God Makes the Filthy Beautiful

In Ezekiel 16, God talks about finding Israel out in the field as he was passing by. She was lying in her blood-a newborn whose cord hadn’t even been cut. This was the ancient method of abortion, to have the baby and then dump it in a field. They didn’t even bother cutting the cord because if they were just going to let the ‘thing’ die, why bother taking any care of it at all. The child and the placenta were treated with the same care. How awful.

I have seen the scarring, dismembering effects of poor medical care. Numerous people in poverty all over the world are crippled, blind, deaf, or dead simply because a completely preventable illness was not treated properly. I know a guy in Africa that had a little girl in his neighborhood that was being left to die of malaria. She was still a part of the family, etc, but they were just going to let her die in her fever. He paid the 72¢ for the medicine and she was treated and has now lived on for years.

So here is Israel, dumped out from the beginning in a field and left to die, and God cares for her. Not only that, but she blossoms into beauty. This girl should have been disfigured and scarred at the least from her poor care, but God cared for her to such an extent as to help her grow up beautiful too.

Twice God cleans Israel from her uncleanliness. First it is the uncleanliness of birth, second the uncleanliness of maturity (menstruation). Israel needed purifying at the beginning as they got rid of their Egyptian ways and idol dependance, but they needed cleaning again once they became a mature nation (actually they needed it again and again and again) so that they could be the Mother of Blessing to the whole world. (don’t freak out-just keeping in the metaphor. I’m not into that God is our Mother garbage.)

Israel needed to mature and be united with God, but as she matured she grew into new forms of uncleanliness. God purified her from those and cleaned her up, now not just making her a beautiful child but a beautiful bride.

I’m going to stop there for today, because what Israel did after all of that is heartbreaking, and much more so when you realize what great things God has done.

Of course, it‚Äôs all a DIRECT parable into our lives. Who of us, when lost and without God, was anything more than a bloody child abandoned in a field? And who of us, after being picked up by God our Savior, has not been cleaned up and made beautiful? (even if, in the case of some of us, only in His sight 😛 )

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