- Eze. 12:1-14:23
When GOD speaks with Ezekiel it has been about 1,500 years since Abraham attempted to save Sodom and Gomorrah by asking GOD if He would spare the cities for 10 righteous souls? Now Judah finds itself as the focus of GOD's judgment because of the nation's extreme wickedness. This time GOD gives a more detailed explanation of His thinking regarding judgment and punishment of a nation filled with wickedness:
12 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD. 15 “If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.
17 “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered. 19 “Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.”
21 For thus says the Lord GOD: “How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem—the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it? 22 Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,” says the Lord GOD.
(Eze. 14:12-23 NKJV)
Righteous people should take comfort in the fact that GOD knows who you are and He assures their protection despite the nation's suffering or punishment. However, it also serves as a serious reminder that, regardless of the nation, GOD may at some point decide it is time to punish that people for their wickedness, "that they may know that I am the Sovereign LORD." GOD reigns over the nations of men. Never let us think that we are above being disciplined by GOD.
Sadly, as I write these words, I feel that GOD is in the process of progressively disciplining the United States, as well as other countries around the world, for our state of serious moral decay in the post-World War II era. We need to do three things to combat this growing problem:
- Pray for ourselves and for our country.
- Live holy lives. Do your best to avoid sin and, when you see you've sinned, repent immediately and confess it to GOD.
- Preach the importance of repentance, holiness and moral living to those around us every day. Speak up. Let your voice be heard. You and I can make a great difference in the choices others around us make.