READING: Ezekiel 18:1-20:31, James 3:1-4:12
In Ezekiel 18, God reminds the Hebrews that each is responsible for his own choices. If he chooses to live in rebellion against God, “he will certainly die [and] his death will be his own fault” (Ezek 18:13). If, on the other hand, he chooses to follow God faithfully, “he will certainly live” (Ezek 18:9). Thus, the witness we exhibit and the words we proclaim are a matter of life and death.
In the midst of this discussion, we learn more of God’s heart as He calls people to repentance: “’Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ This is the declaration of the Lord God. ‘Instead, don’t I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives?’” (Ezek 18:23). We learn God’s answer to the first question in a later chapter of Ezekiel: “As I live—this is the declaration of the Lord God—I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezek 33:11), and we know that God delights when sinners turn from their ways and trust Him. Thus, His call for us to repent is a call toward His blessing and His pleasure.
Here’s what I’m wondering about today—while I know that I don’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked, I wonder if my silence in evangelism says something like, “I really don’t care much at all.” And, I wonder how much I really rejoice when lost sinners come home to God. I want the heart of God . . . and I still have room to grow each day.
PRAYER: “God, please continue to change my heart so I grieve the death of the wicked and celebrate the conversion of the repentant.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezekiel 20:32-21:32, James 4:13-5:20