Reading through the Bible together

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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The prophets’ words are often hard to reconcile with belief in a loving God.  These messages seem so focused on human destruction.  Yahweh uses the imagery of the prophet as a watchman to show what a misunderstanding this is.  A watchman sounds the alarm when an enemy approaches then the one who hears can choose to escape or stay.  The listener and he alone is responsible for the result.  On the other hand, if the watchman sounds no alarm and is dead to what is happening, then he must bear responsibility for the disaster.  Ezekiel is the watchman.  As alarming as the message may be, the goal is salvation not destruction.  Bad things are predicted, not for their own sake, but as a warning so they won’t happen.  God’s warnings and promises are alike conditional.

There can be no half way in responding to the prophet’s message.  The response of the moment is decisive.  As wicked as you may be, repenting in the critical moment is what counts.  Conversely as righteous as you may be, turning away at the critical moment brings loss.  I am reminded of the workers in the filed Jesus spoke of who worked many different hours in the day but who all received the same wages at the end of the day.  Yet each responded decisively when called (Matt 20:1-6).  Heaven has its own rules.  This is how grace works.

How sadly we often misjudge God’s ways.  When He intends only good things we see evil.  Now is the moment to decide for the Lord.  Let nobody delay!



Ross Cole
Senior Lecturer
Avondale College, Australia