Year 3 Day 66
Read - Ezekiel 5:13-17
Message - Alan Burke
As we come to the close of chapter 5, there is something that it important for us to notice and understand which we see in the previous section, v9 and v11 and it is the word ‘because’. This judgement of God that came upon the people was ‘because’ of their sin, the peoples sin. Today sin is a concept that we seem to have lost and the true heinousness of sin before a holy God, the exceeding sinfulness of sin but in Ezekiel’s day it was it is because of sin that the wrath of God came upon these rebellious people. Their sin and the outworking of that sin in their rebellion and idolatry that had seen them turn from the Lord, not following His decrees or keeping His laws, it was seen in how they would turn to cannibalism to try and survive rather than hold to the sanctity of life (10) and as a result the Lord would not look on them with pity (11).
This judgement of God wasn’t one that just came on a whim and the Lord just lost His temper. No, this is the result of their, that is the peoples deliberate rebellion against the Lord. Yes the Lord is slow to anger but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t get angry, nor does it mean that His people can just keep on sinning so that grace may abound. While the Lord had covenanted himself to His people and He had been faithful to them they had been faithless. It wasn’t that they just failed to live up to the standards of God and that they had tried, rather it was that they didn’t even try, they were worse than the nations around living as they pleased not as pleased God.
Jerusalem and the people of God were to be a beacon of light to the nations around but it was a place of darkness and the people were living in sinful rebellion. Israel’s failure to live as God’s people, meant that they instead would face the judgement of God, Jerusalem would lie in ruin, they were judged severely as a warning not only for the remnant that survived but also the nations around. They were judged because of their faithlessness, for although they were to be the people of God, living as the people of God they did not. God had spoken, the sword was against His people because of their sin.
For all of us, the heinous of sin deserves the wrath of a Holy God and we are all deserving of the Lord’s wrath, in the book of Hebrews we are reminded that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:21). Only when we understand the heinousness of our sin before a holy God do we understand the magnificence of the Grace that he has shown to us. For while we deserve his wrath, for those who repent and believe the wrath that we deserve was placed upon another, for Jesus became a curse for us, he suffered and died in our place that we might be forgiven for our sin. So terrible was that wrath that the son of God who had been with the Father from eternity past faced, that there on the cross he cried out with the burden of sin placed upon him, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46), Jesus there experiencing the terrible wrath of God on our behalf that we might escape the judgement due to us for our sin.
Q65 What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing any thing against, the honor and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations. (Matt. 15:4–6, Ezek. 34:2–4, Rom. 13:8)