Ezekiel 20:30-44, God’s Message To Double-Minded People
1. I Will Tell You Nothing (v30-31)
2. Your Dreams Will Not Come True (v32-34)
3. I Will Purge You Of All Rebellion (v35-38)
4. I Will Display My Holiness Through You (v39-42)
5. I Will Treat You Mercifully To Honor My Name (v43-44)
Ezekiel 20:30-44, God’s Message To Double-Minded People
Ezekiel 20:30-44, God’s Message To Double-Minded People
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Well, as we look at Ezekiel Chapter 20 this morning I've titled the Message God Message to double minded people. God message to double minded people. Here in Ezekiel chapter 20, we have an occasion where some leaders of the nation have come to. Ezekiel to hear from the Lord. Right, and on the surface, as you think about that, as you hear that concept as you read the first few verses of the chapter, that seems like a very positive thing, right? As Esequiel has been ministering to the nation and calling them to listen to. The word of. The Lord, now for people to come and to sit there before Ezekiel and express out loud. We would like to hear from the Lord. It sounds like it looks like visibly on the surface. Everything looks like this is exactly what needs to happen and this is a great work that is happening right here in front of Ezekiel's eyes. But the Lord sees past the surface he sees through all of the facade that is being put up here and the words that these leaders are saying and he sees into the hearts of the people. And he declares this people to be unfit to hear from him he. Declares that they are. Divided in their hearts or double minded people. That idea of double minded or double hearted is to have a divided heart to heart with divided loyalties and allegiances. And so though, although they are coming before the Lord, before Esequiel to hear from the Lord, they're they're coming. They're presenting themselves there. It looks really good. It looks very spiritual. The reality is their hearts are not sold out unto the Lord. They're not fully committed to the Lord. They're not fully committed to walk in the ways of the Lord to love the Lord their God with all their heart and soul and mind and strength. And so God's answer to them is quite strong, very clear and crisp that that they need. To turn from their double mindedness. And to be completely given over to the things. Of the Lord. You know this morning you might be able to look around the church here and you look at the people and you're like I know these people. I've known them for for a long time now and. I wouldn't think that any of us need to hear a message about being double minded, because here we are on Sunday morning and we showed up. I mean, yes, all those people watching on the live stream they might be double minded. It's probably true, right? Like yeah, they probably are, but. We showed up we're here. Of course we're not double minded. Of course we're here and we are worthy of receiving this message from the Lord. But the reality is, we can't look. We can't see the hearts of people, and so no matter how great things look on the surface. Even perhaps, as we look in the mirror and see our own selves that that we need to understand that God is many times calling people who look like they have it together and look really great and look really religious and right on that God is calling. Many of people in that condition. To be pulled out of their double mindedness to put a stop to the divided allegiances and loyalties. And to be completely committed over to the. Things of the Lord. As we talk about this this morning in this passage, I want to give you a little preview of the. Whole course that we're on here in versus 30 through 44. Kind of lets you know where we're going a little bit. And so I'm going to do something unusual. I usually like to surprise you point by point and then I get to .2 and you're like, well, that's a surprising point. And then three? Well, that's a surprising point. And so I don't tell you in advance. But today, I'm going to tell you in advance 'cause I want you to have a preview of where we're going. And to understand that that it's not that God is saying there is no hope, you're double minded, you know you're completely lost but but what God is saying is some very clear and hard things that need to be said. But the end result is going to be focused on the grace and the mercy of God and his work in the lives of his people. And so we'll look first at God, declaring I will tell you nothing. You can't expect to hear from me because you're double minded. Then we'll see that God says your dreams are not going to come true. The things that you're thinking and imagining, and you're you're living in a fantasy world and and it's not going to be the reality instead. God declares I will purge you of all rebellion. It's going to be completely removed from you as a people. God says I will display my Holiness through you. Not only are you going to be purged and cleansed, but you are going to be performing holiness and it will demonstrate the holiness of the Lord. And in the end you'll look back and. You'll say wow. God has treated me mercifully. To honor his name to praise him and glorify him. God has been gracious and merciful to me, and so here is the message that God has two double minded people. Five points starting in verse one. Again, point number one is I will tell you nothing when you come to the Lord with a double minded heart or a divided heart you can expect nothing from the Lord. Verse 30 says, therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the sovereign Lord. Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshipping vile images? God's message to these people who have gathered to him and you can look at the beginning of the chapter for the full context of this. But here are these leaders. They they're seeking to hear from God about their situation and what they should do. Their captives in Babylon because of you, know the the conquering that happened as a part of their rebellion. Against the Lord. But here they are sitting before the Lord. And instead of answering their question, giving them direction. God is challenging their hearts. And he says, what's your plan as you sit before me today? What is your intention? Are you sitting here inquiring of the Lord? But at the same time planning to pollute yourself? Do you have the the in the works in your mind the the plan forward the directions that you're going to follow and the things that you're going to do. Beyond this time here, sitting in the presence of the Lord, are you planning to go out and pollute yourself just like your ancestors did, the Lord says. Do you plan to keep on doing what you have been doing? Do you plan to? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshipping vile images? And so the idea here of keeping this course of prostituting themselves speaks of that spiritual adultery in the idolatry that is, and so it's a they were doing. That they took a break. Let's hit pause on this spiritual prostitution on this worship of these false gods pause that let's go inquire of the Lord. And then afterwards, we'll go back to those other gods again. And and God is saying, is this what your plan is? Is this? Is this what your intentions are, is this? The plan that you have in your mind. And he he digs. Deep a little bit in verse 31. He says when you offer. Gifts to them. And even to the extent of giving your children to be burned as sacrifices. You pollute yourselves with idols to this day. And so here you are. You're not just. Getting a little bit tripped up or stumbled here or there, but you're engaged in a lifestyle of this worship of these false gods to the point that you're sacrificing your children for this course and for this path and the worship of these false gods. You are polluting yourself, God says. And so we asked the question should. I allow you. To ask for a message from me, why should I let you make this request? Why should I respond to this request when you are pursuing? The very things that you know I have declared. To be vile, to be abominable, to be prostitution. And an affront to the Lord. We're talking to the leaders of Israel here. We're talking to people who know about God. Who know even the scriptures of God? We're talking about people who know better. But follow this path. Of idolatry nonetheless. And here they come and. They sit before the Lord and God says. I will tell you nothing. I have no word from you or for you, except to say how dare you. How dare you try to live? Life with that double mindedness, or that divided heart. Is that really your plan that you're going to come here and sit before the Lord and then go and re engage in immorality and re engage in adultery and re engage in the greed and the the focus of your life that is apart from the Lord. God says I will tell you. I'm not going to entertain this fake charade that you have put up here and have come before me. Pretending that with a desire to hear from me and again these are people who know God and perhaps they would love to hear a message from the Lord, actually, right. But but they have no intention of clinging to the Lord and and being devoted to him alone, they have no intention of hearing his voice and responding in obedience. No matter what he says. Of course they want to come in. Yes, Lord, please give me a message that encourages me and a pronounce of blessing upon me and let my life just overflow with goodness as I sit before you today, of course they want to hear that from the Lord. But as they sit before the Lord, God says, I see your heart. You get no such blessing from me. No such message from me. I will only challenge you. To not continue. In your plans, in your intentions and in your purposes, I need to challenge you to evaluate your heart. I'm not going to talk to you about your life or the course. You should go or the best path forward. You need to first check your heart. Is that your plan? Is your heart divided? Are you double minded? Commentator Landon Dowden says God refuses to be consulted by those who continue to ignore sin in their lives. Our pursuit of sin reveals that his will is not our priority. His counsel is not to be an add on to our life, but his words are to be our very life. When we come before the Lord and we come to hear from him, we open up the scriptures. We attend service or Bible study we, you know, go out to a conference or turn on the Christian station and we want to hear from the Lord. We want to be ministered to by the Lord. Encouraged by the Lord. Refreshed by the Lord. Blessed by the Lord. When we do that and at the same time have these issues of sin in our lives that we refuse to address and we just continue to ignore them. There is a real problem here and we cannot be surprised when God says. No, thank you. We think God should be grateful sometimes that just was that we showed up, right? It's like God look at give me credit for something here I'm opening my Bible you know, isn't this great and wonderful? You should tell me something and God says. You you have. What you need right before you, you know. What I've said about these things in your life. You don't need some fresh new message from me. You need to act on the things that I've already spoken to you. And make my word your life make my word the the thing that instructs you and and that you live according to you. Because when I allow sin to continue in my life and never address it and and do not change and repent from it. The reality is God's word and God's will is not my priority. I have double mindedness. I want to hear from the Lord. I want to be blessed by the Lord who doesn't want to be blessed by the Lord and be encouraged in the Lord. Of course we do, even when we are double minded and our hearts are divided, we want to experience the good things from God and to hear from God. And you know, sometimes God is gracious and he still does speak to us in those moments because, well, the really challenging thing is when really are we not double minded and divided in our hearts? It's perhaps degrees you know in which we are double