When I opened our dishwasher, I wondered what went wrong. Instead of seeing sparkling clean dishes, I removed plates and glasses that were covered in a chalky dust. I wondered if the hard water in our area was wreaking havoc, or if the machine was broken.
God’s cleansing, unlike that faulty dishwasher, washes away all of our impurities. We see in the book of Ezekiel that God is calling His people back to Himself as Ezekiel shared God’s message of love and forgiveness. The Israelites had sinned as they proclaimed their allegiance to other gods and other nations. The Lord, however, was merciful in welcoming them back to Himself. He promised to cleanse them “from all [their] impurities and all [their] idols” (36:25). As He put His Spirit in them (v. 27), He would bring them to a place of fruitfulness, not famine (v. 30).
As in the days of the prophet Ezekiel, today the Lord welcomes us back to Him if we go astray. When we submit ourselves to His will and His ways, He transforms us as He washes us clean from our sins. With His Holy Spirit dwelling within us, He helps us to follow Him day by day.
Lord God, the feeling of being cleansed and forgiven is like no other. Thank You for transforming me into a new person. Teach me to submit to You daily that I might grow more and more closely into the likeness of Jesus.
The Lord makes us clean.
Can we find ourselves in the men and women of the Bible? We are there in Ezekiel’s vision of a God whose love can be a consuming fire. The people of Jerusalem were headed for exile in Babylon to learn for themselves that a love affair with self-made gods would ruin them. Yet our story doesn’t end with Israel in Babylon. The long-awaited Messiah shows us how far our God is willing to go to help us let go of worthless loves, so that He can forgive us and restore us to Himself. Mart DeHaan