The Book of EZEKIEL … featured in the ” Know When God Speaks ” series HERE >>>> https://effective-bible-reading.com/the-holy-bible-study-ezekiel/
Respect God, In Love, not Fear
God’s nature, shown throughout the Old Testament ( as totally rejecting sin), caused Him to reject Adam and Eve, He cursed Cain, killed everyone except Noah and his family, and continued to reject, leave, punish, or kill many sinful people throughout the Old Testament .
God loved His people, but sin caused a separation between God and man, and only His mercy allowed a re-uniting of Himself with man, which He often did, but God was later rejected again and again.
Like the father and the prodigal son, the Almighty God again and again, in unwarranted forgiveness (mercy), put all behind and let man start anew.
Man in general, did not learn of God’s love from this, but instead learned fear and mercy, and so in repentance turned from sinful acts and to God, and repented in fear and expectation of restoration, but not in love.
The big revival of the Jews, in 445 B.C., found in the Book of Nehemiah, had no love, and lacking the knowledge of God’s PLAN, was short lived, as we see in the Book of Malachi.
By reading the Books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi in that order, you will learn that God was once again displeased …………………… and after speaking to Malachi, God was silent for over 400 years..
At the death of Jesus in 33 A.D. , God the Father separated Himself from Jesus, and in doing so suffered the pains that are associated with sin, such as anxiety, jealousy, hatred, rage, discord, envy, …. because in reality He was allowing the punishing of Himself..
Now, realizing that God suffered each time man sinned, we can better understand how much God suffered when He took man’s sins upon Himself at the death of Jesus.
We can now know the love God has for all ( John 3:16 ), and look to that love and have confidence and peace that comes with repentance, rather than only the fear and mercy displayed in the Old Testament .
The ‘Nehemiah’ Jews could have realized this, had they understood the lesson in the covenant ‘in love, not fear’ insisted upon by the king’s son Jonathan, with David . There was a reason Jonathan required David to remake his vow,.. in love !!! This is God’s desire !
“ So Jonathan made a covenant with the family of David, and David swore to it with a terrible curse against himself and his descendants, should he be unfaithful to his promise. But Jonathan made David swear to it again , this time by his love for him, for he loved him as much as he loved himself “ 1Sam20:16
And now, here we are, 2000 years into a New Covenant, one made in love ( not fear), by God. One in which we are invited by God to accept, if we choose.
He is the maker of this agreement, we only need to learn His terms (conditions), accept, and obey .
In this plan of God’s, we not only can get forgiveness (salvation ) ,
we can get confidence in Him, because God through the Holy Spirit , God has promised not to leave you ! Jn 14:18
We don’t have to live as King Saul and others did, with God’s Spirit leaving.
He has given us the assurance that ” when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us:
love,joy,peace,patience,kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentleness,and self-control Gal 5:22
Jesus died in fulfillment not only of the old Scriptures, but in fulfillment of this New Covenant. It is this death that Jesus refers to in John 3:16
But His death may be in vain for many who don’t grasp His teachings, both in Word and examples, for it is only by following His teachings, being in obedience to Him, that we can be assured of Eternal Life with Him !
Jesus said ” love the Lord thy God with all thy heart ” Mk 12:30 …….” If you love me,obey me“ Jn 14:15 repeated Jn 15:14,17
“ your obedience is the measure of your love“, Jn 15:13 ……. He said “ love others ” Mk12.31 ….
and “When you are praying, first forgive others, if you don’t forgive them, neither will the Father forgive you” Mk11:25…..
If, you are finding these teachings of Jesus to be difficult, you as a Christian can discover that God gives the power, grace, to do all that He asks.
With your focus on Jesus, you will easily learn that to be true !!!
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