minded in various aspects in our life and God is so gracious to us but at the same time. We cannot come with this expectation while we have these realities happening in our lives that we know what God has said about them, but we just choose to ignore them. God says like you come with. A heart like that. I'm not obligated to tell you anything, and at this time he tells the leaders of Judah. I choose to tell you nothing and he really strengthens it there. In verse 31, he says, as surely as I live, he he makes a a promise by it. He swears and attaches his life to it. He says look as sure as I am the Lord God, the creator of the heavens. On the earth, I will tell you nothing. You can count on that this is so serious. He takes a solemn oath and he says no. You will not hear from me. Your heart is divided. And you plan to continue on in sin, and you intend to keep on defiling yourself. I will tell you nothing. God says I will not answer you. In that condition. Because I don't. Want to give you the impression that it's OK? And I'm not going to allow you to continue down that path, thinking that everything is fine and that nothing needs to change. Now you need to know and so I'm going to close the doors where I have spoken to you previously. Now I will tell you nothing. To help bring you to the awareness. Of the problem at hand and how bad this situation is, I will tell you nothing. I reminded me of what James tells us in James Chapter 4. He says you want. What you don't have? So you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have. But you can't get it. So you fight and you wage war and take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong. You want only what will give you pleasure. U adulterers don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, if you want to be a friend of the world. You make yourself an enemy. Of God very similar message there through James. Writing again also to people who believe in God. And it's some very strong language here. You're going through these schemes. You're working through these things because you want what you don't have. And you don't have it because you're not asking God for it. But even when you ask God for it, your motives are all wrong like the leaders. Before Ezekiel, here, their motives were all wrong, even as they came to ask for a message. Their motives were not to hear the word of the Lord and fully obey him with all of their hearts. Their motives were to get some kind of good fuzzy feeling, good warm feeling. Get some good blessing from God while they continued that path of sin, their friendship with the world, and James, who says. Listen when you make yourself a friend. Of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. And so now as you sit before the Lord, you are sitting before the Lord as an enemy of God. Because you've prioritized the world over the Lord. You cannot expect. God's not obligated to tell you anything except repent. You need to check your heart and understand the reality and the severity of the situation. That you're in. I will tell you nothing, the Lord says. That's the first part of his. Message to double minded. Well, he continues. To bring this clear message to the people in versus 32 through 34, here's point. #2 your dreams will not come true. It's not a message everybody wants to hear, right? People don't write books about this or you don't pay a couple $100 to show up and hear someone tell you. Your dreams will never come true, right? That's not something that typically we line up to. Hear, but sometimes it's something that we need. Need to hear. In verse 2 or 32, he says you say we want to be like the nations all around us who serve idols of wood and stone. But what you have in mind will never happen. Here the Lord says, I know what's in your mind even here, as you sit before the Lord with this expressed desire to hear from the Lord. What you have in mind is something different. Again, your double minded. You're not here because you are fully devoted singly, devoted to the Lord. What you have in mind is a life where you get to be like the nations all around you. What you have in mind is where you get to serve the idols of wood and stone to follow the same passions and pursuits and devotions like everyone else around you. But God says to the people of Israel, what you have in mind will never happen. God says I am never abandoning Israel over to idolatry. There is no possible future where Israel does not become the people of God fully devoted to him. That is not the course of history. That is not what's going to take place. There is no path forward apart from God's plan for the nation of is. And so the conflict here is their desire for the future, what what they want, and the kind of life that they want. God says that is never going to happen. As the leaders sat there before Ezekiel, their dreams. Where the opportunity to. Be like the world around them. While still receiving the goodness and blessings. Of the Lord. And God says, your dream is a fantasy that is a delusion that will never happen. It will never come true. It's never coming to pass. That is not my will for you. That is not the course. For you. I'm not going to work that out in your life. God says. Listen, this is a word that we need to consider. We live in a world that is immersed in idolatry, not of wood and stone necessarily, but is in rebellion against Scott, and there is. A great pull. Upon our hearts and minds, to be like the world around us. And there is even a great desire and perhaps a dream in. Some of us That that we would like to engage in what the world has to offer and pursue the normal pursuits. In course of this life in this world and and chase after those things, and at the same time receive from the Lord and be blessed. By the Lord and experience all the goodness that he has in store for us. And that may not be your stated dream. You may not articulate it that way and you may not even really be conscious that that is your dream. But now check your heart, because if that is your dream, if that is the