In the beginning God…Genesis 1.1

God is self-existent, he has always been and will always be. This is the foundational belief that we hold to be true and from this we understand our place and purpose. The only other option is to believe that matter has always been and somehow this matter came into being and had inherent power to change and create life. An impersonal substance somehow was able to create personal beings. If we hold this to be true there is no need for God and our lives can be lived by our own desires because we are free to act as we want. We are not accountable to anyone ,there is no moral code that we must submit to. Once we acknowledge that there is a God then we also must acknowledge that we are accountable to him. Our Creator is a kind and benevolent God who created human beings for his pleasure and to be the objects of his love. He is a good God and everything he does is based in his goodness. True life begins when we understand the first sentence of the Bible and place our lives under the rule of our Creator.

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Extreme measures…Ezekiel 24.16

16“Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.

God’s prophets were asked to do many things that seemed strange to the people in order to get their attention and communicate vividly. Ezekiel wife died suddenly and he was not to mourn her death publicly. It caught the attention of the people but it didn’t change their behavior. God spared Ezekiel’s wife from the judgments that were coming by taking her life. The extreme measures God used to speak to the people demonstrated his desire for them to return to him. He constantly reached out to them but they continually rejected him.

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God’s determined purpose…Ezekiel 15.7

7I will set my face against them. Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the LORD.

God was angry with his people because of their rebellion and unwillingness to hear the words of warning from his prophets. Because they hardened their hearts toward him he set his face against them to bring about the corrective discipline they needed. Anger is a response to an event that offends. Israel offended God when they provoked him and disobeyed. He desired their allegiance and worship but they betrayed him through their worship of idols of the heathen nations. They exchanged the truth for a lie. The nation needed to be purged and purified in order to be the nation that God had chosen to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation that would represent him truthfully to the other nations. God was determined to have a people who would bring glory and honor to him.

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Heaven’s perspective…Isaiah 50.12

12“I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass,

Fear of man will paralyze us and keep us from accomplishing God’s purposes if we let it take control. Faith in God’s character and his promises will mobilize us to overcome adversity and defeat the enemy. The enemy always wants to threaten us and incite fear but Christ has rendered him powerless and we are united to Christ and can take authority over every threat of the devil and his demonic forces. We have to see the enemy from Heaven’s perspective and act accordingly.

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The sovereignty of God…Ezekiel 30.19

19So I will inflict punishment on Egypt, and they will know that I am the LORD.’”
God is sovereign over all the nations. Egypt was a powerful nation but was filled with pride and idolatry. God sent the Babylonia nation to conquer them and never again would they have the same status among the nations. God controls what is happening and he brings correction and judgment on every nation that exalts itself and follows other gods. He will establish his rule and the nations will know that he alone is the sovereign God.

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A wrong time to rejoice…Ezekiel 25.6

6For 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, 7therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations.

God used the neighboring nations to execute his judgment and punishment against Israel. But they went to extremes in their attacks and conquest, beyond what was necessary. Because of this they would be severely punished by God. We should never rejoice as they did but be humbled and feel sorrow for the condition of the fallen nations. At the end of the Civil War in the USA the Union soldiers stood in two lines as the Confederate soldiers laid their weapons in a pile as a sign of their surrender and defeat. The Union soldiers did not clap or display any emotion associated with victory. It was a solemn occasion and a time of remembrance of the end of a war that almost destroyed the nation. It was not a time to celebrate but a time to begin to rebuild the nation and unify the people.

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A broken and grieving heart…Ezekiel 20.6

6“Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief.

The prophets of God were called to deliver difficult news to the people. The impending doom of Israel was heart breaking. What was about to happen was to be a horrendous experience that would forever be remembered. The punishment fit the crime. God’s patience with the nation had reached its end and for the sake if his name among the nations punishment had to be executed. It was sad news that grieved Ezekiel’s heart as well as the heart of God. God gave the Israelites many opportunities to repent and he delayed his punishment for a long time but the nation did not respond .

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God’s displeasure…Ezekiel 18.23

23Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased

Death is the result of sin. It is the punishment God has declared because sin and sinners cannot be in the presence of a holy God. Yet God is not pleased when the wicked who deserve to die encounter death. God is a God of life and he created us to be eternal beings. He finds no joy in the death of sinners because it is something that he never wanted mankind to experience. Sin separates us from God and this was never part of God’s original plans. He created us to enjoy life with him and not be separated from him through death.

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