TEXT: Ezekiel 16:59-63
59 For thus saith the Lord God; I will even deal with thee as thou hast done, which hast despised the oath in breaking the covenant.
60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.
61 Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger: and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant.
62 And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord:
63 That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
Israel in the End Times: The Fulfillment of God’s Covenants With Israel (Part 1)
Today we come to the final phase of our series on Israel and the End Times. As you know, we have been looking at God’s plan for Israel in the last days. It is a three-fold plan that brings the story of God’s chosen people full circle. First, the Bible predicts the national conversion of Israel in the last days — likely during the Tribulation period. A huge number of Jews will turn to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Messiah. Second, God will use 144,000 Jewish witnesses to preach the Gospel during the Tribulation period. The Church will have been taken in the Rapture, and the Jewish evangelists will be witnesses for God during the darkest days on earth. Their faithfulness will bring about a huge harvest of Tribulation-age believers.
Today, we are going to begin looking at God’s promise to fulfill the covenants He made with Israel in the Old Testament. These covenants will ultimately be fulfilled during the Millennial Kingdom. Our passage today provides us with the general overview of God’s perspective on the fulfillment of the covenants He made with Israel. Ezekiel delivered this prophecy while he was in exile with the Jews who had been carried off to Babylon. Matthew Henry writes that “God is justifying himself in the desolations he is about to bring upon Jerusalem; and very largely, in this chapter, he shows the prophet, and orders him to show the people, that he did but punish them as their sins deserved… Ezekiel here is directed to write to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for their conviction and humiliation, which was the thing they needed.”
The passage starts out recounting Israel’s sins of idolatry and not trusting God which caused the covenants between God and Israel to be broken. However, it concludes on a hopeful message telling of Israel’s restoration and God’s promise to “remember” the covenants of old.
God says, “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth.” This is good news for Israel and good news for us. Sometimes, we forget about the importance of our relationship with God. Sometimes we turn our backs on our obligations to Him. As Jesus Christ put it in Revelation, we leave our first love. However, although we may forget, God does not forget. No matter how far or how long Israel strays, God will remember His covenant with them and He will fulfill it. It is the same for us today. As the song says, we are “prone to wander.” When we do, we have the promise that Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd, will pursue every lost sheep in an effort to bring them home.
God’s promises to Israel are just as ironclad as our assurance of salvation. When Jesus Christ said that no man can pluck us out of His hand, He meant it. The promises that God made to Israel in the Old Testament are just as guaranteed. Dr. C.H. Dyer states, “Describing the certainty of Jerusalem’s judgment, Ezekiel stressed that God was not abandoning His people forever. God had entered into a binding covenant with His people, and He would remember (that is, keep) it.”
Now, what are the covenants that God promises to remember? There are two covenants described in the Old Testament that have not been fully fulfilled. The first one is the Land Covenant which promises that Israel will possess a certain amount of land — far more land than it possesses today. This covenant is described in Genesis 15 where God tells Abraham, “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates…” Today, Israel does not possess all of this land. But one day it will.
The second covenant which God will “remember” is the Davidic Covenant which promises that the royal line of King David will rule over Israel forever. This covenant is given by God to David in 2 Samuel 7: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom… And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” Of course, Jesus Christ, being a descendant of David is the eternal heir of the throne of Israel.
Both the Davidic Covenant and the Land Covenant will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem during the Millennial Kingdom. In that day, Israel will be the lone superpower in the world. As Revelation 19 tells us, Jesus Christ will rule the nations “with a rod of iron” from Jerusalem. In that day, all of the promises which God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be fulfilled and God will establish what Ezekiel calls “an everlasting covenant” with His people — that is, a covenant that will never be broken.
However, this restoration and fulfillment will happen only when Israel turns back to God and remembers her covenant with Him. Notice what Ezekiel says in verse 61: “Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed…” In the last days, Israel will turn back to God, and God will fulfill the covenants that He set up with His chosen people. This is reiterated when God says in verse 62, “And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”
As wonderful as it is to think about the Millennial Kingdom and that future time when Jesus Christ will rule the world directly, this passage holds a message for the church today as well. Like Israel, some of us have left our first love. Like Israel, some of us have turned aside from following God with our whole heart, and we wonder why we are not being blessed. God’s admonishment to us is the same as is His admonishment to Israel. If we turn back to God, we, too, will be blessed, and we will experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. As we await that great and wonderful day when God’s promises to Israel will finally be fulfilled, let us make sure that we are loving God and living in such a way that we will not be ashamed when Jesus Christ comes to call us home.
If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.