“What goes around, comes around!” “What you do comes back to haunt you!” “Don’t dish out what you can’t take!” “Those who do evil are repaid with evil!” We call it the boomerang effect. Some call it karma; I call it God preserving and protecting what is good and giving justice to what is evil.
Good and evil. Movies, novels and even sitcoms reflect the war between good and evil. At the end of the story, we applaud when evil gets what is coming to them, right? In fact, we won’t watch or read it unless evil gets what is coming to them! We like things wrapped up in a tidy package of good. Maybe that’s just me but I doubt it.
Good and evil is also constant war within ourselves, too, isn’t it?
Ezekiel proclaims God’s judgement with Israel’s impending fate… “I’ll make you pay for the way you’ve lived: Your disgusting obscenities will boomerang on you, and you’ll realize that I am God.”
As we read the fate of a nation whose thinking and behavior has degraded to all that is evil because they have turned from all that is God, I think of what Jesus said when he came to earth to explain and fulfill the meaning of God’s commandments. Many times, Jesus began with “You have heard it said…but I say to you…” pointing out that sometimes believers obey only to look good but do not realize the meaning behind the behavior because they don’t really know the One who desires a relationship with us! (See Matthew 5-7). Evil has won when our relationship with God is broken.
Ezekiel 7, The Message
Fate Has Caught Up with You
1-4 God’s Word came to me, saying, “You, son of man—God, the Master, has this Message for the land of Israel:
The end of business as usual for everyone.
It’s all over. The end is upon you.
I’ve launched my anger against you.
I’ve issued my verdict on the way you live.
I’ll make you pay for your disgusting obscenities.
I won’t look the other way,
I won’t feel sorry for you.
I’ll make you pay for the way you’ve lived:
Your disgusting obscenities will boomerang on you,
and you’ll realize that I am God.’
5-9 “I, God, the Master, say:
‘Disaster after disaster! Look, it comes!
the end comes.
The end is ripe. Watch out, it’s coming!
This is your fate, you who live in this land.
It’s zero hour.
No dragging of feet now,
no bargaining for more time.
Soon now I’ll pour my wrath on you,
pay out my anger against you,
Render my verdict on the way you’ve lived,
make you pay for your disgusting obscenities.
I won’t look the other way,
I won’t feel sorry for you.
I’ll make you pay for the way you’ve lived.
Your disgusting obscenities will boomerang on you.
Then you’ll realize
that it is I, God, who have hit you.
10-13 “‘Judgment Day!
Fate has caught up with you.
The scepter outsized and pretentious,
pride bursting all bounds,
brandishing the evil scepter.
But there’s nothing to them,
and nothing will be left of them.
Countdown: five, four, three, two . . .
Buyer, don’t boast; seller, don’t worry:
Judgment wrath has turned the world topsy-turvy.
The bottom has dropped out of buying and selling.
It will never be the same again.
But don’t fantasize an upturn in the market.
The country is bankrupt because of its sins,
and it’s not going to get any better.
14-16 “‘The trumpet signals the call to battle:
But no one marches into battle.
My wrath has them paralyzed!
On the open roads you’re killed,
or else you go home and die of hunger and disease.
Either get murdered out in the country
or die of sickness or hunger in town.
Survivors run for the hills.
They moan like doves in the valleys,
Each one moaning
for his own sins.
17-18 “‘Every hand hangs limp,
every knee turns to rubber.
They dress in rough burlap—
Shifty and shamefaced,
with their heads shaved bald.
19-27 “‘They throw their money into the gutters.
Their hard-earned cash stinks like garbage.
They find that it won’t buy a thing
they either want or need on Judgment Day.
They tripped on money
and fell into sin.
Proud and pretentious with their jewels,
they deck out their vile and vulgar no-gods in finery.
I’ll make those god-obscenities a stench in their nostrils.
I’ll give away their religious junk—
strangers will pick it up for free,
the godless spit on it and make jokes.
I’ll turn my face so I won’t have to look
as my treasured place and people are violated,
As violent strangers walk in
and desecrate place and people—
A bloody massacre,
as crime and violence fill the city.
I’ll bring in the dregs of humanity
to move into their houses.
I’ll put a stop to the boasting and strutting
of the high-and-mighty,
And see to it that there’ll be nothing holy
left in their holy places.
Catastrophe descends. They look for peace,
but there’s no peace to be found—
Disaster on the heels of disaster,
one rumor after another.
They clamor for the prophet to tell them what’s up,
but nobody knows anything.
Priests don’t have a clue;
the elders don’t know what to say.
The king holds his head in despair;
the prince is devastated.
The common people are paralyzed.
Gripped by fear, they can’t move.
I’ll deal with them where they are,
judge them on their terms.
They’ll know that I am God.’”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESOND?
All God saw was evil disobedience and defilement of all that was good. Israel had disobeyed the law, defied their Lord, and defiled the land, and God would not accept that kind of conduct. First, He had punished them in their land by permitting seven enemy nations to occupy the land and oppress the people, as recorded in the Book of Judges. But each time, after God had delivered Israel from their oppressors, the Jews eventually had returned to the worship of idols. So, God finally took them away from the land, some through death and others through exile in Babylon. This story is tragic, but it reminds us that the Lord is serious about His covenant and our obedience.
Jesus further clarifies who God is and what He will do when “fate” catches up with each one of us in the Final Judgement:
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46, NLT
Who we are, what we do to others is the same as who we are and what we do to God!
Our relationship with God because of believing and following Jesus, should be our motivator for all we think, say, and do. It is more than “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is knowing that what we do we do to God!
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm 20:7
Help us to love like you love us. Help us to realize that every action we take in your Name is done not only to help others but is done unto you! May we truly digest this truth.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen