The more you read Scripture the more you will be surprised at how God responds in various situations and toward His people. We find that God’s love is bigger, better, and different from our own. In this passage the surprising aspect of God’s atoning love and faithfulness is that it leads us to be ashamed.
In Ezekiel 16 the prophet is telling a story in the form of allegory about how God’s people have responded to His overwhelming love and favor toward them. God is portrayed as the perfect and loving King who rescued His children from certain death and abject suffering. Israel is portrayed as those kinds of babies who were left in the wilderness to die, which was a common practice by many of the surrounding nations. But, God took them in and not only fed and clothed them, but He did so lavishly. His children were bathed in the finest clothing and jewels. Yet, they played the whore toward God. They turned to other idols and looked to alliances with other nations for protection rather than looking to God. They had broken covenant with God as an adulterer or adulteress would break covenant with his/her spouse. This behavior, which the Scriptures call spiritual adultery, is also used in the New Testament to describe professing believers who willfully disobey God and walk in a manner that is pleasing to them rather than to God, the One who has been nothing but faithful to His covenant promises.
How would we expect God to respond to such aberrant behavior? We would expect very harsh and painful discipline, which God does bring to pass. However, in the midst of this reality, God remembers His covenant that He made with Abraham, which was to be God to the seed of Abraham. God does indeed promise to deal justly with His covenant people and to deal with them in a manner that their actions deserve. YET, because God remembers His covenant promises, He will establish an everlasting covenant with His rebellious people. There will be a remnant who will be led to respond in repentance and renewed trust in and faithfulness toward God. Through God’s steadfast, covenant love and faithfulness, He will work in such a way that many will know that He is indeed Yahweh and they will be led to remembrance of who He is and be CONFOUNDED. Literally, they will be put to shame when God provides atonement and forgiveness for their sin and rebellion. The One against whom they have sinned will Himself provide for their reconciliation and redemption.
We too, redeemed through the anticipated blood of Jesus, should be confounded. We should be properly humbled and astounded by the atoning, steadfast love of God. This will both serve as the motivation to draw near to God in confidence, and to be humbled by God’s deliverance.