If you’ve ever sat next to me in church you’ve probably noticed I have no shame toward writing in my Bible. In some books I wish my teenage self had more selfcontrol with the highlighter, but in general I love being able to look back and see my growth, remember illustrations from various sermons, and connect the dots on themes throughout scripture.
For this past month I’ve been reading in Ezekiel, and it’s been challenging for me to say the least. It starts out with this beautiful image of God revealing Himself to Ezekiel in the brightness and glory of a rainbow after a rainstorm — God’s symbol of peace — and throughout the book it shows God’s wrath being poured out on His people. It seemed conflicting to me.
But the more I sought the Lord about it, the more He showed me that His grace is scattered all throughout this book. I wanted to see His grace more clearly, so I started to write the word “grace” beside every second chance and show of mercy that God gave Israel.
Chapter twenty catalogs the journey of God bringing Israel through the wilderness. Over and over He makes new convanants with them, and gives grace when they break the past covenants. He shows grace upon grace.
He calls them in chapter 18 to “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourself a new heart and spirit.” By grace He offers the means of redemption, and the meathod by which they can follow His statutes — a new heart and spirit.
Amidst righteous anger there is a gracious heart desiring His people to cry out to Him.
I am reminded of one of my favorite lines of the bible. “But He gives more grace…” James 4:6