Greg Laurie daily devotion - April 15, 2014
No Joy in Judgment
“As surely as I live,” says the Sovereign Lord, “I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” - (Ezekiel 33:11)
When the topic of God’s judgment comes up, some people would say, “It’s about time!” They have no problem whatsoever with seeing God’s wrath fall upon a world that has rejected Him and His Word.
But as believers, this is not an attitude we should have. In fact, it is why God rebuked Jonah. The Lord told him to go and preach to the Ninevites, who were renowned for their wickedness and cruelty. Jonah didn’t want to go for two reasons: First, he was a patriotic Jew, and the Ninevites were enemies of Israel. Second, he feared that because God was so gracious and loving, He would pardon Nineveh. And Jonah preferred that Nineveh be destroyed.
So Jonah went in the opposite direction. But after some powerful persuasion, he eventually went and preached to the people of Nineveh, hoping that no one would listen. Then Jonah pulled up a ringside seat outside Nineveh, holding out hope that God’s judgment would come.
Meanwhile, God caused a large plant to grow up that gave Jonah shade. But when a worm came along and ate the plant, Jonah got upset. Here is what God told him: “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” (Jonah 4:10–11).
This reminds us that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked (see Ezekiel 33:11). Nor should we. We should not rejoice that people are going to be judged because, frankly, we all deserve to be judged. But God loves us. He wants us to know Him. And it is His nature to love and to forgive.
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.
“Do you value the teaching and encouragement you receive from A New Beginning with Greg Laurie?
Are you ready for a road trip?
In this one-of-a-kind book, Pastor Jeff Lasseigne has compiled important information, fascinating facts, notable notes and quotable quotes for each and every book of the Bible.
Hop in and buckle up for an adventure . . . along Highway 66!
Highway 66 will be sent to you in thanks for your gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.