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DEVOTIONAL
The law of God's love
Richard Wasserfall
19-Jan-2004
ďNow let them put away from me their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings, and I will live among them forever.ĒEzekiel 43:9
The vital thing to notice about this verse is that God is addressing the exiles in Babylonia in their present state. Up until now, in this vision of Godís glory returning to His temple, God has told Ezekiel that the temple he has seen is a future temple where God will set His throne forever (Eze 43:7). It will be a temple in which Israel will never again defile Godís holy name (Eze 43:7b). In Ezekiel 43:8, God then points out that is was because of the detestable practices of defiling Godís name with worship to idols in His presence, that God destroyed Israel. Not because His covenant with Israel was broken, or that He loved them no longer.

But now He suddenly speaks to Israel directly saying, put now far away from you these things which forced me to destroy you, and ďI will live among [you] forever.Ē Note that this is not a promise pertaining to the future temple, but the offer of a promise to Israel right where they are right now.

Here we see the law of Godís love at work. In one of Israelís darkest moments, God through Ezekiel gave Israel a hope and a future, a dream and a vision of their restoration that was certain, because it was His Word. In other words, He had given Israel every reason to get up in the morning and praise God in faith. But in the midst of this promise, God reminds them of the sin that has put them in the difficult position they are in and asks them to please put it away from them so that He could continue to live among them.

This then is the law of Godís love: That in our darkest times*, He first gives to His faithful, promises of a hope and a future (Jer 29:11). These promises then stir the faithful heart to lift praises to Him who is most worthy. Only then, in the midst of our praise, does He turn the light of His love again on that which He wants sanctified in our lives. Suddenly the horridness of our sin is brought into true relation with Godís holiness, and our hearts truly do repent, for they have been softened and a new spirit is placed within them (Eze 36:26). In that moment, God asks us, like he asks Israel through Ezekiel, to put away from Him our prostitution and the idols of our lives, so that His Spirit can live among us in greater portions according to the mercies of His sanctifying grace. For He loves His temple and we are the precious jewels, metals and stones with which He will build it, and he wants every fibre of it to be refined to perfection and flawless in beauty before He comes. Thus He reveals in His temple plans, His holiness, so that we can be refined.

* Please note that I am not saying that all dark times are the direct result of sin in our lives, but rather that it is through dark times that God can make abundantly clear to us how desperately He wants us to get rid of the sin we have let continue to grow in our lives.
Loving Father, deepen us in the understanding of your promises, so that greater might our love grow towards You, and greater our desire to see You cleanse us from the sin that stains us. Amen