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Ezekiel 16:62-63

Ezekiel 16:62-63
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Ezekiel 16:62-63, “And you shall know that I am YHWH…when I atone for all that you have done…”

When we see our perversions drowned forever in the atoning blood of Christ, then we will know who our God is.


This passage from this morning‘s ll of scripture. The level of graphic specificity used to describe the “whorings” of God’s people is startling. So perverse have the covenant people become that their sins, in an ironic sense, intervene on behalf of Samaria and Sodom by making these two infamous cities look righteous in comparison (v.52)! God’s covenanted, bridal people have become a brazen, desperate whore….a woman who gives herself to any and all who will take her (v.25)—indeed, who pays others to defile her (v.34).

And what is the “real world” activity that moves the Lord to use such language regarding His people? It is her running to other gods and other nations for security and satisfaction, it is looking to and going after other “lovers” besides her covenant Husband. This is her central perversion….indeed, this is the sin of which adultery and prostitution is a shadow, they are sinful only because they image this reality just as faithful marriage images God’s covenant relationship with His people.

So, here lies the people of God. They have no excuse, no defense, no refuge, no argument, chapter 16 has metaphorically stripped them of all covering and laid their perversities bare before themselves, the world, and YHWH. They are justly condemned. And the Lord will bring their sins on their head, He will give them over to their “lovers” and they will see what that kind of love leads to—namely hatred, scorn, violence and destruction. In His wrath, her covenant Husband will step back and allow the full course of her idolatries to play out and she will be destroyed (v.39-41), no doubt picturing exile.

But then—and here is what I wanted to emphasize—but then, after she has been stoned and cut to pieces by her “lovers” (v.40), after she is metaphorically slain beyond even burial…..then the Lord will remember His covenant with her and will establish with her and everlasting covenant (v.60).

What will this new covenant, this covenant beyond adultery and death, what will it entail? Well, the Gentile “sisters” of Israel will be given to her as daughters (which seems to foresee the ingathering of the Gentiles so emphasized in the NT), and—here is the main part—and she (this formerly adulterous bride, this prostitute who was slain for her sins by her clients and is now “raised” from the dead by the covenant faithfulness of YHWH), she will know that her God isYHWH. And how will she know this? When He atones for all that she has done.

That is the staggering beauty, the awesome centerpiece of this chapter. This is how YHWH finally wins His people, this is how He finally shatters the stubbornness of their hearts, this is how He cuts through the veil of their blindness, this is how He ends the adulterous inclinations of His bride: He causes her to know once and for all that He is YHWH—that He is her covenant Lord, her only Husband, her true satisfaction (v.28-29). And He causes her to know this by atoning for all that she has done.

“…and you shall know that I am YHWH…when I atone for you for all that you have done.”

His work of atonement and His work of revelation are interwoven. His people will come to know Him as their Covenant Husband, their Lord, as the I AM, when He atones for all that they have done.

What does this tell us about YHWH? Does it not, at least, tell us that integral to a true knowledge of Him is to know Him as the one who finally atones for His people’s sins? Does it not tells us that a knowledge of YHWH means knowing Him as the one who—against all hope, even after she has been stoned and dismembered—draws His bride to Himself and covers over all the monstrosities that she has committed? Does anyone truly know YHWH until they know Him as this one? As the one who atones for the sins of His people, raises them from the dead and brings them to Himself?

And of course—gloriously—this promise is fulfilled in Christ…..in God the incarnate Son who does what Moses could not, who interposes His own life, His own body, His own blood, who is cut off for the sake of His people (Is.53:8). When will the sins of God’s whoring bride be atoned for? When the Holy One is exalted on the cross as the image of her sin (2 Cor.5:21) and curse (Gal.3:13, John 3:14-15). And it will be in this atoning work that she will finally see and know YHWH. It will be when the Son is lifted up on the cross that the Bride will know the I Am. In atoning He communicates Himself, in saving He shows Himself, in redeeming He reveals Himself to His people…..this is when His people will know that He is YHWH.