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We

dont like Judgment.


Ezekiel 4-11


There are a lot of nuggets we could look at from the book of Ezekiel, but the point
for me is not an in depth expositional study. It is growth and change.

Frankly, Im not that smart anyhow.

It is in simplicity that I learn the most.

There are only 3 components needed to grow spiritually.
An open heart, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.

Hopefully I can settle my busy mind down enough to listen and be honest with
myself so that it will do its job however the Lord intends.

So, here we are.

I have read the first 10 chapters or so (as I would encourage you to do) and there is
something that we cannot ignore. God will judge his people.

Ouch!

No one likes to hear about judgment. Some may find a tweaked satisfaction based
from their own self-righteousness of others being judged, but in honesty, we all
deserve judgment and that is scary.

When we read scripture like the book of Ezekiel we cannot ignore that God in his
holiness simply cannot turn a blind eye to evil, no matter where it is evident. He is
the only one worthy and able to judge mankind.

Unfortunately here we see wickedness and judgment in the lives of his people
Israel. Even more disappointingly, we see it in the temple with his own priests.


There are a couple of points I would like to make about judgment.

1. We think that judgment is not right morally and come to God with our
perceived notions. When Ezekiel heard of Gods judgment, he pleaded with
God! For example, 11:13 Will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

We dont hear Ezekiel being like, yeah, finally they get whats coming to them and
displaying a self-righteous attitude. In fact we see his humanness like we typically
emanate when it comes to judgment. Lord, why? Will you really do this thing? This
sounds familiar to Abram pleading with God about the judgment pronounced

against Sodom. A lot of times we feel like people deserve a free pass on judgment.
But do we?

Honestly, we deserve to be judged.

A friend of mine told me the other day He was doing a lot better than he deserved
by His Grace

This my friends, is grace - undeserved, unmerited favor. We deserve judgment but
when we dont get it, it is grace.



2. We dont see as God sees. Ezekiel was taken by the Lord and shown what
he did not see before. He saw the perspective of God an inside look if you
will of what was going on inside of the temple that no one else could witness
accept the Lord. It was ugly. There was every kind of idolatry and
abomination being done in the house of God. Even though these were the
people that had just been spared from the judgment the rest of their nation
had just experienced. This remnant - because of their unwillingness to turn
from their idolatry, are now carrying on in their wickedness again.

We are not talking about pagan or gentile nations here. We are talking about people
that knew the Lord that understood his laws and even acted as his ambassadors
serving in his very temple. They were heading for the judgment of God.

How many of us can say with honest evaluation that we can stand tall before God on
the day of judgment based on the merits of our own deeds? If we think so, we
should read the first 3 chapters of the book of Romans.



3. In repentance and change of heart, judgment is abated. We see that the
Lord gives a promise of restoration, forgiveness and a new heart for those
who would abandon their abominations in Ezekiel 11:14-21

It is incredible how God forgives. He has perfect forgiveness. But let us be clear.
Forgiveness is not deserved. It is also not really earned. It is fully credited by the
person who gives it. Sinners, like me, deserve judgment. Grace and forgiveness is a
gift that is not deserved or merited.


Grace in the face of judgment

When I read passages like this, I struggle. It is hard because it makes me think that
God is not passively OK with things like I wished he were sometimes. It forces me to

remember he is not soft but is the great and holy judge. Who can stop him? It also
makes me realize that sometimes I try to make him in my image and fit my ideals
when he has his own.

The good news though is that Gods plan from the beginning of creation was to
provide himself as the one who would take on this wrathful judgment so that we
could be spared.

It is therefore a great relief for me to know that when it comes to his judgment,
grace has shielded us. Not because we deserve it or because God winks at sin and
says, ah its OK buddy, boys will be boys. But now, he literally sees us in the
holiness of his own person.

He took our filth of sin and rebellion and traded it for his holiness in the body of
Jesus when he died on the cross. There was an exchange that took place on that day.
Jesus - the messiah has gotten in front of the judgment of his father and taken the
weight of that judgment on his own body on the cross. This allowed the righteous
wrath of God to be satisfied and at the same time cleanse us from the sin that so
disgustingly tainted us.

I thank you Lord for this unfathomable gift.