As believing parents we love God back with all our hearts, minds, and souls. God’s love grows in us as we realize the depths of His love to us daily. This love, not like evil’s self-love, is prayerfully passed on to our children. They may go their own way, but our love for them never changes because God’s love for us never changes. Because of this love we teach our children and grandchildren how to love like Jesus taught us. They see and learn by our example. Most is “caught” as well as taught.
Because our children and their children are so important to us, I pause to ask myself, what does my life look like to God and to them? Do they know how much I love God? Do they know that my worries and concerns are taken each morning to God and placed in His lap? Do they know that my salvation comes from believing that Jesus paid for my sins? Do they know that I am motivated by God to be who I am and do what I do in daily life? Do they know that I pray for them but I also pray for my enemies instead of seeking revenge? Does who I am in Christ translate to those around me? These questions of living life can be answered by asking ourselves—do I really believe that who God is and what He says really real?
It is important to God, our Father in Heaven, that we realize that HE alone is God.
Ezekiel 25, The Message
Acts of Vengeance
1-5 God’s Message came to me:
“Son of man, face Ammon and preach against the people: Listen to the Message of God, the Master. This is what God has to say: Because you cheered when my Sanctuary was desecrated and the land of Judah was devastated and the people of Israel were taken into exile, I’m giving you over to the people of the east. They’ll move in and make themselves at home, eating the food right off your tables and drinking your milk. I’ll turn your capital, Rabbah, into pasture for camels and all your villages into corrals for flocks. Then you’ll realize that I am God.
6-7 “God, the Master, says, Because you clapped and cheered, venting all your malicious contempt against the land of Israel, I’ll step in and hand you out as loot—first come, first served. I’ll cross you off the roster of nations. There’ll be nothing left of you. And you’ll realize that I am God.”
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8-11 “God, the Master, says: Because Moab said, ‘Look, Judah’s nothing special,’ I’ll lay wide open the flank of Moab by exposing its lovely frontier villages to attack: Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. I’ll lump Moab in with Ammon and give them to the people of the east for the taking. Ammon won’t be heard from again. I’ll punish Moab severely. And they’ll realize that I am God.”
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12-14 “God, the Master, says: Because Edom reacted against the people of Judah in spiteful revenge and was so criminally vengeful against them, therefore I, God, the Master, will oppose Edom and kill the lot of them, people and animals both. I’ll waste it—corpses stretched from Teman to Dedan. I’ll use my people Israel to bring my vengeance down on Edom. My wrath will fuel their action. And they’ll realize it’s my vengeance. Decree of God the Master.”
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15-17 “God, the Master, says: Because the Philistines were so spitefully vengeful—all those centuries of stored-up malice!—and did their best to destroy Judah, therefore I, God, the Master, will oppose the Philistines and cut down the Cretans and anybody else left along the seacoast. Huge acts of vengeance, massive punishments! When I bring vengeance, they’ll realize that I am God.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Israel had enemies who were always ridiculing them and treating them as beggars. Sometimes they deserved it. After the Israelites entered and occupied the land of Canaan, the neighboring Philistines became serious enemies. When the Israelite nation divided, the Philistines asserted their independence and became successful merchants and traders along with the Phoenicians. The Philistines cultivated a national hatred for the Jews and seized every opportunity to harass and attack them. Ezekiel wasn’t the only prophet who prophesied God’s judgment on the Philistines.
The lesson is that nothing escapes the notice of God. God will take care of His people. God wants us to realize that He is God, alone, and is present with us. What does God require of us? Micah the prophet of God gives us a simple and direct command from God: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
How do we be and do this? Love God. Love Others. These are the greatest and most important commandments according to Jesus who explained and fulfilled all the commandments while he walked our earth. Believe in Jesus and be saved for eternity with God. Revel in thanksgiving for His Holy Presence in our lives. Do what He says because of our love for God and His Son. Be attentive to His Holy Spirit who guides, confronts, leads, encourages, comforts and gives us peace in the midst of trouble.
God is the only judge and He will take care of evil’s attacks. That’s not our work. We pray, asking for God’s help, and He does the rest. When people hurt, maim, gossip, slander and abuse us, Jesus said to pray for them to find His salvation and be saved—as we did. The consequences of our behavior will be experienced by all, but instead of cheering the downfalls of others—encourage. Show love as Jesus showed love to us.
No one gets what we really deserve. Praise God for His everlasting love, mercy, and grace!
I know and realize that you are God alone! I believe in Jesus who came to save us and set us free from our sin debts. I am grateful that you do not give us what we really deserve but instead you liberally and relentlessly love us—even while we were yet sinners. We are still sinners saved only by your grace. Thank you for being a merciful God! Thank you, Jesus, for saving us. Thank you, Holy Spirit for growing God’s love in our hearts, speaking to our hearts about what is pleasing and good, while transforming our minds and souls with how to live with God eternally. We are so blessed!
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen