Ezekiel 36, Amazing Promises To Ashamed People
1. God Is Bringing You Back (v22-24)
2. God Will Wash Away Your Filth (v25)
3. God Will Give You A New Heart (v26-27)
4. God Will Make You Fruitful (v28-30)
5. You Will Remember God’s Grace (v31-32)
Ezekiel 36, Amazing Promises To Ashamed People
Ezekiel 36, Amazing Promises To Ashamed People
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Well, as we look at Ezekiel Chapter 36 this morning I've titled The Message Amazing promises to ashamed people. Amazing promises to ashamed people and here the prophet Ezekiel receives this word from the Lord that is packed full with these promises for the people of Israel that are incredible and amazing and unbelievable. If you understand the context of. The people that God is addressing and all that has gone on between them and the Lord. They are a people who. Should be ashamed. Now at the time that Ezekiel is delivering this message, the majority of the people are not ashamed of their behavior, although their conduct has been shameful, they are not ready yet to acknowledge that they're not in agreement with God about that and, and they're persistent in their rebellion. Against God even to this point in captivity, they're in Babylon, where Zechiel is ministering to the people that have been taken captive out of the. Land of Judah. And so here's the people who have rebelled against God for hundreds of years collectively as a nation they've been running away from God and refusing to listen to God. To the degree that they have been taken into captivity, but still not wanting to hear not wanting to agree with God about the sin issues in their life. And yet, as we have been looking at the prophet Ezekiel and the first half of the book really is full of these announcements of judgment. These confirmations really of the the judgment that God had been declaring through the Prophet Jeremiah and and it was. Really, judgment upon judgment upon judgment as we worked our way through the Prophet Jeremiah through the first half. Ezekiel because this people was in such severe rebellion against God. And it would be sensible for us to expect then that the rest of Ezekiel's ministry would continue on in the same pattern, announcing judgment reminding people of their issues, calling people to repentance because they refuse to turn back and follow the Lord. But what's amazing about the Lord? And as he uses the prophet Ezekiel here, the last half of the book is filled with glory. Filled with glorious promises about the future as God announces through Ezekiel to a people that is still in rebellion to him got announces. I'm not done with you. There's still good things ahead and I still have plans to work in you as a people and in you as a nation. And I would summarize it this way through the prophet Ezekiel. God is declaring there is a path to glory from here. There is a path to glory from here and as Ezekiel addresses the nation, these are physical promises, literal actual promises to the nation of Israel that applies to them collectively as a people. But we also understand, as we look at these things spiritually. They are promises that can be lived out and experienced in our lives individually as Christians. As believers in Jesus, we get to experience the spiritual fulfillment of many of these things and although there are these promises and there are actual promises that will be physically fulfilled and literally carried out by the Lord upon his people, the Nation of Israel. There's also these parallel promises. Spiritually that we find fulfilled in the. Lord Jesus Christ And so we as believers today as we consider these things, we need to understand the immediate context and the promises given to the nation. But we also need to understand how these things also parallel the work of God in our lives, and so the parallel here of the work of God in our lives. You could be looking at this and understanding that God is speaking to an individual who has known the Lord who has heard the Lord who has walked with the Lord but has fallen back and been in a place of rebellion. Been in a place of resistance. Following different paths following their own ideas and their own ways, and perhaps is even still at this moment in that path. In that pattern in that course. Of disregard for the Lord. And the Lord would want to remind us this morning. That there is still a path to glory. From here, even though we could look at a believer who has fallen back and we could say perhaps in the mirror to ourselves, you should have known better you you understood so much you had so much privilege and all that God had given to you. And God had spoken to you. And and there is much condemnation that we could lay upon someone. In that situation, in a similar way, God does deal with sin through the prophet Ezekiel. He announced his judgments, but he also wants us to know he wants his people to know. Even though the realities of judgment are true and the consequences for sin are real. That it doesn't mean it's the end for God's work in God's plan in a people lives. And that after that takes place, and when that is resolved, that God is incredible in working out a path to glory. Free from there from whatever point we find ourselves from the lowest depths that we take ourselves, God has a path to glory for us. From there, if we will allow him to lead us, and so here in Ezekiel we have these amazing promises understanding their history understanding. All the previous prophecies and the judgment that was deserved. God says alright. Now I'm going to do some amazing things. Is that you are going to have a hard time believing because you're so ashamed you are so shameful in your behavior and so 5 promises for us to consider this morning as we work our way through this passage. Ezekiel chapter 36, verses 22 through 32, here's point, #1, looking at the first few. Versus versus 22 through 24. God is bringing you back. Here's the promise of God to his people there in captivity. Verse 22. Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the sovereign Lord. I am bringing you back. Not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations. God tells us zechiel give the people of Israel this message from the Lord. Zika, I want you to make sure that you deliver this message, and these incredible promises are going to follow and I want to take this moment to just encourage you here this morning that perhaps this is the part that should speak the most to you this morning that. Perhaps this morning God would be saying to you, listen to what is about to unfold here in this passage. Listen to this message that is about to unfold and then make sure that you give that. To a people to a person. Who is in? A destitute place who is in perhaps captivity, who is in a low state because of disregard for the things of God, and then perhaps this message. In fact, it's kind of a weird thing to pray, but as I prepared for this message, I'm praying for you that you wouldn't need to hear the message. This morning, because you're not in a place of shame from rebellion against God. But that you're in a place of glory because of your relationship with God. Now if you are in a place of shame and you find yourself in that position, well, then the rest of the message there's some very appropriate things that God has for you. But I wouldn't wish that upon you. I would pray that you're in a position of glory and and so then like Ezekiel, you find yourself in the position. Where you get to interact with other people who are in position positions of shame. And perhaps the Lord would lay someone upon your heart. And maybe you need to take some extra good notes this morning so that you can deliver this message from the Lord. I'm not suggesting that you just, you know, take the MP3 file and and share it. I'm suggesting that you. Perhaps receive this message with the understanding that the Lord wants you to deliver this to somebody else that would wants you to have a conversation, and perhaps to share with someone some of the promises and the hope that God gives to people who are in a shameful state through the word too. Ezekiel here. And So what is this word in verse 22? God says it very clearly. I am bringing you back right now as equal is ministering to the people of Judah who are in captivity in Babylon. They're out of their land, they're out of the land of Israel. But God declares, I am bringing you back. You're not out of Israel forever that this season of you as a people and you as a nation is not permanent. God says I am bringing you back. You're gonna go back to populate the land of Israel. You'll be back living in the land that I've given to you and promised to Abraham and his descendants. You will be back there. I am bringing you back. But God also goes on to clarify this. In verse 22 he says, but not because you deserve it. Kind of a out that's a little bit of a blue, but at the same time an important truth that needs to be heard. God says you don't deserve to be brought back. You don't deserve for restoration and goodness to be poured out upon your life. You don't deserve it. But I'm gonna do it anyway. I am bringing you back. This is God's promise to his people. They will be back in the land but not because they have earned. Like a restored favor with God, not because they deserve to have this goodness poured out upon them. God says, I'm doing it to protect my holy name, Israel. You are attached to my name. And I had to send you into captivity to deal with the rebellion. It was at that state. Your disobedience to me, and so I demonstrated my Holiness in the judgment that I brought upon the nation of Israel. But I can't leave the nation of Israel out in that scattered place in that captivity, because it brings shame to my name. God says because people look on and say these are God's people and God wasn't able to keep them in the land they were conquered and scattered and. The name of the Lord is being defamed because of the condition of the people of Israel because they are attached to the name. Of the Lord. And so God says in the protection of my name, so that the world will recognize that I am the true and living God. I am bringing you back. I'm going to do a miraculous work to bring the people of. Israel out of. Babylon and back into the land of. Israel this was an actual, literal physical promise to the nation. And we can see this fulfilled partially. After that 70 year captivity in Babylon. Through people like Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, there was a great regathering departure out of Babylon back to the Land of Israel with the rebuilding of the temple. With the rebuilding of Jerusalem, it was partially fulfilling these promises that are here but not fully in completely, it's. They were back in the land and many of the people returned, but not to the extent and they didn't receive yet. All of the benefits that God promised here. We can also understand this being partially fulfilled even in our lifetime as the nation of Israel lost their land again later on. In 1948, the Nation of Israel became a nation again, and the Israelite people re gathered to the land and continue to move back to the land that God had promised to them. The Jewish people today that is still the land that God is given to them. Them as descendants of Abraham, and so there's a partial fulfillment where from all parts of the world where Jews have been scattered through all the persecutions and things that have happened to them, God is gathering them back and so God is fulfilling that promise. But for the. Fulfillment of all of these promises that we're looking at here today for the nation of Israel. We look still to the future for that time that we call the Millennium when Jesus Christ rules and reigns upon the Earth for 1000 years. That is, when the fulfillment of all of these things will be taking place for the nation of Israel. For the the people as a whole. Collectively, and these are amazing promises when you remember their history. When you understand all the previous prophecies of judgment and the great wickedness that was going on, it would have been fair and right and OK for God to say I'm done with you. I will never bring you back. But instead God looks at them and says I'm going to honor my name and show you Grace and mercy and I'm going to bring you back and fulfill the promise that I gave to Abraham, putting you in the land that I promised to him. Well, again we look at this and we understand these promises to the nation as a whole, but we also need to recognize the parallel spiritual promise to. Us as believers. And that is that God is able to bring us back. In our times of shameful behavior as well, and that as we have attached ourselves to the name of the Lord, there is a work of God on our behalf. In the protection of his name that we can look to and hope in and counts on. In verse 23 says I will show you how holy my great name is. The name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my Holiness through you before their eyes says, the sovereign Lord, then the nations will know. That I am the Lord. God says in this work that I'm doing bringing Israel into the land. It's going to be so noteworthy that people will recognize that I am the true and living God, and that happened again under the return of Zerubbabel and Ezra. Nehemiah this the people have got returned. It happened in 1948 as the land of Israel became a nation again and it will continue to happen in the future. And the final fulfillment of these things takes place. That God. Wants to work in his people lives in such a way and to such a degree that the only conclusion that people around can come to is that wow, there must be a God and the God that they trust in must be the true and living God and there is no one like him. This is the kind of testimony that I want to be expressed in my life that that everything that happens in my life would not be. Oh yeah, well, that makes sense because you know Jerry is so handsome and good looking so it makes sense that all of these wonderful things would happen to him. It makes sense that because Jerry. Calls upon the Lord, and trusts in him. And we can see his endeavour to walk with him, and to seek him. We can. We can see that relationship with the Lord. Well then it makes sense that God would do these things in his life. Verse 24 he says, for I will gather you up from the nations and bring you home again. To your land. This is going to be a miraculous return. It's going to be something that will cause people to take. No, this would seem impossible, so much so in the next chapter God gives Ezekiel and a vision to illustrate how significant this is. In Chapter 37, he gives him the vision of the dry bones, and he sees this valley that is filled with these bones that are incredibly dry. It says completely dried out as you read there in those first few verses of Chapter 37. And the Lord, showing him this whole scenario, this valley, filled with dead bones. There's there's no life in this valley. But the Lord tells Ezekiel, can these bones live? And Ezekiel says I don't know, only you know. And the Lord says, speak. To the bones. That they might live, and he prophesized in obedience to the Lord. And in this vision these bones start to come together. And and it even describes the clatter because these are old dry bones. They're so old, and the situation is so dire, the people are so dead that the bones are dried out. And as the bones are coming together, it's got clap clap, clap, clap, clap back as each body is being formed and it's just like this, uh, a massive sound that is happening in this vision that he has in chapter 37. As the bones gathered together and then meet develops on the bones. And then there's sinuses and and and cartilage and. And and the bodies are being developed. And then the bodies are restored whole and then the breath of life is breathed upon them. And and this is a. Powerful resurrection picture that happens here in Ezekiel chapter 37. This is the picture of God bringing his people out of captivity and back into the land of Israel. The situation they were in was literally that hopeless. Many other nations were conquered by Babylon. That never. Came back to their land and that. Ceased to exist. Many other nations were conquered by Assyria member. The northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria. The southern Kingdom was conquered by Babylon. And both of these empires their practice was to take the people out of the land. To somewhere else. And many times they would bring people from other lands and put them in the land that they had just conquered. And so there's nations all around Israel and Judah that were conquered around the same time as them that never returned. That never came back that are gone off of the history books and those people don't exist anymore. That that was a reality that the nation of Israel faced. They could have ceased to exist. And justice essentially died out or assimilated into the lands of Assyria, the lands of Babylon, where they had been taken captive. But no, God said, I'm gonna do an amazing work. And there's going to be a resurrection. It's going to be so radical it would be as if a valley filled with dead bones that people were dead. Dead Dead Dead dead dead. Dead beyond dead. And yet I will resurrect them, and Israel will become a nation again. To the person who. Is right now in the midst of that kind of situation? Where you look around your life, you look in the mirror perhaps. And all you see is just dead bones. Is your situation more hopeless than this picture here in Ezekiel 37 the valley filled with dry bones. It's not. There's nothing more hopeless than that and God would say to the person in the midst of that situation. You've attached yourself to me. You've called out to me, you've believed in Jesus Christ. I can still do it work. And there's a resurrection that can take place. And this promise. Is for you. God is bringing you back and you might feel it's like you know the illustration. Perhaps you've heard like toothpaste once it's been squeezed out of the tube, can't be squeezed back in, right? And so you might feel like that's me, like I've just squeezed out all of my rebellion and everything and my life. Is just a wreck and a ruin as a result, it can't be put all back in the tube. I can't be brought back, it just doesn't seem possible, but the Lord. Through the prophet Ezekiel says to the people of Israel, no, you can be brought back. God is able to do the miraculous. It's not that there will be no consequences for that season of rebellion. It's not that you know that that will not take place at all, but but again, the point here that God is making is from this point in the valley of dry bones there was death, but I'm able to bring life. There is a path to glory from here. And you need to know wherever you are and however it deep you've fallen, and however far you've gone. There is a path to glory. From here God is bringing you. Back now, as we look at this as the nation, we understand this promise to the nation has been partially fulfilled. Multiple times will be ultimately fulfilled for the nation, but we also need to make sure that we don't. Misunderstand as we are looking at promises to a nation and then applying them to an individual. There's some. There's some things that we. Need to work through a little. Bit because this is the promise to a nation and it's unconditional. But this promise carried onto an individual is. It's not unconditional, it is conditional. In a previous prophecy in Ezekiel, chapter 20. God talking about a similar thing how he's going to bring them back. He talks about this period of judgment that would take place on their way back in Ezekiel Chapter 20. He says I will judge you there just as I did your ancestors in the wilderness after bringing them out of Egypt, says the 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're in exile, but they will never enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. So here's what the Lord is wanting to make clear. The promise to the nation is they will return to the land that is not a promise to every individual that is a promise to the nation. They will return to the land, but some of the individuals are still revolting against God. Some of the individuals are still rebelling against God, and so God says, those ones. I'm not gonna allow in the nation will carry on, but they'll be left out in the wilderness and they will not make it into the promised land because they are still in rebellion against me. And so that's what the Lord said to the Nation of Israel in regard to these promises, of bringing them back into the land. And so we need to understand this as we look at the spiritual parallel the the promises to us as believers in Jesus. The reality is God is bringing us back and he is able to bring us back from anywhere, but it's not an unconditional promise in that if we are still holding onto our sinfulness or shameful behavior and refusing to repent, then we don't get this promise. That doesn't mean that everything turns out OK. And glory is still the result, even though we persist and continue on in our revolting against God. No, this promise is fulfilled as we bring ourselves into submission to God and in agreement with God. Pastor Warren Rasby puts it this way. There is no future for those who persist in their sins. But those who confess and forsake their sins shall always find mercy with God. And that that. That is such an incredible promise for us to have. Those who confess and forsake their sins, you can always count on. It's guaranteed you will always find mercy. With God. And as you do that and find God's mercy. You can grab hold of this promise and understand God is bringing you back back. To that fellowship with him back to those promises that he's given back to the work that he desires to do in your life. Well, let's move on, hit a couple more of these promises. In verse 25 we get the second promise and that is. God will wash away your filth. Verse $0.25. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away and you will no longer worship idols. God says. I'm going to. Put you back in the land physically. You'll be in the land of Israel. But I'm also going to do something about the filth. The sinfulness. I'm going to sprinkle clean water on you. And you will be clean. There's going to be a redemptive work for them. A cleansing work for them. Where the Lord will bring upon them a right relationship with God. By his own work. Where they will be washed by him. Again, this is not them earning their way back. To right fellowship with. God and and this is not them cleaning themselves up. But it's God cleansing the people. As we look at the history of Israel in Babylon and then being released from captivity and back to Israel, one noteworthy thing is that they left Babylon and went back into the land and they were no longer worshipping physical idols the way that they were all of their. History before that. As you look at their history, you could always find those points where they they were worshipping. They were making molded images. They were bowing down to these false gods to this idolatry. Idolatry does not only manifest itself in bowing down before statues and images, but but that was a practice of the people of Israel. Even though God had called them out of it time and time and time again, they kept returning to that kind of idolatry. But after Babylon. The Lord brought them back into the land. And they were no longer bound to that practice anymore. They were washed and they were cleansed from that as they re engaged in their