Text: Ezekiel 36:22-36
Title: I Will Do It
ill. Have you ever watched a child struggling to do something?
- They are going about something the wrong way with the wrong attitude.
- They are too proud to come to you and ask you to assist them.
- They may be upset at you because you asked them to do what they are doing.
- They may get really angry and complain about their task.
As a parent you say, "Why don't you just say - Dad (mum), will you please help me?"
- Parents can make that task so much easier
- (impart wisdom) tell them how to do it.
- (impart grace) help them to do it.
exp. As parents - you know you are going to help - but you want to be asked.
note: The child's life get's a lot easier, when he humbles his heart and asks for assistance.
note: Our text this evening is God promising over and over again to help - I will do it!
GOD WILL IMPART GRACE - HE WILL IMPART WISDOM
HOWEVER, despite this promised assistance, WE MUST ASK FOR HIS HELP.
Ezekiel 36:36b - "I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it."
exp. But, it is conditional upon our humbling our heart and asking Him to do it.
37 Thus saith the Lord GOD;
I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them;
def. enquired: to diligently seek, to pursue
ill. On Thursday night - our church had a focused prayer meeting. (Prayed for church and building)
I shared how God brought revival to Charlotte Street 115 years ago. They diligently sought God.
- 7 AM prayer meeting every Sunday - changed to 6:00 AM - when revival came that changed to every morning. (READ QUOTE SAYING PRAYER IS HOW IT HAPPENED.)
exp. They were desparate and God intervened as He desired to to.
James 5:16 - "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
ill. I was a speech minor at BJU - had to take an acting class - not my best class - but if we were to act out the word fervent....
- Fervent is not like a librarian on a good day. (calm, quiet, sedate, serious)
- Fervent is like a librarian who's library is on fire. (In a panic, in earnest, zealous)
app. If you aren't desparately seeking God's intervention, you aren't meeting the condion.
exp. Historical context - Ezekiel's ministry is at the same time as Jeremiah. Both prophets warn of God's judgment - Babylonian Captivity - and both speak of God's future restoration of Israel.
1) First their return from the Babylonian captivity back into the land of promise.
2) Secondly the return of God's people to the land in the last days.
3) Daniel (another contemporary) would lead in ENQIRING AFTER GOD.
exp. He understood that the promise was conditional upon prayer.
ill. Daniel 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
exp. (5th cen. BC) Nehemiah's return to Jerusalem would take place by prayer as well.
ill. Nehemiah:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
DANIEL AND NEHEMIAH - would get to see God do what God had promised to do.
THEY DILIGENTLY PURSUED GOD - THEY ENQURIED OF HIM.
You need to ENQUIRE fervently for God to do what He desires to do!
Are you fervently praying for God to do what He has said he would do?
WE ARE TO DILIGENTLY PURSUE GOD - TO SEE HIM DO WHAT HE SAID HE WILL DO.
Ezekiel 36:I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
37 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them;
WHAT HAS GOD SAID THAT HE WILL DO?
I. DILIGENTLY PURSUE GOD for God's glory.
A. It's not about us.
Ezekiel 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel,
exp. God's work with Israel was never to the glory of Israel - but to the glory of God.
ill. SNP is seeking a coalition government. They don't have a majority (minority) government. The Green's will benefit by being part of the national government for the first time.
exp. We understand that should this take place - the Green party has very little to boast of. The SNP is everything although they will benefit greatly from the coalition.
app. I don't know if that is a good illustration or not - but the point is - God doesn't need us - we need God. It's NEVER about our glory. It's ALWAYS about His glory.
B. It's about God's Holy name.
ill. Lord's prayer - "Our Father which art in Heaven - Hallowed be thy name" (consecrate, venerate)
exp. God's name was not venerated in Ezekiel's day - it was being profaned (treated irreverantly)
Ezekiel 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them;
exp. God's name had suffered because of His people's disobedience and consequently His judgment.
