TEXT: EZEKIEL 20:10-26.
🔑KEY VERSE “Because they despised my judgements, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after idols. Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness”
A mother once approached the French military chief, Napoleon, seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death. “But I don’t ask for justice,” the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.” “But your son does not deserve mercy,” Napoleon replied. “Sir,” the woman cried, “mercy is all l ask for”. “Well, then,” the emperor said, “I will have mercy.” And he spared the woman’s son.
Today’s passage calls to remembrance the awesome power of God and His mercy demonstrated over and over in the lives of His people, the Israelites. While in the wilderness, on their way to Canaan, God gave them the Ten Commandments and other statutes. But the children of Israel rebelled against God, walked not in the statutes and despised His judgments on several occasions. They polluted the Sabbaths and their eyes went after the idols of the land.
Their rebellious acts courted God’s wrath and on several occasions, He would decide to pour out His fury on them in the wilderness and utterly consume them. But His mercies always prevailed over judgment. This was for the sake of His glory, to prevent the heathen from thinking that He was unable to successfully take them to the Promised Land. Although a lot of them perished in the wilderness, God still spared a remnant that entered the Promised Land.
God hates rebellion. It is the surest path to destruction and to making Him one’s enemy. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. However, those who fail to repent but harden their heart in rebellion will have God’s wrath and fury poured on them. He delights in mercy; let us avail ourselves of His mercy and live.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY The mill of God’s judgement grinds slowly but surely.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR PSALMS 110-118.
Let us hear His own side of the story
The passage has to do with the vindication of God’s dealing with Israel, and by extension with all His creation.
- Divine intention
a. To free them from Egyptian bondage, v10.
b. To make them have life, both physical and spiritual, abundantly, v11.
c. To bring them into a special relationship above all other nations, vv12,20.
d. To give them special knowledge and revelation of God which other nations don’t have, vv12,29.
e. To bring and settle them in the Canaan land of rest flowing with milk and honey, v15.
Note By extension, this is the plan and intention of God for all that comes to Christ.
Q Is there any intention here for which we can fault or accuse God of unfairness?
- Definite instructions
The instructions will make the responsive to remain in cordial relationship with God and keep them in the blessings forever.
a. Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, vv18,19.
b. Don’t observe their judgements because they are made after the heathen practices, v18,19.
c. Don’t defile yourself with their idols, v18.
d. Hallow my sabbaths, v20.
Note What God expects from man is not more or less except that the sabbath was just a covenant sign between God and Israel and not for the Church.
Q Are those instructions grievous, bad or hurtful?
- Damnable Imi tations
a. Israel broke all the commandments without exception, vv13,16,21,24. They prefered to walk in the way of the world. What about you?
b. On several occasions he considered destroying them in His wrath, vv13b, 15,21b,23. Check those verses carefully for the different types of judgements God considered.
c. God eventually settled with scattering them among the heathen where they were subjected to evil statutes, cruel justice system and destructive sacrifices of their first born in the name of idol worship, vv23,25,26.
d. Check vv 14,17, 22 and find out why God decided to give them a corrective rather than a destructive judgment.
Q Can you see the justice and the mercy of God kissing each other?
Note God’s dealing is still the same for all His children today. Don’t despise His corrections. It is better than death.
Q Does any man has an excuse before God? Will any man be justified in the day of judgement?
Lord, I praise you for your good and great plans for my life. You are good and loving at all times🙏
Help me O Lord never to despise your instructions no matter what🙏
Lord, deal with me in your mercy and not in your wrath and let me learn to do your will at all times🙏
Lord, deliver those in the Church that Satan has deceived to the point of doubting or questioning the love and goodness of God🙏Hope your are not one of them🤔
HYMN: O worship the king