Read Ezekiel 17
Parable of the eagles; instruction for captivity; lamentation for leaders of Israel.
Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not My ways equal? Are not your ways unequal? (Ezek. 18:29).
The people of Judah endured much suffering during the final days of Jerusalem before they were taken as slaves to Babylon. Consequently, they were bitter and accused God of being unjust in allowing them to be disgraced and defeated by the Chaldeans (Babylonians). Our mistakes often bring us to a terrible place in life and somehow it seems that it is always someone else's doing. Our parents didn't give what we needed. Our employer didn't understand us, so we got fired. And of course, God has just forsaken us. Disgrace and displacement never help any situation.
Why didn't God come to their rescue? Surely they were not as evil as Nebuchadnezzar and his cruel heathen armies. How could God permit the wicked Chaldeans to prosper and control the earth? God does things His way. Do we always understand His way? No. The reason is we are not thinking with His holy and perfect thoughts, but with our own fallible minds. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33). We very rarely are aware of what God is doing unless we search and find Godly discernment to our lives. This is the key to truly understanding anything that God is doing.
Ezekiel told them not blame their fathers, but to examine their own conduct, to turn to God with a new heart and a new spirit . . . and live (Ezek. 18:31-32). Some think the ways of the Lord are not fair; but, in reality, His ways seem unfair only because our own ways are perverted or misdirected. We are sinful by nature and by choice. If left to our own devices, we will do wrong just about every time. We do not have to do this. It is a wicked land we live in, but we don't have to follow after their ways. God's calling for us is: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15).
God's concern has always been that man should turn from his sins and enjoy His protection and provisions. God desires us all to turn to Him.
The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).
Thought for Today:
Our Lord's highest calling is given to those whose hearts' intent is to please Him.
As the One whose forgiveness provides life everlasting (Ezek. 18:20-22). God so loved (the people of) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus), that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
17:18 had given his hand = had pledged his word; 18:8 not given forth upon usury . . . taken any increase = loaned money at no interest; 18:25 not equal = unfair.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Joyce Rutherford's birthday • Government Official: Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL) • Country: Sudan (28.9 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert • Major languages: Arabic and Nubian • Limited religious freedom • 70% Sunni Muslim; 19% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His mercy and loving-kindness (Ps. 86:15).
Optional Reading: Revelation 10
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:2-3