May 1, 2015

Today you should read: Ezekiel 25

The Lord is Judge. He has the right to bring condemnation or blessing; He chooses either according to His sovereign will. In today’s passage, we see that many nations experience His stern judgment, and for good reasons. We will unpack those reasons in a moment, but let’s keep the big picture at the forefront as we read Ezekiel 25: the gracious AND just God will receive glory, honor, and praise forevermore. Nothing can thwart this. God is gracious, and in saving sinners like us through His Son, He receives glory. God is just, and in disciplining or condemning unrepentant sinners (and nations), He receives glory. He is both of these attributes equally and unconditionally. He is loving and He is righteous. He is holy and He is compassionate.

“Ok Todd, we get it. Why are you explaining this ad nauseam?” Here’s why: today’s passage – and the majority of Ezekiel for that matter – is composed of key verses proof-texted by proponents of the idea that God was a stern dictator in the Old Testament and then became a teddy bear in the New Testament. It’s simply not true. Yes, God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah in the Old Testament but He also struck Ananias & Sapphire dead in the New Testament. And the harshest judgment of all: He crushed His only Son. Yet this is also His most compassionate act, for through it, we are saved. Don’t buy the foolish theology that tries to pigeon-hole the God of the Old Testament as one Person and the God of the New Testament as another.

So what’s happening in today’s passage? Why are these prophecies against the nations found here? Here are the clues given to us as we read through them:

AMMON: “Because you cheered when my Temple was defiled, mocked Israel in her desolation, and laughed at Judah as she went away into exile…” & “Because you clapped and danced and cheered with glee at the destruction of my people…” They went after what was most holy — the Temple. They celebrated the plight of the Israelites.

MOAB & SEIR: “Because the people of Moab have said that Judah is just like all the other nations…” They mocked those whom God loved and had chosen. They refused to believe that these were a set-apart people.

EDOM: “The people of Edom have sinned greatly by avenging themselves against the people of Judah.” God promised to vindicate His people after the Edomites, as the ESV puts it, acted revengefully against the Lord’s own.

PHILISTINE: “The people of Philistia have acted against Judah out of bitter revenge and long-standing contempt.” Once again, the Lord promised to avenge His children.

What do we learn from all of this? Clearly God takes justice seriously. Nothing can compete for His glory. He loves His people. He will bring about restoration and healing for them, and He will repay the evil done to them with holy wrath. After all, He says, “Vengeance is mine.”

My major takeaway today is this: I am eternally thankful for Jesus. He paid the price for my sins and fully bore God’s wrath and judgment so that I could become a part of the family of God. I don’t need to sweat any impending judgment. It is finished!

Posted by: Todd Thomas

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

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