The Beauty of God’s Grace
9/29 Reading Portions: 1 Kings 1; Galatians 5; Ezekiel 32; Psalm 80
‘Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised.’ Ezekiel 32:19
The LORD commanded Ezekiel to wail over the multitude of Egypt (Ezek 32:18); to sing a funeral song, lamenting Egypt’s fate as one destined to the depths of the pit, accompanying all her confederate nations who likewise rejected the LORD God. Egypt was blessed of God in the arts, in architecture, in strength, in wealth, and in wisdom (Whom do you surpass in beauty?); yet, because of her refusal to recognize God and repent before God, she was destroyed with all the rest of the heathen of the world (Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised).
More significantly, this passage speaks of Christ Jesus in the Day of Judgment (Matt 7:21-23). In that Day, when those who think they will enter God’s eternal presence because they preached the gospel, cast out demons, or did mighty works, all in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus will effectively say, “Whom do you surpass in beauty?” In other words, ‘Do you think these things surpass the beauty of salvation by grace through faith in Me? I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness. Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised [of heart].”
Another portion of Scripture assigned today speaks of circumcision (Gal 5:1-26). Legalists attempted to bewitch the Galatians into trusting in the work of circumcising the flesh rather than the wonderful work of grace in, by and through Christ, which surpasses the beauty of any work of man. The circumcision of the heart (Rom 2:29), which the LORD accomplishes (Deut 30:6) by the heavenly grace of regeneration (John 3:3), is the changed life purchased by Christ through His death upon the cross. Anytime we glorify our own works as equal to or above God’s beautiful grace in Christ, we act as if we are uncircumcised of heart.
The beauty of God’s grace in Christ,
May we never depart
From its great truth, as paradise
Awaits the made-new heart.
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