Nevertheless I withdrew my hand and acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out. – Ezekiel 20:22
God recounted to Ezekiel all the past sins of Israel from their exodus of Egypt to the present day when the leaders of Judah came to the prophet to inquire of the LORD. The LORD told him that he would not be inquired of by these rebellious idolaters. In his recounting of their past, God showed the prophet many times that God has relented from fully destroying the rebellious people of Israel because of his great mercy and more importantly for the sake of his own name – the LORD, the God of heaven’s armies.
It never ceases to amaze me that God has such kindness and mercy. He relented from wiping out his chosen people, Israel, in the past simply because he didn’t want his name made into an object of ridicule by the other nations of the world. In other words, God saved face among the Gentiles because he’d promised to deliver Israel from the plight of Egyptian slavery and bring them into the land of Canaan as their ancestral home. On the other hand, we can read of numerous accounts in the Bible where God relented from wiping out Israel because of his great love for his chosen people.
You and I, the non-Jews, need to be thankful and grateful to the LORD because he didn’t wipe out Israel. IF he had done so, the Messiah, Jesus, wouldn’t have come to us as promised. There might not have been a cross on which he was hung, there might not have been the life-giving resurrection, there might not have been the grace of God given for salvation, and there might not be any hope for mankind at all. However, God does love humanity and wants all people everywhere to come to repentance and be saved. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but people who refuse him choose to die in their sins and miss out on eternity with God.
Let us give Jesus the praise he deserves for saving a remnant of Israel through whom salvation came. There were obedient, faithful people in God’s chosen people. They took the right path and helped make a way to see the salvation of the LORD.
Father, thank you for the faithful people who worshiped you in Spirit and in truth and trusted in you by faith rather than trying to earn their righteousness through the Law, even though they still had to obey the Law. Your grace astounds me daily. How you can go from wanting to wipe out an entire nation to leaving a remnant that faithfully serves you goes beyond my mind’s ability to reason and understand. Nevertheless, I am glad that you saved Israel and allowed a way for me, a Goyim, to come to you and have eternal life. Thank you, kind sir. In Jesus’ name, Amen.