Special to The R-C
The shocking question referred to above are the words spoken to the Prophet Ezekiel who was told by the Lord to, “speak these words,” to the back-slidden nation of Israel who were on the verge of losing their country, which they ultimately did. They became slaves to the kings of Babylon and served them for 40 years because of their sins of idolatry and disobedience.
“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?’ (Ezek. 33:11)
Several important spiritual lessons can be learned from this verse:
For one thing, from the beginning, God has always sought to communicate and teach man good from evil and sin. Adam and Eve had the unspeakable honor of speaking directly to the Creator and even to enjoy His corporeal presence in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:8) God continues to speak to men today, sometimes, by means of His awesome creation, sometimes by His Word, the Bible, and sometimes, through prophets, pastors, circumstances, and even other people. That God speaks to men is confirmed by His word in a verse from the first chapter of Hebrews, verse one. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things.”
We might ask, what does God want to say to me? For one thing, he might want to reveal to you something about who He is. He might also want to assure you that he loves you and takes no pleasure in punishing or hurting you in any way. He is interested in blessing and doing good to the people of every race and nation simply because Goodness and mercy are part of His fundamental character.
He also, might want to provide more details about His thoughts and plans for you. Notice the words spoken to the Prophet Jerimiah in Chap. 29:11-12. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Another lesson we learn in chapter 33 of Ezekiel, is that every person will be held accountable to God for his life and deeds. This is true because, in the first place, we owe it to Him because we were created by Him for His own pleasure. Nothing would have existed had He not created it. Rev 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created”.
The greater reason all human beings are debtors to God is that not only were we created for His pleasure, but we were redeemed from our sins and trespasses by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to live forevermore as His own children.
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association