fantasy, the you know the ideal world that you would love. To live in. God says you need to understand that will never happen. Friendship with the world is enmity against God. There's a huge movement, of course. To persuade us to accept a lifestyle of sin. As a lifestyle that God approves of. And so throughout the church all around the world there is great pressure. And there are churches that are caving in and saying, OK, sure, you can live that lifestyle and be blessed by the Lord and experience the Lord and God approves and and he's OK with that behavior. That lifestyle. Those choices. Giving into making that friendship with the world, being like the nations all around. But here's what God says. That's a fantasy. It's a delusion. What you have in mind will never. Happen my church. Will not be. Those who embrace a lifestyle of sin and support a lifestyle of sin. God here is. Declaring I'm going to have to deal with that. This hypocrisy this double mindedness. It's going to have to be addressed. He hasn't changed his viewpoints on sin. He hasn't changed his standards regarding sin regarding righteousness regarding the life that he calls us to. Just because the world around us has changed a lot and has embraced all kinds of things that previously were not embraced by the society around us. That does not change. The word of the Lord and. What he has established. But there are many. Who are dreaming about the idea? The potential? Of continuing a lifestyle of sin and pursuing the things that God has forbidden. Still showing up for church still serving in different capacities. Still engaged in the things of God and. Like nothing. Is wrong like nothing is out of place. And it doesn't have to be some open. Belligerent, you know? Full on sinful behavior. For some of us, the dreams that we have. May not be like this outright open rebellion against God. It might just be. The tugs and the pools of the. World around us, maybe much like the prodigal son, a little bit right. You see the the glimmer shell the the the flashiness and like Oh yeah if I could just have my father's inheritance and go enjoy those pleasures. All that would be ideal. What a dream that would be. And of course that dream turned into a nightmare very quickly. You and I can get caught up in a dream expecting. To live like everyone. Else in the world around us. Like maybe in our dream we have the same career goals and paths as. Our neighbors and the coworkers and the people around us. Maybe in our dreams we have the same pursuits and we get to do the same recreational activities and and have the same kind of jet skis. And you know, go to the same kind of lakes and rivers and and have you know those fun, same kind of fun. Weekends perhaps in our dream, we get to have the same kind of entertainment as the people around us and we get to watch the same movies. And TV shows and tell the same jokes and and we get to have a very similar life to the world around us. In our. Same and still enjoy the things of the Lord and walk in a relationship with the Lord. And there are many things that God wants to do and good things. And and perhaps God aligns with some of those things. But there's also those that are dreaming those things, and God is saying. What you're dreaming about what you're imagining. That will never happen. There's something that God. Would say to you I'm never going to allow you to have that career. That's not the path for you. I'm never gonna allow you. You're never going to be comfortable watching those kinds of things. That's that's not my path for you. You're never going to be able to afford those jet skis. That's not my path for you. For for some the Lord would say that again, not for everybody, but but for some there's this dream. There's this thing that we're reaching for, and we're pursuing it. It's our goal. It's our will. It's what we want and we haven't said not my will but your will be done. Lord, we're saying, OK, I want my will. I want my dream fulfilled. I want this pursuit and Lord, I also want you to work in my life and bless me and lead me and do everything. That you want to do in my life. And there is not the surrender. Instead, there's the pursuit. Of our own dreams. What we want. Verse 33 God says as surely as I live again, making a solemn oath here, as surely as I live, says the sovereign Lord, I will rule over you. With an iron fist, in great anger and with awesome power, no, you don't get to. Just pursue whatever dream and imagination that you have and whatever wonderful you know thing that you think is just going to make you so happy and make your life so great you don't get to just choose whatever you want to choose and pursue whatever you want to pursue. I will rule. Over you with an iron fist. I am going to rule in your life. That is the path ahead. You don't get it, just do whatever you want. I'm the Lord. Your dreams will not come true. I'm not going to let you just pursue your my child. I'm not going to let you run out into this, you know. Dangerous freeway. I'm not going to allow you to just head down this path of corruption and destruction. No, I'm going to rule over you with an iron fist. In great anger. Because of your constant refusal to listen to me and anger, I will reach out with my strong hand. Verse 34 and powerful arm. I will bring you back from the lands where you are scattered. The Nation of Israel scattered from their land because of their rebellion against God because of their dream that they could be like the nations all around them and worship all of these other gods and still be blessed by the true and living God and walk with him. God says no, he brings Assyria to crush Israel. He brings Babylon to crush Judah. They're scattered. Experiencing the anger of the Lord to come face to face with this reality, your dreams will not come true. And here is part of my plan to rule over you with an iron fist, and I'm going to bring you back, but it's not going to be the path that you think the path that you're imagining the delusion. That you are trying to live in. Your dreams will not come true. Commentator Landon doubt and again says God is not a genie in a lamp who is bound to grant our wishes. We cannot prance into his presence and make our petitions known without any regard for his perspective on our lives. We can't just walk in and. Disregard everything that God says and disregard what we know. God has already revealed. But say Lord grant me my wishes. That is a delusional type of approach to God. Your dreams will not come true if that's the relationship with God that you are seeking. God will not engage in that kind of relationship with you. He's going to rule over you if you're his child. He's going to rule over you and you will be submitted to his will. Jesus there in the garden prayed. If there's any other way, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but your will. He prayed to the father, right? That is the prayer that we need to pray, and when we are not praying that prayer and we're asking God to bend his will to ours, we are seeking to live in a fantasy and it's never going to happen. Instead, God is going to bring us. To the point. Where we are submitted to his will, it's going to happen 100% for sure for his children. I will rule. Over you, moving on to verses 35 through 38, we get point number. 3 this morning. I will purge you of all rebellion. God says look, I'm going to rule over you and I'm going to cleanse you. I'm going to clean out all of this rebellion within your heart. Verse 35. I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you face to face. I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the sovereign Lord. I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. I will bring them out of the countries where they are in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am. The Lord. Here, as we look at these verses, we are looking at what is most likely a dual fulfillment prophecy. Many times God's prophecies are fulfilled. In this way there's a near fulfillment that is kind of a partial fulfillment that doesn't quite hit all of the points or check all of the boxes, but death definitely has. You know many of the characteristics that God describes, and then there is a later fulfillment that checks all the boxes. It hits all the points and is the final fulfillment of it, and so the dual fulfillment here seems to be. The return from captivity at this point, Ezekiel is with the people of Judah, their captives in Babylon. In a few decades, Cyrus King of Persia is going to conquer Babylon and then release the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple, and so that return from captivity. Is potentially seems like a near fulfillment of this prophecy, but it doesn't quite check all the boxes or hit all the points. There's there's some of the things here that are not quite fully fulfilled in that, and there is a a good work that God does in bringing them out and and the children of Israel never returned to idolatry. That the way that they had lived before when they come back they they have been broken of that type of idolatry. Of course there's other kinds of idolatry, but but that particular kind of idolatry, from the land of Canaan and the world around them from the land of Egypt, and even in Babylon, they they don't engage in that in historically from there, on out, and so there is definitely a work that God does a purging that God does in the. Midst of that. But to check all of the boxes and hit all of the points we look yet future for this.
To the tribulation period and then on into the Millennium when there is that seven years of the wrath of God being poured out and the nation of Israel walks through that tribulation period. Which is judgments upon the world. And God is working with the Nation of Israel directly and seriously through that tribulation period. To do this purging to bring forth what he desires and what he requires out of his people, so that when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation period and begins. The thousand year reign of Christ, the Millennium that his people has been purified and are now prepared and ready for the Kingdom of the Lord. And so some incredible things to look at. Consider in Israel history as well as Israel's future, but what I want to do is to kind of look at some of the personal natures that God is kind of referencing here in this judgment, to help us think through these things for ourselves and verse. 35 he says, I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will judge you. Face to face. God says there's going to be a purging. There's going to be a purifying and and it's going to happen very, very personally face to face. I'm gonna sit with you and look you in the eye and you're going to. Look me in the eye. And we're going. To deal with. The sin issues the idolatries of your heart. The spiritual adultery and prostitution we're going to deal with that divide edness face. To face. I think it causes all of us to tremble just a little, if not a lot. To think about. The Lord sitting with us face to face and saying, let's uncover. And lay out. The fullness of your heart. That says I'm going to deal with you in this way. It's going to be very. Right in your face. In verse 37 he says, I will examine you carefully. I will examine you carefully and hold you to the terms of the covenant. There's not going to be. Just kind of a gloss over. Like OK, everybody clean. There's going to be a working with. OK, let's deal with. The issues that are at hand I will examine you carefully. This translation describes it this way, I will examine you carefully, but there's a picture here that's kind of missed in that the new King James version puts it this way. I will make you pass under the rod. And to pass under the rod was a practice of shepherds when they would bring the sheep back in before they would go into the pen, the the shepherd. Would one by one check the sheep under the rod, put the rod on the neck, stop the sheep? Let's check you out. Are there any ticks? Is there any bugs? Is there any issues? Any injuries that need to be dealt with OK and making sure? Yes, you're my sheep. I know you OK. You can go into the pen and so one by one the shepherd. Remember, Jesus said. You know, I know my sheep. One by one, face to face, the Lord will purge all rebellion from his people. And we can expect, and we can anticipate that when we are children of God and seeking the Lord. But have these issues of rebellion in our hearts, we can expect a face to face encounter A1 by one very personal careful examination where God works out the rebellion. Our hearts. We can expect God to purge. To cleanse To bring forth those iniquities out of our hearts, verse 38, he says, I will purge you of all those who rebel and revolt against me. Notice what he says. I will bring them out of the countries where they. Are in exile. But they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. This is one of the verses that seem to indicate this is a yet future thing. Because Israel came out of Babylon and did enter into the promised land and turn back in to rebuild the temple. And perhaps there was some wilderness things that prevented some of those people who left Babylon to go into Jerusalem. That's possible, we don't have that recorded, so it's possible this was also fulfilled in there, but, but what we see and understand is we look ahead at the Tribulation period. We understand God's going to bring people out, his people out who are scattered in the midst of the tribulation. And the persecution that happens there. But there's going to be this interesting thing where God says no, you don't get it goin. You are brought out. You're delivered from the nations, but you don't get to go in to the Kingdom. You don't get to. Go into the land of Israel. He is going to check every heart check every mind is it double minded check every heart. Is it divided? He's going to check every individual and purge all rebellion and then he says then you will know that I am the Lord. This is a common phrase all throughout. The Book of Ezekiel. It's one of God's objectives. In the prophecies of Ezekiel, to bring the people face to face with the acknowledgement that he is the Lord, to be submitted to and not fought against, not negotiated with but but to be surrendered to. And finally, they would know. Not because they chose. But because God says I'm going to make my will be accomplished in your life and you will be purged of all rebellion. This is something for us to consider. God wants to purge you of all rebellion. And we all have different areas of our hearts that are prone to rebellion. We all have different things that creep up that you know, pop up that we're surprised by perhaps. And sometimes we harbor those things. Sometimes we allow those things to continue. We we allow them to persist, but you need to understand God is not going to just let those things. He's not going to just let them continue his promise to you is that he will purge you. Of all rebellion face to face, single file line up. OK, here's the rod stop. Let me check you out. Let me put my hands through the. I was gonna say fur but I don't. Know that sheep have fur, but. The fleece or the wool, yeah, whatever. So anyways, you know inspection. We're going to look under. We're going to uncover we're going to pull apart. We're going to check out everything and make sure. That all rebellion. Has been removed from you. The author of Hebrews describes it this way. Hebrews 12 the Lord disciplines those he loves. And he punishes each one he accepts as his child. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and not really his children at all. Now today we have heard of children not being disciplined by their fathers, right? But we understand that's wrong and it's not right and God is not that. Kind of father. The Lord disciplines listen. This is guaranteed in our lives. If you are his child, God will discipline you. He will chasten us. He will bring this inspection to deal with rebellion face to face single file. He will address the issues. Of our hearts, and if that doesn't take place, the author of Hebrews concludes there in verse eight that means you're not actually his child. And so if you can sit before God with a double mindedness and a divided heart. And God never addressing those sin issues or calling you to repentance. He's never chasing you and and. Uncovering doing that painful work of bringing forth those iniquities and sins so that they can be cleansed and washed. If God's not doing that, you're not his child and you need to become a child of God. By faith in Jesus Christ. By giving yourself over to the Lord. But if you are a child of God, then you must expect. Discipline, chastening. Because we all have conditions of the heart that need to be purged. We all have these things in different seasons in our lives. Perhaps there's different elements, different pieces, different severities. And our double mindedness and our divided hearts but. But throughout all of it, we can expect we should be looking to know. God will discipline us. He will chasing us in that situation. Pastor Warren Wiersbe says repeated rebellion against God's will is serious. The Lord is long-suffering, but we must never take this for granted. Eventually he must chasing his rebellious children for his namesake. If we do not glorify him by obeying his commandments, we must glorify him by submitting to his. Chastening one way or another God is going to be glorified. And I can glorify the Lord by submitting to what he has said to me and what he has revealed to what I know to be true from the Lord. I can glorify God in obedience to him, or if I choose to resist. Then I will glorify God by receiving the discipline, the chastening that is appropriate for my disobedience to God, and either way, God is glorified. Either way, God is magnified and his name is known. But of course, the much better path, the much easier path. Is for us to choose submission. Rather than rebellion. Moving on to verses 39 through 42, we get point #4 this morning and that is I will display My Holiness through you. I will