Nevertheless :: by Grant Phillips

One of the most beautiful and comforting verses in the Word of God is found in Ezekiel 16:60. It says, “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”

To really appreciate the magnitude of these words, the entire chapter must be read to get the full impact of that one introductory word, “Nevertheless”.

Basically, God is reminding Israel that she was born from unworthy ancestry and tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage. Lying in her fetal blood, God passed by and covered her, then took her to Himself. At the proper time of age, He took her as His own wife, but she prostituted herself to other gods. Her adulteries and idolatries were worse than even her pagan neighbors. Over the years and the ups and downs, He was always there for her, even though most of her time was in rebellion. He concludes the matter by saying, “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.”

Every passage in God’s Word, whether Old or New Testament, is meant for us all who are His. So how can this relationship between God and Israel speak to us in the age of the Church? Let’s take a look.

The most important thing to remember is “God’s dependability”, the “Nevertheless”. Please … stop right here and carefully read all of Ezekiel 16 before continuing your reading of this article, if you haven’t done so already. It is important to get the full gist of this important message … the “Nevertheless”.

Israel is still the apple of God’s eye, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” (Zechariah 2:8) One day, probably very soon, she will be made perfect before God. He will bring everything to pass for Israel exactly as He promised in the prophecies that are starting to unfold today. Many are already full bloom. Here is the point. God is bringing it to pass because of HIS dependability, the “Nevertheless”. She will have to be cleansed through a fiery Tribulation period, but when it is over, Israel will finally be purified and made complete in Him. She has not been tossed aside, as some believe, because God said, “Nevertheless”.

So what about you … and me? Aren’t you glad He didn’t toss us aside either? We too were lying in a filthy back alley, covered in the stain of the world’s stench, but He cleaned us up with the precious blood of His Son Jesus, wrapped us in His righteousness, and filled us with His own Spirit. We followed after our own gods, prostituted ourselves before Satan’s idols, but God saved our hell bound souls by paying a price that we could never pay anyway. None of us are worthy of His great love, but He has given it freely. The cost to Him was the price of His Son, our cost zilch, except to reach out and take His hand and follow Him.

Even with Israel’s failures, He keeps His covenant with her. Even with all our failures, He keeps His covenant with us. (By the way, a covenant is a contract, an agreement.) He says to us also, “Nevertheless”. That is security of the Highest order!

“Nevertheless”, tells me that God’s Word is rock solid. It tells me that His love goes beyond anything I can understand in this life. It tells me that His power is so great, that His plan for me will be accomplished despite all the demonic onslaughts of Satan. It tells me that there isn’t anything I can mess up that He can’t fix. It tells me that His agreement with me is signed and sealed in Heaven. It tells me that one day, maybe soon, I will behold my God, face to face, because His Word is sure. What does it tell you?

In our world, contracts (or agreements) are broken everyday. We see that, for example, in marriages that fail in divorce. One party decides to break the contract, and the other one is stuck with the consequences. Not so with our God. He keeps His Word with His own, even when we fail to “hold up our end”.

We must not omit, that He also keeps His Word with His enemies. He will execute judgment against those who have harmed the “apple of His eye”. He will execute judgment against who have turned their backs on His Son. Many believe that if God is real, He is a God of love, and would never send anyone to a fiery, eternal judgment. He is real, and He is a God of love. He is also the God of justice, and His justice will be culminated in a lake that burns with fire for eternity for those who reject His Son, just as He promised.

When God was speaking to Israel in Ezekiel 16, He was speaking to a nationunder the dispensation of the Law. When He speaks to His Church today, He is speaking to individuals under the dispensation of Grace. The “Nevertheless” for us means that He will keep His covenant with us in two ways; (1) not one member of His Church will be left behind when He removes it from this earth prior to the Tribulation period, and (2) not one child of His will be lost and miss being with Him in Heaven. Even though we often fail, He will keep His covenant (agreement)

with us. “Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.” Thank you Lord, for that promise, for we know your Word is sure. Thank you Lord that You keep your Word, even when we fail to keep ours.

Grant Phillips