August 28 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 25-27 and Psalms 58
These three chapters teach us an important truth – God is not impressed when any nation, people or spiritual force come against His own people – this is true even when God is in the process of “dealing” with these people because of their sin. For several chapters now, we have been reading about God’s judgment of Israel’s sin. In His desire to bring that nation to its knees in repentance He has made things extremely uncomfortable for them. In this passage however, God now turns His attention and severe judgement towards the real enemies of Israel. (God is never the enemy of the Church nor of His children)
The application or lesson of this reading? – God does discipline those He loves, chastising them to bring them to a place of repentance or maturity.
“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:5-11)
The enemies of the Church are and always have been the enemies of God and He will deal with those evil forces with severity. When the end comes, judgment will be complete upon all the evil in this world – but the children of light will have their eternal reward!
“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 25:6-7)
When we go ‘off course’, does God make things uncomfortable for us even today?
Give an example of this “discipline”.
Give another example from Scripture where God judged the sin of His people, but dealt severely with His people’s enemies.