September 6, 2017. Ezekiel 32-34.
A great joy of reading God’s word in the Old Testament is when He clearly reveals something about Himself. Something that never changes, because He never changes. In chapter 32 the Lord reveals how He is a God of judgment as He tells us about His judgment of various wicked nations. Then in chapter 33 He turns to His own people and reveals one of those profound revelations of Himself.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them: “As I live,” says the Lord God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?”
Just as sure as He is Lord God, He has no pleasure when the consequences of wickedness lead to destruction and death. Just as sure as gravity will cause us to fall to the ground, if we trip over our own feet, evil ways will cause destruction and death in the life of God’s people, and He has no pleasure in this.
Because God has no pleasure in this scenario, in the life of His people, He gives believers this warning…
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when by his own desires he is drawn away and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Evil desires – leading to sinful ways – bringing about death.
- Death in a marriage relationship.
- Death in family relationships.
- Death in relationships with others.
- Death in our relationship with God.
As God’s people, we become “dead men (women) walking.”
So, to Israel, He asks a question we can still ask today, “Why die?”
If we answer, “there is no good reason,” then here is what God tells Israel (and us) to do.
Ezekiel 33: 14-15 On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, “You'll die for your wicked life,” and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life (being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don't hurt others) he'll live. He won't die. (MSG)
Pretty simple. Pretty basic. A wicked life, in the eyes of the Lord, brings death which the Lord has no pleasure in. Changing our life and, “living a righteous and just life,” brings life to our marriages, our family relationships, our relationships with others, and most importantly, our relationship with God. Why die? Begin today to live!