By Brenton Lehman
It can be difficult for me to place myself within the world of the ancient prophets. Ezekiel’s allegories and visions can seem so otherworldly. But in the prophecies against the nations, like those here in chapters 25 and 26, it can become much clearer to access the plain and painful reality of God’s judgment toward those who despise God and His people.
I cringe when I read of Judah’s destruction because of their sin, because I can see in Judah the darkness in my own heart. But I feel anger when I read of the nations belittling both God and His people at the sight of their destruction. Yes, Judah would come under God’s judgment because of their injustice and idolatry. But much of their sin was because they allowed the wickedness of the surrounding nations to infiltrate their own hearts. Judah did not want to endure the pressure of the other nations and their ridicule any longer. They wanted the glory of Tyre and the other cities and nations around them, so why not take on their gods and way of life, too? So God’s people took on the worship and ways of others, and it led to their own destruction.
However, God would not allow the evil of the nations to go without consequence. Judah would experience the way God refines and renews His people when they have been poisoned by compromise.
Both Judah and these outside threats would have to come under the judgment of God and face the consequences of their wickedness. The cities of Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, and Tyre hear directly from God, which certainly exposes us to the severe mercy of God even to the nations. These warnings come not only to God’s people, but to those who would corrupt or oppress them. The way God deals with sin is designed to reveal His character (Ezekiel 25:5,11,14,17). God does not let injustice and wickedness go unpunished. God is just. And He will not be mocked.
Ezekiel reveals to us that God takes sin seriously. I can’t help but see the dots connect from Ezekiel’s prophecy of destruction all the way to Jesus on the cross bearing the weight of the sin of the world.
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