READING: Ezekiel 13-15
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I must confess that I do not often pause to think about why God brings judgment on people. I can talk about theological reasons, but I usually do that only when my context or my teaching assignment requires it. I have been struck, however, by how many times I read something like, “and they will know that I am the Lord [or Yahweh]” in the book of Ezekiel — particularly because this wording is so often tied to God’s judgment on sinful people.
Similar wording occurs more than 50 times in this book, several times in today’s reading:
1. God would bring judgment on false prophets, and “Then you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh" (Ezek. 13:9b).
2. The city of Jerusalem would fall, and “then you will know that I am Yahweh" (Ezek. 13:14b)
3. God would judge the women who practice magic, and “Then you will know that I am Yahweh" (Ezek. 13:21b).
4. God would bring justice on idolatrous elders, and “Then you will know that I am Yahweh” (Ezek. 14:8).
5. God would punish the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and “And you will know that I am Yahweh when I turn against them” (Ezek. 15:7).
It’s really simple: God makes Himself known as the righteous One, the One who keeps His Word, the Sovereign One when He brings judgment — including judgment on a people who know better. His goal is still, though, to make Himself known and to draw His people to Himself. Thus, God may use me to make Himself known through my living righteously and sharing the gospel, or He may choose to make Himself known through judgment if I do not follow Him faithfully.
I choose the former way — but I need His daily, moment-by-moment grace to do so.
PRAYER: “God, as we gather with Your people today, please make us holy people whose lives and words announce You. Make us long for You in such a way that we do not become objects of Your judgment.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezekiel 18-19