relationship with God. They were sprinkled. They were cleansed. They were no longer caught up in that kind of idolatry. This is the work that God wants to do with all people to deliver us from ******* to idolatry, to deliver us from ******* to the things that are of this world or or demonic things. And and that would keep us from the Lord. And so he is playing. This out before us, using Israel as an example to remind us of the deliverance and the work that he wants to do with his people. He's been calling his people to do this for a long time. The prophet Isaiah Isaiah prophesied 150 years or so before Ezekiel. And their God spoke to the people through Isaiah and said, wash yourselves, be clean. God says, come, let's settle this though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow and you can see kind of a cooperation thing here that God is calling them to repentance, to wash themselves. But but then he also says I will make. Your sins as white as snow. I will wash you. I will cleanse you. There is a repentance on your part that that needs to be there, but, but as you turn back to me in repentance, as you turn away from sin, there will be a washing and a cleansing so that, well, white as Snow White as wool pictures that spotlessness that. That perfection as if there was never a stain there before, as if there was never sin there before God cleansing in his peoples lives is so complete. That there is no left behind, no debris, no remnants left behind. He washes us and forgives us completely and then relates to us as if we had never sinned. Not even one time. The apostle John, of course, in first John chapter one. Applies this to us as believers. If we claim we have no sin, we're only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our. Sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all wickedness. As we agree with God as we come into agreement about those sin issues in our lives. And we testify along with God, this is sin. Then God is faithful. To cleanse us and to wash us completely and thoroughly. That word confess, it means literally to agree with God. And that is one of the challenges that we find we need to bring ourselves to the point where we agree with God about sin. And we say, yes, you're right. God that is a terrible thing to do and I regret that I have done it. You basically have three chances to agree with God about your sin. You can take the opportunity before discipline every child of God experiences discipline from God when we are engaged in sin. But we have the opportunity. To agree with God, to change direction. To stop that right now before discipline happens. But as the author Hebrews explains, there is no child of God that God does not discipline, and so if you find yourself engaged in sin and following a path of sin or rebellion against God, it's going to happen. But again, like Israel, it's not necessarily the end. There is still opportunity after discipline is been administered or even in the midst of the discipline that God is carrying out. There is the opportunity to confess to agree with God and say you're right God. I regret that attitude. That is a sinful attitude in my heart. I regret those words. I regret that pursuit. I regret those habits and those practices. You're right, but I agree with you. And we can do that before the discipline happens or after it's begun. And while it's going on. Or we can agree with God at judgment. And that's when it's too late. When we stand before God, ultimately in eternity, we will agree with God, even if we never agree with God in this life, and we keep insisting. No, it's OK for me to behave that way. And to think that way and to do those things and to talk that way, and it's OK. And it's right. And it's the thing to do. But as we come face to face with God. We will be in full agreement with him and there will be no more deception or hiding behind bad arguments or false ideas or bad philosophies. We will stand before the Lord and agree with him about our sin, but that's when it's too late. And so we don't. Want to let it get that far? The the best thing to do. Is to agree with God to confess our sin. ASAP right now as soon as possible. And if we continue in it, God will bring discipline and it's his loving way of correcting us, giving us opportunity, calling us in the discipline that he brings as he. Brings it further and further and further and further. That's what the nation of Israel and Judah experience. They experience more and more attacks and more and more. Battles and and limits and and the effects of their sin were becoming more and more apparent as they reached the point of captivity. But even in captivity, it wasn't the judgment. That was final. It was still their opportunity. Was God discipline, giving them opportunity to repent and so it's not too late. This side of eternity. It's not too late. To agree with God and be cleansed. To be completely forgiven and washed. So that God would begin to relate to you again, as if you had never sinned, not even once. I like the way that Pastor Charles Spurgeon walks through this. He says from all your actual filthiness, as well as from your original filthiness will I cleanse you from all your secret filthiness, and from all your public filthiness, from everything that was wrong in the family, from everything that was wrong in the business. From everything that was wrong in your own heart. From all your filthiness, will I cleanse you, God is able to wash us and cleanse us to such a degree that it is complete and thorough. He will wash away your filth. An amazing promise to people that don't deserve it, but people. But I've behaved shamefully. God says there's a path to glory. From here you can be washed. You can be cleansed, it was true. It is true of the nation of Israel. God still has this washing and cleansing and store for them. It is yet to be unfolded, but they will experience in the Millennium. It is true for a believer who has walked away from the Lord. And found themselves in shameful places. God is saying I can bring you back, I can wash you and not only that. Verse 26 and 27 give us the next promise God will give you a new heart. God will give you a new heart. Verse 26 and 27 says and I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your Stony stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Here the Lord says, OK, I'm not just gonna wash you. I'm not just gonna cleanse you of your sin, but I'm going to do a brand new work inside of you. To give you a new heart to give you a new spirit and to give you the Holy Spirit. I'm going to transform you from the inside out again. This is true of the nation of Israel in the Millennium when they finally turn to Jesus as their Messiah, they are going to experience a radical work for the nation as a whole. But it's also a reality for anyone today who believes. In Jesus Christ. And receives the offer forgiveness in salvation, and it's even true for the person who has done that. But then abandoned the Lord and ran from the Lord and fought and and and and rebelled against the Lord with all of their hearts and with all of their might, God says. There is a restoration and there is a new work, a new heart, a new spirit. And an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that I want to do in your life and that I promised to do in your life as you. Turn back to me. The Prophet Ezekiel spoke about this idea of a new heart several times. We find it in Ezekiel 11. We find it in Ezekiel chapter 18. It's a theme that we find in this new covenant scriptures founded the Prophet Jeremiah and then found in the New Testament in the teachings of Jesus there is a work of God as we receive from him. His forgiveness and his cleansing by faith there is a work of God in us. That is, from the inside out, not here's a list of rules that's from the outside in, and now just try really hard to obey all these rules, no, but from the inside out where God will work in us. The life that God calls us to with him is not a life of. Strong outward pressure from God. Trying to Force us to obey and to walk with him. The life that God offers with us. Is that as? We walk in connection to him submission to him. That he will work from within to bring us to the police. That obedience to God is a joy in our hearts, and it's the desire of our hearts and and it's what we pursue. And it's not that we just wash the dishes because we have to, but it's that we wash the dishes because we want to. I remember that from some movie trailer somewhere. I don't think I ever watched the movie, so don't. Watch the movie. Based on that. But it illustrates the point. Well, sometimes you wash the dishes because you have to, but you know those times where you're like man, I just really can't wait to wash the dishes. Probably you don't experience that. In in a similar way we living in our sinful bodies, we are going to lean towards. We're going to tend to not crave obedience to God. Except as we walk with God and we seek him. He develops in us. The desire. To obey It's a new. Heart that he gives to us. He doesn't call us to, you know, here's these 75 things that you must do. Memorize these things and then you know you'll magically be in conformity to God. He says come, walk with me and receive my forgiveness and stay close to me and you're going to fail. But but receive my forgiveness again and stay close to me and hear from me and and. Walk with me and. And as you do, I'm going to be developing in you. A heart that desires to be. I'm going to be working a new heart in you by the Holy Spirit. Jesus in walking with his disciples. Prepared them for this in John Chapter 14. He tells them about the Holy Spirit. And he says, you know him because he lives with you now. But he also says leader, he will. Be in you. And so then in John Chapter 20 we find after Jesus has resurrected from the dead, he breathes on the Holy Spirit and says, breathes on the disciples and says, receive the Holy Spirit. And there's there's this transition. There's this change. There's this hope that every one of us can have as believers in Jesus. That there is the work of the Holy Spirit where. He's with us. But the promise to us is that as we trust in the Lord because we are living after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, we get to have that indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is, God promised to us. In fact, the Paul in Romans tells us if anyone does not have the Holy Spirit, they do not belong to the Lord there. Is no way. To believe in Jesus Christ and to not have the Holy Spirit dwelling within. That began in John Chapter 20 with the disciples when they received the Holy Spirit after the resurrection of Jesus. And it's the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that really is that the key for understanding this promise of a new heart and a heart that desires to obey God. It's the work of the Holy Spirit in us. You remember the fruit of the spirit listed for us in Galatians Chapter 5, right? It's the Holy Spirit that produces. All of these characters and qualities that are like God. It's his work in us as we walk with him. And again, it's a cooperation type thing. It's a cooperation with the spirit even in Galatians Chapter 5 as it talks about the fruit of the spirit. Then Paul says. So let us walk. In the spirit. Let us stay in that constant connection and fellowship and allowing God to transform us and to move us. By his spirit into those who love to obey him. Who turn away from sin because we want to please God. The Holy Spirit within us is a radically different thing than any other religion and any other philosophy than any other approach to life can offer. Pastor Warren Risby puts it this way because you have God's spirit within you. You share in the divine nature and therefore want to obey the divine