We can get ourselves in some royal messes!
Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, the Assyrians, for whom she lusted…..She saw men portrayed on a wall, figures of Chaldeans portrayed in red ….. As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. … Your lewdness and promiscuity have brought this on you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. (From Ezekiel 22)
It is good to remember that the situation we are in is often a result of our own choices. We have debt because we desired material things. We aren’t where we want to be because we loved comfort and ease instead of hard work. Our marriages are impaired because we gave into the temptation to flirt or look at pornography. We don’t have the relationship with God we want, or the spiritual strength, because we have filled our hearts with things other than God, enjoying the world, seeking success, and so on.
And then we begin to cry out to God because we are miserable in the place we’ve gotten ourselves. We are lonely, empty, impotent, trapped, frustrated.
What is amazing, is that even though we deserve to be in the situation we’re in, God has mercy. Later in the book of Ezekiel, God declares his intention to rescue the people who are so dear to him.
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” Ez 34
Jesus was God’s vehicle of rescue, God’s “arm” of salvation.
“For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him. (Isa 59:15-16)
Jesus is our knight in shining armor!
“Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” I Thes 1:10
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.” Col 1:13
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,…” (Eph 5:24-25)
It is the best picture of romantic love that ever was, that Jesus swooped in, just at the right time, and pulled us out of the muck we had gotten ourselves into. He did it because his heart was moved by our cries of anguish. He did it because he longed more than anything to be united with us.
I wrote a song about this. Here is the first verse and the chorus:
Jesus poured out in emptiness
And went through metamorphosis.
Only a servant he became
In lowly human form was framed
Humble he took the lowest place
Obeyed the Lord in every case.
Even to die, to die for me
To be with me eternally.
Oh, Lamb of God, my knight you are
You gave all you had to rescue me.
You set out to gain the jewel of your heart
And now we are one eternally.
I am so thankful today that I am loved and adored, treasured and cared for. I am thankful that I was rescued, and that I continue to be rescued.
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.” II Tim 4:18
“the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials” II Peter 2:9
“Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34
And what should I do because I have been rescued? I should be like the women who followed Jesus. I love thinking about these women! They are listed right after the Twelve as an integral part of Jesus’s followers. Because he saved them from their wretched condition of sickness and possession they gave up their own lives and spent their life with him, they gave up their money to support him.
“The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” Luke 8:1-3