GOD WILL VENERATE HIS NAME - BUT WE MUST PRAY FOR IT.
ill. Moses and David diligently sought God along these lines.
Moses - Numbers 14:15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,
16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
David - Psa 79:10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
ill. Neighbour - asking her about land - (150) she said, "I don't mean anything bad by this.... but do you really think you will need a building for that many?... churches are closing."
app. We are on praying ground this morning when we beging to pray for God's glory to again be seen. OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN HALLOWED BE THY NAME - THY KINGDOM COME - THY WILL BE DONE - all for God's glory.
C. It's about God's PLAN for His glory.
exp. There are two main ways in this text where God receives glory from His people.
1. God's plan is to glorify Himself in you.
....and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD,when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
question: Aren't you ready for the Heathen to KNOW THAT JESUS IS LORD?
Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
exp. This takes place when Jesus is HALLOWED in us. "Sanctified in you before their eyes."
app. Has God worked in your life FOR HIS GLORY?Has he transformed you from the inside out? (Jesus said) Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
2. God's plan is to glorify Himself through you.
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
exp. This verse no longer is speaking about God getting glory IN YOU, it is now speaking about God getting glory through you. He was going to do something incredible and evident.
note: The first consideration is - WOW WHAT A CHANGE IN YOUR PERSON. THE SECOND CONSIDERATION IS WOW WHAT A CHANGE IN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
App. Are your outward circumstances changing to bring glory to God? They should be.
TRANSITION - WE NEED TO DILIGENTLY PURSUE GOD FOR HIS GLORY.
II. Diligently pursue God for God's people. (Glorifying Himself in you.)
song: There's been a great, GREAT, change, CHANGE, since I've been born again!
ill. I challenged our church to pray on Thursday night - FOR OUR CHURCH. WHY? BECAUSE GOD'S GLORY NEEDS TO BE SEEN IN THE LIVES OF GOD'S PEOPLE.
app. Is God's glory being seen in your life? Has your life been transformed by God?
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
ill. Thomas - I'm proud of you, "You looked beautiful up there" "You really need to clean your car."
exp. Thomas made me aware of a need OF WHICH I WAS NOT AWARE. I really needed to clean my car and I did so as soon as I could.
question: Have you heard God say recently to you, "You really need to clean your life!"
- From all filthiness - from all idolatry.
ill. The pandemic - increased the time spent in from of the tele - nearly 6 hours avg.
- How can that not be idolatry? How can that not defile someone's life.
app. When is the last time your heart was broken over sin? When is the last time you experienced the cleansing water of God and new that YOU WERE CLEAN? A dirty life does not bring glory to God.
def. regeneration: God bringing a person to new life. "Being born again" "Born from above"
exp. vs.25-26 sounds like something from the NT. But it is 500 years before Christ.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
ill. Andrew Bonnary - Memoirs of David Sandeman - woman servant on Westfield Farm - owned by believers.
"This woman, had been three years there, and never shewn the smallest concern about her soul. On the 12 June she was at evening worship, indifferent and dead as a stone. Next morning she entered the room as uninterested as before; but as Mr. Sandeman was giving out the Psalm for praise at worship, and was reading Psalm 73:22 "So rude was I and ignorant, and in thy sight a beast," the last words struck her like an arrow. She sobbed and wept during prayer and continued all day in a very tneder state." (He spoke with her)
She said she used to think herself just like others, but now "she was as a beast before God." He prayed; and on asking her to pray, she tried it, but got no farther than "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!" He read with her Ezek. 36:25-26; and asked her to read, which she did, sobbing at almost every word, especially at "the filthiness," and "the new heart will I give you, and will take away the stony heart." the arrow of the King of Kings seemed to be sinking in deeper and deeper as he read; and in the course of the day, coming in to serve at table, when the blessing was asked, she was again overcome. The Sphepher soon found this lost sheep."
app. Do you have a beastly heart of stone today? Or has God given you a heart of flesh? God can't be glorified in those who are hard hearted and unregenerate!