will. It is nature that determines conduct. Dogs act like dogs because they have a dog nature and God. People act like they belong to God because they have God nature within the Holy Spirit within us. Empowers us and enables us. To become more and more like Christ, we're being transformed into the image. Of the true and living God because. We walk in the spirit. Again, it's a cooperation type thing. Ephesians chapter 4. Paul says, look, since you've heard the gospel. Here's what you need to do. Throw off your old sinful nature. It doesn't just happen automatically, it doesn't just fall away. It doesn't happen against your will. You need to lay down those old things. You need to lay down that sinfulness and instead let the spirit renew your thoughts. Let that's your part. Let the Holy Spirit will renew your thoughts, but you need to let him. You need to give him permission. You need to invite him in and say. But I need you to renew my thoughts and attitudes and put on your new nature. You were created. To be like God put. On that nature, deliberately behave the way that God has called you to behave. There's a cooperation here. God will give you a new heart as you look to him and call upon him. He will transform you from the inside out. God promises this to a people who are far away from him in captivity because of their long. Rebellious revolt against him. And for anyone that is in that state today. This promise is still there. God would say there is a path to glory from here. It doesn't have to be over, but does it have? To end here in the pit. If you'll return to me. If you'll agree with me about your sitting. I will give you a new heart. I'll wash away your filth. And I'll bring you back. To that fellowship to that relationship. That path of life. That I have called you too. But not only that. And it doesn't just end there. Verses 28 through 30 gives us the 4th promise. God will make you fruitful. God will make you fruitful. Look at these verses, verse 28, it says. And you will live in Israel. The land I gave your ancestors long ago, you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will cleanse you of your filthy behavior. I will give you good crops of green and I will send no more famines on the land. I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines. God kind of reiterates some of the things here he's like. I'll cleanse you, I'll bring you back. But I'm not just going to bring you back into a land that is desolate, and when Israel was conquered when Judah was conquered, the cities were torn down. They were broken down throughout history. The Land of Israel has undergone a lot of radical change because of the persecution against the Jewish people. There was a desolation. Of the land like uprooting of all the trees assaulting of land you know trying to destroy all of the promises that God has given to the land of Israel and to the. People of Israel. But here God is saying look, I'm bigger than. All of that. And I'm going to bring you back into the land and I'm going to give you good fruit. There's going to be good green. Good fruit trees, good fields. I'm going to restrict the famine so they won't be hindering the fruitfulness any longer. Literally for the nation of Israel, there is an abundant fruitfulness happening right now in our lifetime that is very different than previous generation. But it's still just the partial fulfillment. The ultimate fulfillment in that millennial Kingdom with Christ. This land will be the overflowing with milk and honey that God promised from the very beginning. God is going to make the people, the nation, the land fruitful. They're going to be overwhelmed with and abounding in. Notice that God is claiming to do this work himself. He says in verse 29 I will cleanse you. I will give you. I will send no more famines. I will give you. In verse 30. Over and over and over again throughout this whole passage you see that commentator Landon Dowden says it this way over and over. Yahweh says I will, I will. I will nothing in this paragraph is what Israel will do for itself. But all that he will do for them, God is not sitting back and hoping for the salvation of his people. He is accomplishing it. God is not sitting back and hoping for the salvation of his people. He's not hoping things work out and things turn out. He is working out these things that he is promising. And it's a great truth. A great promise for the nation of Israel. It's a great promise for us spiritually as we look to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. The Lord would want you to know there's a path to glory. From here, there's a path to fruitfulness from here. And no matter where you find yourself the very depths. Of consequences and rebellion and devastation from sin. God is able to make you fruitful, and he's not just like sitting around like hoping. One day you'll. Become fruitful, he's saying, look, if you turn to me, it's your invitation. Your opportunity. I will make you fruitful. God has a good plan for everyone who calls upon him and trust in him. God has a good plan with with a useful part in his work and his Kingdom. God has a good plan. And a way to make us fruitful. No matter what our previous situation was. The Apostle Peter is a good example of this. In Luke chapter 22. The Lord tells him Simon Simon, Satan has. This has asked to sift you like wheat, but I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers. The Apostle Peter, also the great denier. Of Jesus, Jesus. Says I know about it in advance. I know it's going to happen. And and there's going to be a need for repentance. There's going to be this sin, and the consequences of it. But but when you have repented, when? You've turned back to. Me then there is a area of fruitfulness for you. There's a calling upon you strengthen your brothers. You will have a vital and powerful and impactful role in my work and the Kingdom of God. When you