Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Judgement. Compassion. Holiness. Relationship.


Reading the Bible is a quest to know God.

Can God be known? No - never. Never fully.

Does He reveal Himself? Yes - He does.

Does He want us to know Him? Most definately.

I'll admit it. Reading Ezekiel has been hard.

My life is not pleasant right now, and reading day after day of God's judgement, and destruction is hard.

Yet through it all, God is revealing Himself.

He is not adverse to having His people suffer.

His goal is to purge their lives of unfaithfulness and wickedness.

His sense of timing is WAY different than ours.

So here are four aspects of God's character on display (from Ezekiel 39).

Judgement:
21 -24 "I'll put my glory on display among the nations and they'll all see the judgment I execute, see me at work handing out judgment. From that day on, Israel will realize that I am their God. And the nations will get the message that it was because of their sins that Israel went into exile. They were disloyal to me and I turned away from them. I turned them over to their enemies and they were all killed. I treated them as their polluted and sin-sated lives deserved. I turned away from them, refused to look at them.

Compassion:
25 -29 "But now I will return Jacob back from exile, I'll be compassionate with all the people of Israel, and I'll be zealous for my holy name. Eventually the memory will fade, the memory of their shame over their betrayals of me when they lived securely in their own land, safe and unafraid.

Holiness:
Once I've brought them back from foreign parts, gathered them in from enemy territories, I'll use them to demonstrate my holiness with all the nations watching. Then they'll realize for sure that I am their God, for even though I sent them off into exile, I will gather them back to their own land, leaving not one soul behind.

Relationship:
After I've poured my Spirit on Israel, filled them with my life, I'll no longer turn away. I'll look them full in the face. Decree of God, the Master."

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