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
exp. These OT believers new nothing of this truth compared to what we can know in our day.
ill. Peter - preaching at Pentecost.
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
note: If you have been born again, you have been given a precious resident in your heart.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
note: I'm a firm believer that WE OUGHT TO KEEP CLEAN HOUSES.
1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
exp. We shouldn't make our family live in filth and we shouldn't live in filth.
ill. If you have family and guests into your home and you don't care to make your home clean for them, you are being inconsiderate of your family and guests.
app. How considerate are you of the Heavenly Guest resident in your heart? He won't let you continue to keep filth in His home (or He isn't present in your home.) GOD IS GLORIFIED WHEN YOUR LIFE IS OBEDIENT.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
exp. Remember - it is for God's glory - but what an incredible benefit we receive in salvation.
ill. Sad story - this week - 5 year old girl - fostered by friends of ours - teacher was supposed to adopt her - had her for 2 weeks and changed her mind. The little girl said, "I don't know why they don't want me." (I pray she finds her forever home soon.)
exp. GOD WANTS YOU TODAY. He receives glory by having you become His child.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
app. Are you a child of God? Have you entered into fellowship with Him, dwelling with Him?
transition: (GOD WILL DO IT - WE NEED TO PRAY ABOUT IT)
Diligently pursue God for God's glory.
Diligently pursue God for God's people. (glorifying Himself in you.)
III. Diligently pursue God for God's blessing. (Glorifying Himself through you.)
exp. God had made His displeasure in His people visible. When He restored them, He would make His blessing visible as well.
note: This point has to do with the other thing we prayed about on Thursday PM - that is a permanent church home. (It is God's evident blessing upon His people.)
29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
exp. God had withheld physical blessing from them because of their disobedience.
- The corn would grow again and the family would cease. (drought)
- The trees and fields would give plenty of food. (no famine.)
ill. The church building in Scotland - point back to days of plenty. If they were barns - they used to be filled - now they stand empty - spiritually we are in days of drought and famine.
app. Are you diligently praying for an awakening? (The previous point was revival.)
31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
exp. When God's blessing came again, every person would look at their life and realize that they were unworthy of God's goodness.
ill. Revival at Charlotte St - features of the revival....
1) A deep conviction of sin, even where the outward life appeared blameless.
app. If God be pleased to glorify his name IN his people and THROUGH his people, our response should mirror these two verse - lothe ourselves in our own sight and realize it is only because God is merciful.
33 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
exp. They had been removed because of sin. But, after God cleansed them, he would again ESTABLISH THEM in the land.
question: When is the last time you saw a church building under construction in Scotland?
ill. Praise God - Eyemouth just built a building and it is paid for. PRAISE GOD, we ought to cry out to God to do again what He has done in the past.
ill. Go through the cemetery - and see - Rev. Rev. Rev. (I've seen this in Wales and Scotland.)
app. We ought to diligently pray for God to establish the church again.
34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
exp. PASSERS BY SAID - WHERE THERE WAS BADNESS THERE IS NOW GOODNESS. THAT WHICH WAS DESTROYED AND REBUILT AND FILLED.
ill. I remember in my youth - packed out church - with chair lining the aisle - back door open - (no air conditioning) singing and knowing that people could hear the singing of a vibrant church.
app. Perhaps God will give us this testimony as a church if we seek Him. How God would be glorified in a church full of LIFE TO HIS GLORY!
36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
ill. Edinburgh Citizen Newspaper "The Redeemed Drunkards' Band gave short, pointed testionies. The life-story of some of these men is simply marvellous, and is proof positive tha the day of miracles is not yet past. A religion that can change such men and make them loving husbands and respectable citizens is a religion worth having."
app. God help us to have a church where men's live's and God's work is so evident that THE HEATHEN KNOW THAT GOD IS DOING SOMETHING!
I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
37 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them;
ARE YOU DILIGENTLY SEEKING GOD....
FOR HIS GLORY, FOR GOD'S PEOPLE, FOR GOD'S BLESSING.