turn back to me, God will make you faithful. And give you instrumental roles in his Kingdom and his plans with rewards and benefits and value that lasts for eternity. Well, finally the 5th promise. Verse 31 and 32 you will remember God's grace verse 31 then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves. For all the detestable things you did. But remember, says the sovereign Lord. I am not doing this. Because you deserve it. Oh my people Israel, you should be utterly ashamed. Of all you have done. Got ends similar to how we started reminding them this is a work that I'm going to do, but. It's not because you deserve it. It's not because you've earned it. It's not because you have no need to be ashamed of yourself. No, when I pour out all of these promises on you and you experience the overwhelming goodness of God in your lives. From there in that place of glory, from that place of fruitfulness. You'll have those moments where you think back and you think about, oh man, how terrible it was. I treated the Lord so poorly. How terrible it was. I rejected him so completely how terrible it was. I behaved so corruptly. For the nation of Israel this will take place. In Zechariah Chapter 12, it describes for us that moment in time in the Tribulation period, where they realize that Jesus is the Messiah and it says they will grieve bitterly. As for our first born son who has died. They're going to. Realize as a nation what they have done as a people, what they have done. And they're going to experience salvation as they now turn to that Messiah, but but there's that little twinge of oh man, we missed it. We blew it and even on into the millennial Kingdom, they're going to experience the abundance of glory that God has for them. But there'll be those moments. Not realize. Oh, it could have been much different. We behaved so detestably against the Lord. It doesn't take away from God, Grace or God goodness. In fact, it adds to it. God has been so gracious to us. We have behaved. In such a way, and our hearts have. Been so hard. But God says. I'm going to work in your life and do good anyways. This is true of God's work from beginning to end. It's all about the grace of God, his salvation in our lives, his work in our lives, his restoration in our lives, his promises fulfilled. It never comes down to you because I'm so faithful and because I have, you know, done so well and been so diligent it always comes back to you. And God is good. And when I experienced the glorious heights of all that God has in store for me. I will always look back and remember I didn't deserve any of that. It's always been God goodness. In my life. There is a path to glory from here wherever you are. God has these promises for his people. His people that are found in a place of shame because of their rejection and their rebellion. God says you still have breath. You still have chance. You still have opportunity. I'm not done with you. Let me give you some amazing promises and please the Lord would say allow me to work these out in your life. Let me bring you back. Let me wash away your filth. Let me give you a new heart and make you fruitful in the Kingdom of God. Let me do such a work in your life that for the rest of eternity, you will be amazed and reminded at the grace of God as you experience his goodness. In contrast to your faithlessness. The Grace of God will be magnified in your life. There is a path to glory from here. In that place though. Down in the depths. In the. Pit, it can be really challenging, I understand. I've been there. You need to find. That occasion to call upon the Lord thinking about David. David, in first Samuel chapter 30. He had this season. Of running with the enemy where he was running from Saul originally, and he finally decided to head into enemy territory. He stayed in the land of the Philistines. He did evil and atrocious things for a good season of his life. They're in the land of the philistines. To the point that now he's lost everything and a band of Raiders have come through and taken all of his family and all of his men, family and all of their goods. And he's there with his soldiers, and they're ready to kill him. He's at the depths of the bottom. Of the pit. But it tells us there in first Samuel Chapter 30 verse 6, David found strength in the Lord his God. And what did he do? He reached out. To them, after a long time of not calling the Lord not seeking the Lord, not hearing from the Lord. He said bring the Ephod to me. And he inquired. Of the Lord Lord, what do you want me to do? From here. And the Lord is going to direct him, and the Lord is going to call him. And the Lord has a plan for him. This is what God would speak. To each one of. Us, you find yourself in that pit and it's like it looks like it's all over. It's time to strengthen yourself in the Lord and call out to him and receive all of these promises from God. Promises of restoration and cleansing and a brand new work and fruitfulness that God has for you. Let God pour out his grace upon you. Strengthen yourself in the Lord. Lord, we pray. For our hearts and Lord, we pray for anyone in that situation. I pray God that you would help them. To believe you at your word. To trust you when you invite us in. But it's a real invitation. It's not an invitation so that we draw close and you can smack us harder. It's an invitation for us to come and to be cleansed and washed and renewed and restored so that you can perform your goodness in our lives. God, I pray. That you would help. Each one to respond to your call to receive that invitation. And let me thank you that your Grace is so abundant in our lives that we can trust in these promises and know that you will do this work in us. As we confess our sin to you and turn our hearts towards you once again. Thank you God for your goodness. Help us now to walk with you, transform us into your image. We pray in Jesus name.