display my Holiness through U-verse 39 says. As for you or people of Israel, this is what the sovereign Lord says. Go right ahead and worship your idols. But sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshipping idols. For on my holy mountain, the great Mountain of Israel, says the sovereign Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them there. I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices when I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me and I will display My Holiness. Through you as all the nations watch. Then when I have brought you home to the land, I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. Here the Lord tells his people. Listen, your plans are to go back and continue on the the worship of those things. Go ahead and do it if that's your choice. Make your choice and pursue those things. But understand sooner or later. You're gonna stop. And you're going to be forced. To deal with that duplicity. I'm going to put a stop to the. Shame that you're bringing. Upon my name in the worship of these idols. And so if that's your choice, make your choice. If you want to pursue those things, then go pursue those things. You have the choice to do that, but you need to understand. It's a dream. That will never be fulfilled. The people of Israel. Will not be in the end a people of idolatry. The people of Israel in the end will not be a people that brings shame to my holy name. The people of Israel will be the people of God who glorify God, and so if you want to continue to fight and you make that choice, that's your choice. But you need to understand the choice that you're making. It's going to be a battle against the Lord of resistance to the Lord. Pastor David Guzik says what God did not want from Israel was a divided heart. When they brought Yahweh worship from Hearts, also given to idols, it profane God in his name. In New Testament phrasing, God called Israel to be hot or cold but no longer lukewarm. Stop living in that double mindedness, in that divided heart. Worshipping God, worshipping these other pursuits and idols, stop it, do not continue down that path. Be hot or cold. And so either repent and come to full submission to me. Or if you want to pursue those, that's your choice. But you need to understand how that path ends. 'cause in the end, verse 40 on my holy mountain, the great Mountain of Israel says the Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me and I will accept them. That's the future. And so if you want to fight against the future and pursue idolatry, that's your choice. You need to understand what you're choosing. You're choosing to resist me, but when I'm done with the work and my will and my plans. The people of Israel will worship me and I will accept them and their offerings will be brought and it will be a choice, gifts and sacrifices. It will be exactly in line with what God has prescribed, and so for the nation of Israel, this is ultimately fulfilled during the millennial Kingdom. When Israel as a nation finally embraces Jesus Christ as the Messiah. And lives in obedience to him in a pleasing way, in a way that is in submission to his will and his plans for them. And until then, Israel has the choice to resist and refuse and to try to live in the fantasy that they want to create for themselves. But God says that's not the end result, and so it's always going to be a temporary fantasy. That is not really a fantasy that it quickly becomes a nightmare. When we disregard what God has said in God's will and God's plans. He says when I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me and I will display my Holiness through you. As all the nations watch up to this time, Israel, you've been bringing me shame, putting shame on my name. But now in those days. My Holiness will be on display through you. You'll be my examples of holiness. You'll be the demonstrations of the Holiness of God. Of what right relationship with God looks like a heart pursuing after God. Looks like you you will be the demonstration while the whole world watches. All the nations will watch you will be my witnesses to testify of My Holiness in those days. This is the work that's going to happen. Israel will be brought to this point. In a similar way, this is the work and the plan that God has for each one of us as his children. We will be brought to this point. Where holiness will be on display in our lives, our hearts will be in line with will be conformed to the image of the son of God. And our choice really is not how we end up our choices. The hard way or the easy way to get there. And I know the easy way is a hard way because you have to submit to God. But the hard way is much harder than the easy way. To resist God. And be broken. Instead of willingly being submitted unto the Lord. You need to understand. God will display His Holiness through you. Paul tells us in Philippians chapter one. I am certain. That God, who began the good work within you will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. I'm convinced I'm certain God will finish the good work and that finished. Good work means that you will display the holiness of God and anything that you do and engage in. That is not consistent with that finished work. Is resistance too? Where God is taking you and the plan that he has for your life. So stop fighting against God. God will display holiness. Through you, he's going to purge you and cleanse you of all rebellion. But he's also going to bring you into the the image of his son so that you will be like Christ. In your mindset and in your heart and in your attitudes and in your behaviors and in your actions. It's not only the removal of the rebellion, but it is the progression in demonstrating the love of God and demonstrating the walk of God and the righteousness of God and the Holiness of God. I will display my Holiness through you, he says. Well, finally point #5. Verse 43 and 44. I will treat you mercifully to honor my name. Verse 43 says you will look back on all the ways you've defiled yourself