Mercy in spite of wickedness
You will know I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness, says the Sovereign Lord.
God the Redeemer
Have you ever given God reason to be angry with you? Compare your sins with the sins of Israel. As you read through the Old Testament, you discover the truth that seems to shock most people: At no time in Israel’s history did they ever remain faithful to God. Of course, there were periods of collective obedience.…But as soon as the blessings flowed, their hearts wandered, and once again they fell into their evil ways. Their lives were steeped in a constant pattern of rebellion and unfaithful living.
Ezekiel records just one of the many times God responded to Israel’s unfaithfulness. God says to them, “In this also your fathers blasphemed me by forsaking me.…You continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day.…You say, ‘We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.’.…As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 20:27, 31-36). Once again Israel had provoked the wrath of God, and now they sat awaiting his judgment. If there was ever a time that Israel deserved to be wiped from the face of the planet, it was this moment. Now their sentence was at hand. Hold on to your chairs because here comes the gavel!
“You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices” (Ezekiel 20:44, NIV, italics mine).
And what is God’s name? Redeemer. Deliverer. Savior. What is the judgment he hands down? He plans to redeem them. Again. He deals with them according to his goodness, not their evil. He forgives them. Not because they deserve it but because it is God’s nature to forgive.
Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), entry for March 17.
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House