart
And now, my dear friends I shall attempt this morning, first of all, to show the necessity for the great promise contained in my text, that God will give us a new heart and a new spirit, and after that, I shall endeavor to show the nature of the great work which God works in the soul, when he accomplishes this promise; afterwards, a few personal remarks to all my hearers. I. In the first place, it is my business to endeavor to show THE NECESSITY FOR THIS GREAT PROMISE. Not that it needs any showing …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858
The other error to which man is very prone, is that of relying upon his own merit. Though there is no righteousness in any man, yet in every man there is a proneness to truth in some fancied merit. Strange that it should be so, but the most reprobate characters have yet some virtue as they imagine, upon which they rely. You will find the most abandoned drunkard pride himself that he is not a swearer. You will find the blaspheming drunkard pride himself that at least he is honest. You will find men …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
What Self Deserves
"Ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities, and for your abominations."--Ezekiel 36:31. IT HAS been the supposition of those who know not by experience that if a man be persuaded that he is pardoned, and that he is a child of God, he will necessarily become proud of the distinction which God has conferred upon him. Especially if he be a believer in predestination, when he finds that he is one of God's chosen, it is supposed that the necessary consequence will be that he will …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916
The Stony Heart Removed
"Can aught beneath a power divine The stubborn will subdue? 'Tis thine, eternal Spirit, thine, To form the heart anew. To chase the shades of death away And bid the sinner live! A beam of heaven, a vital ray, 'Tis thine alone to give." But while such a thing would be impossible apart from God, it is certain that God can do it. Oh, how the Master delighteth to undertake impossibilities! To do what others can do were but like unto man; but to accomplish that which is impossible to the creature is a …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863
Let Your Hearts be Much Set on Revivals of Religion. ...
Let your hearts be much set on revivals of religion. Never forget that the churches have hitherto existed and prospered by revivals; and that if they are to exist and prosper in time to come, it must be by the same cause which has from the first been their glory and defence.--Joel Hawes If any minister can be satisfied without conversions, he shall have no conversions.--C. H. Spurgeon I do not believe that my desires for a revival were ever half so strong as they ought to be; nor do I see how a minister …
E.M. Bounds—Purpose in Prayer
God Has Everything to do with Prayer
Christ is all. We are complete in Him. He is the answer to every need, the perfect Savior. He needs no decoration to heighten His beauty, no prop to increase His stability, no girding to perfect His strength. Who can gild refined gold, whiten the snow, perfume the rose or heighten the colors of the summer sunset? Who will prop the mountains or help the great deep? It is not Christ and philosophy, nor Christ and money, nor civilization, nor diplomacy, nor science, nor organisation. It is Christ alone. …
Edward M. Bounds—The Reality of Prayer
How those are to be Admonished with whom Everything Succeeds According to their Wish, and those with whom Nothing Does.
(Admonition 27.) Differently to be admonished are those who prosper in what they desire in temporal matters, and those who covet indeed the things that are of this world, but yet are wearied with the labour of adversity. For those who prosper in what they desire in temporal matters are to be admonished, when all things answer to their wishes, lest, through fixing their heart on what is given, they neglect to seek the giver; lest they love their pilgrimage instead of their country; lest they turn …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
Jesus Angry with Hard Hearts
But I must not let imagination mislead me: they did nothing of the kind. Instead of this, they sat watching the Lord Jesus, not to be delighted by an act of his power, but to find somewhat of which they might accuse him. When all came to all, the utmost that they would be able to allege would be that he had healed a withered hand on the Sabbath. Overlooking the commendation due for the miracle of healing, they laid the emphasis upon its being done on the Sabbath; and held up their hands with horror …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886
The Everlasting Covenant of the Spirit
"They shall be My people, and l will be their God. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me."--JER. xxxii. 38, 40. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye …
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephes. ii. 10. Good works are the ripe fruit from the tree which God has planted in sanctification. In the saint there is life; from that life workings proceed; and those workings are either good or evil. Hence good works are not added to sanctification for mere effect, but belong to it. The discussion of sanctification is not complete without the discussion of Good Works. …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
Touching Jacob, However, that which He did at his Mother's Bidding...
24. Touching Jacob, however, that which he did at his mother's bidding, so as to seem to deceive his father, if with diligence and in faith it be attended to, is no lie, but a mystery. The which if we shall call lies, all parables also, and figures designed for the signifying of any things soever, which are not to be taken according to their proper meaning, but in them is one thing to be understood from another, shall be said to be lies: which be far from us altogether. For he who thinks this, may …
St. Augustine—Against Lying
Pastor in Parish (I. ).
Master, to the flock I speed, In Thy presence, in Thy name; Show me how to guide, to feed, How aright to cheer and blame; With me knock at every door; Enter with me, I implore. We have talked together about the young Clergyman's secret life, and private life, and his life in (so to speak) non-clerical intercourse with others, and now lastly of his life as it stands related to his immediate leader in the Ministry. In this latter topic we have already touched the great matter which comes now at …
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren
Be Ye Therefore Perfect, Even as Your Father which is in Heaven is Perfect. Matthew 5:48.
In the 43rd verse, the Savior says, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward …
Charles G. Finney—Lectures to Professing Christians
The Person Sanctified.
"The putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh."--Col. ii. 11. Sanctification embraces the whole man, body and soul, with all the parts, members, and functions that belong to each respectively. It embraces his person and, all of his person. This is why sanctification progresses from the hour of regeneration all through life, and can be completed only in and through death. St. Paul prays for the church of Thessalonica: "The God of peace sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit and soul …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
[a.d. 145-220.] When our Lord repulsed the woman of Canaan (Matt. xv. 22) with apparent harshness, he applied to her people the epithet dogs, with which the children of Israel had thought it piety to reproach them. When He accepted her faith and caused it to be recorded for our learning, He did something more: He reversed the curse of the Canaanite and showed that the Church was designed "for all people;" Catholic alike for all time and for all sorts and conditions of men. Thus the North-African …
Evidences Internal and Experimental.
1. The external evidences of revealed religion are, in their proper place and sphere, of the highest importance. Christianity rests not upon theory, but upon historical facts sustained by an overwhelming mass of testimony. It is desirable that every Christian, so far as he has opportunity, should make himself acquainted with this testimony for the strengthening of his own faith and the refutation of gainsayers. Nevertheless, many thousands of Christians are fully established in the faith of the gospel …
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible
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