and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel. When I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness, I, the sovereign Lord, have spoken. Once again, God says you will know that I am the Lord. When I've dealt with your rebellions when your life demonstrates the holiness of God. And you will know that I am the Lord when you look back. On your life. And are able to reflect. On how gracious and merciful God has been. To you. It says you will look back on all. The ways you've defiled yourself. And will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. When God's work is finished, you're going to look back on your life and have a lot of regrets about how you resisted the work of God. It's kind of the picture of like hiking up a hill and you get to the top and and you can now look back over the journey that you were on and the path that you took and the. The places you went up the place. As you went down, the places you were off course, the places you came back. On the path. At the top of the hill, you're able to kind of see the whole picture and and when it's all said and done. There's going to be how much regret for you? And the paths that you chose and the courses that you engaged yourself in. When you realize. I was resisting God there I was ignoring God there. He says you will hate yourselves because of the evil. You have done. But it doesn't just end with that right? It's not just you will hate yourself and the end, it's. A miserable existence now. So you will know that I'm the Lord oh people of Israel. When I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness, the whole point there of understanding and fully recognizing our wickedness at that point is to then be able to appreciate the mercy and the grace and the goodness of God. And the rest of eternity is not going to be a celebration of how good we were. The rest of eternity is going to be a celebration of how good God is, and we're going to look back in this life. And we're going to see the life for the reality that is the deceitfulness of our hearts and the truth. And the the reality that God sees and the double mindedness and divided hearts. We're going to see that so clearly. And what will be on display? Is the mercy of God the grace of God? How he honored himself? By dealing with us. According to kindness and forgiveness. In spite of our wickedness. He will purge our rebellions. He will transform us into the image of Christ. For his namesake, for his children, that's his promise. And anything we do contrary to that is in resistance to him and listen. He talks about purging the rebels. There are those who come out of the captivity, but they still don't actually make it into the land of Israel because they're purged 'cause they're still rebellious and and in that persistent rebellion there is that opportunity to miss out on what God has in store in that finished work of God in our persistent rebellion, we prove that we are not God's children. And so we need. To come to the point where we recognize the chastening of God. The double mindedness, the divided heart that happens and develops within us. And that we come. To address those issues before the Lord. That we seek his mercy and grace. In our lives because we need it because we're lost and desperate without it. There's an old old song. And I don't even think I remember the tune well enough to even try to sing it for you. But the words were just on a loop in my head last night as I was. Preparing this and trying to go to sleep, but this word. These words just kept going through, going through, going through. The words go like this heartache. Broken pieces. Ruined lives. Ryu died on Calvary. And we need to be mindful and never lose sight of the reality. Broken pieces. Ruined lives are why you died on Calvary. Because we need your mercy and your grace, and you take that heartache and you heal it. You take those broken pieces and you put them back together. You take those ruined lives. And you make something glorious out of them. Or that's why you died on Calvary. To do that kind of transforming work in us, so that in the end. Although there is this double mindedness, although there is this struggle in battle with divided hearts. You purge us. And you manifest holiness through us. You treat us mercifully to honor your name. To bring forth your will and your plans, which are so much better than our fantasies and dreams. And so, let's embrace the mercy of God. Let's come before the Lord, not in duplicity of hearts. But in singleness of heart, Lord, what you say I will do? I choose to submit and to surrender to you Lord, we pray. That you would bring us to that point. Help us to see clearly where our hearts are, misaligned and divided. Would may we ask ourselves, is that our plan to go back and continue on these other paths and patterns that are not a view and we know it and we know better. And yet we persist in it. Lord help us. To turn from our divided Ness. To be solely devoted to you, help us to embrace you with all of our hearts and God. I pray that you would teach each. And every one of us. The things that we need that we might repent, that we might turn from sin. To follow you with all of our hearts help us to see our own hearts and minds clearly. Lord, I pray that you'd remove the blinders that the enemy has placed there and the deceptions of our hearts that we might see clearly. The areas of our lives that need to be purged and cleansed. Transformed into areas of holiness. Or that we might honor? You and we thank you, Lord, for your mercy. And grace that you've put up with us thus far. And we know there's a whole lot more to come. And so we're gonna trust in you. We're not going to trust in our wisdom our understanding. We're not going to. Be convinced that we can get away with anything we're going to. Trust in your mercy and Greece. And invite you to forgive us, cleanse us and help us. To walk with you. To love you. With our whole heart our whole mind. With our whole body and all of our strength. We pray this in Jesus name.