“For thus says the Lord God, I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant. Yet, I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant.”
– Ezekiel 16:59–60
Oh, these two verses come at the end of a long chapter that’s really hard to read in many ways as God describes his love for his people, his relationship with his people. Like a relationship between a husband and a wife. A husband who cherishes his wife. A husband who adorns his wife with beauty and honor. And then his wife turns from him and runs after all kinds of other lovers.
Despite the sinfulness of God’s people, God remembers the everlasting promises that he has made to them.
And basically you see this imagery of unfaithfulness and adultery all throughout this chapter. As well as judgment that flows from that as God speaks to his people who have run after other idols, instead of him. And taken all the grace he has poured out on them, all the goodness he’s bestowed on them and used it to run away from him. Yet here at the end, in this picture of just judgment due God’s people. He says, “Yet, I will remember my covenant with you.”
What is Ezekiel 16:59–60 Saying?
In other words, “I will remember my promises to you and the days of your youth. That before you had done this, I promise to love you and to redeem you. I promised to love you.” And I will establish God says, “For you an everlasting covenant.” In other words, “I am going to be faithful to my Word and this is why.” When we read the Bible, we have an Old Testament and a New Testament.
Old Covenant, God initiating his relationship with his people, with his covenant people, the people of Israel. And then the New Covenant, God sending Jesus to seal this everlasting covenant that was promised all throughout the Old Testament to sinners who kept turning away from God. And God ultimately says, “I love you so much. I’m coming to you myself to pay the price for all your sin against me to make it possible for anyone, anywhere, no matter who you are or what you have done.”
This is the greatest news in the world. Anyone, anywhere, no matter who you are or what you have done, can be restored to relationship with God forever. How is that possible after you and I, all of us have turned aside from God and run after so many different things, people in this world, how can we be forgiven of our sin against God and restored to relationship with him for forever, everlasting, all of eternity? How is that possible?
A Prayer Based on Ezekiel 16:59–60
Because of God’s faithfulness and God’s love. Because of God’s faithfulness to send his son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins. So God, we read this in Ezekiel 16 and we praise you for your love. We praise you, Oh God, for your faithfulness. We praise you Jesus for coming, living the life we couldn’t live. A life of perfect obedience to the Father and then dying the death we deserve to die on a cross for our sins for all of our unfaithfulness.
God, I think about all my unfaithfulness to you, all my sin against you, all of our sin against you. Jesus, we praise you for paying the price for our sin against you for making it possible for us to be restored to relationship with you as your bride, as your body in union with you for all of eternity. God, words can’t even begin to express our gratitude for your steadfast love and faithfulness for your covenant with us, with all who trust in Jesus. All glory be to your name.
And we pray in light of this. In light of this truly amazing, astounding, overwhelming grace. God that you would help us to live today in faithfulness to you. By your grace, by your power, by the work of your spirit in us, help us to walk faithfully with you and enjoy you fully as the bride of Christ, the body of Christ as sons and daughters in your family. God help us to enjoy you fully by walking humbly and obediently with you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.