“I made My vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil.” – Ezekiel 16:8-9
These obscure verses from the prophet Ezekiel’s book have me thinking today about how good the Father is to His children. In His words to ancient Israel, He is communicating to them His determination to abide in His faithfulness to them. They had been rebellious to their God. Israel had been unfaithful to her Husband, yet He would not (could not!) be unfaithful to her. Walk with me through the statements He made so long ago to Israel, and believe for yourself that no less commitment from the Father abides upon us who are His children today.
“I made My vow to you and entered into a covenant with you…and you became mine.” – It is good for all of us to remember that God does not accept us in order to put us on probation. He has entered into covenant with us through the blood of His Son. Jesus is the One who has secured the price that was & is required to bring us into relationship with the Father. Beyond the reality that Jesus provided the sacrifice, and beyond the reality of that moment in time when we called upon Him to forgive and save us, let’s remember that the mystery rests in the truth that we were written into this covenant before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). The covenant from God preceded our birth, our sin, our need, our response or even the sacrifice of the Lamb of God which sealed the transaction. Spend a moment in stunned awe to recognize that the covenant and vow of God over us was in His heart before we ever began this life. This is security from God.
“Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you…” – This is a delicate matter, but we are all grown-up’s here. The blood that God is speaking of here is menstrual blood. In the Law of God delivered to Israel through Moses, a woman was considered unclean and ceremonially defiled during the time of her menstrual period (See Leviticus 15:19-33). Not only would she be considered unclean, so would any man who came into contact with her, even her husband. The man would be considered defiled for seven days if he had sexual relations with his wife during her period. The Law actually required a sacrifice be offered to God if a woman had an unusually prolonged period. All of this revealed the holiness of God and the discharge of blood represented the uncleanness of humanity. So, knowing this, we are amazed that God declares to Israel that He himself will be the One to come to her as a Husband. He will wash her from what defiles her. He will make contact with her and bring her into cleanness. This is an astounding picture of what Jesus Christ has done for us as He took our uncleanness, our sin, our defilement upon Himself so that we may be made clean. He made personal contact with us while we were defiled. He who knew no sin became sin on our behalf so that we might be made the righteousness of God. What God said to Israel in her blood-guiltiness, Jesus says to us who have trusted Him. He took what separated us from God and placed it upon Himself. Today, everything that might separate us from the Father has been removed because Jesus came to us in our guilt and cleansed us with His own blood. Glory to God – He didn’t run from us when we were defiled! He came to us so that we might be with Him forever. This is love from God.
“…and anointed you with oil.” – God did not merely give Israel a clinical washing from her defilement. He spoke of making her beautiful, or giving her a fragrance of renewal via an anointing of oil. He tells her that he would refresh and revitalize her. Oil speaks of many things in Scripture. Oil was used in various types anointing – for separation unto a higher purpose, for medicinal healing, for appointment into callings and assignments, for beautification and for signifying empowerment. I must confess that I am constantly captivated by the symbolic significance of oil in the bible. For many years, I missed the reality that God had not only washed me from what used to define me, but that He also placed the oil of His touch on me for all that I would ever need. An anointing of oil was never accidental in the bible. It was always planned, intricately prepared, applied in the proper manner and then attached to the intended purpose. When God tells Israel that He had anointed her, He is saying that He has gone beyond cleansing her from her blood. He is making her beautiful and setting her apart for intimacy with Himself again. He is being tender and intentional with her. He has purpose for her and loves her. This is empowerment from God. Friends, what God spoke over ancient Israel, He also speaks over us. The enemy wants to bury the anointed glow that God gives us through the Holy Spirit under the dust of our doubts and fears. If you continue to ask, God will continue to pour His prepared oil on your head and allow it to flow all the way down to your feet. He has an empowering touch – actually, many of them – reserved for you. He has purpose for you. He loves the beauty he places upon you. His purposes for you are not near complete – He is not done empowering you or winning for you. Draw near with confidence and ask Him for His oil for this season to be poured upon you.
So, the ancient words of Ezekiel have helped me today.
I am beloved.
I am cleansed.
I am secured in eternal covenant.
I am beautified by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.
So are all of you who are in Jesus.