Wednesday, September 30, 2009

not done in vain

Read Ezekiel 14:12-23 this morning. . . .

Ezek. 14:12 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,

Ezek. 14:13 “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast,

Ezek. 14:14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord GOD.

Ezek. 14:15 “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts,

Ezek. 14:16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate.

Ezek. 14:17 “Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’

Ezek. 14:18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered.

Ezek. 14:19 “Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it,

Ezek. 14:20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”

Ezek. 14:21 ¶ For thus says the Lord GOD, “How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!

Ezek. 14:22 “Yet, behold, survivors will be left in it who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they are going to come forth to you and you will see their conduct and actions; then you will be comforted for the calamity which I have brought against Jerusalem for everything which I have brought upon it.

Ezek. 14:23 “Then they will comfort you when you see their conduct and actions, for you will know that I have not done in vain whatever I did to it,” declares the Lord GOD.
A few of my thoughts . . .
  • Who is this otherwise unmentioned Daniel of the ancient world in verse 14?

  • God stretches out His hand against nations. Famine, wild beasts, the sword (attacking nations) and plagues are all tools of His sovereign judgment.

  • The righteousness (faith) of a few cannot necessarily save a city though they will be saved through God's judgment. The Lord sees our individual lives, at the very same time He is watching and orchestrating nations. We stand before Him alone, but also with others.

  • The salvation of a few righteous (those who are living by faith in the Lord) through God's judgment calamity is a comfort, reassuring us that God does not act in vain (capriciously or without design or purpose).

  • All of this reminds me, that God is still sovereign in the world, accomplishing His judging and saving purposes through the movement and acting of nations. The United States is a young nation, and our future is in no way secure or guaranteed. The "conduct and actions" of our land and city can assuredly bring God's judgment.

1 comment:

ben collins said...

you provoked some great thought in me wrt God's ability to behold individually and corporately. the Lord has truly dealt mercifully with our nation, and i pray that we would not grow accustomed to this flow of mercy, but that we would praise our God for his grace to us each year, day, hour, minute and moment. thanks Tim.