From Stone to Flesh
By Kasey Cooper
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
In the Old Testament, we see what great lengths God goes to in order to rescue and redeem His people. Each one of these times, the Israelites are less than deserving of restoration, yet our merciful God continues to pursue them. It is such a blessing to read about what God has done in Scripture and how He chooses to reveal His reasoning of redemption. Ezekiel 36:22 says, “‘Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of My holy Name’”. Earlier in Ezekiel, the Israelites’ disobedience leads to the profaning of His name among the nations, and now they are now in desperate need of a Savior.
How similar the ancient Israelites are to us today. There is nothing we could have done and there was no other reason for God to send us His Son than the upholding of His awesome and holy Name and to bring glory to Himself by showing His great love for us. We must recognize just how much we need a Savior in order to effectively worship Him with our whole hearts.
God proclaims, “‘I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh’” (Ezek 36:25-26). When we give our lives to Jesus, He not only cleanses us from our sins, but God transforms our heart of stone into a heart of flesh. We are a new creation whose hearts long to worship our King and it is only Jesus who can bring a dead heart to life in Him. Jesus is holy and good. He satisfies our hearts with joy so that we can rejoice in honoring His name.
Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us such a wonderful gift of a new heart. It is not an improved version of our old hearts, but You have come to live within us and transform us. We ask that You continue to break down the hard parts of our hearts and restore them with Your love and truth. In Jesus’s name.