Friday, June 19, 2009

Turn, and you will see ...

Ezekiel 8 reveals what the people of Judah were like before the final captivity. Through a vision, the prophet is taken to Jerusalem to see what was taking place. As God takes him through the temple, Ezekiel sees an idol in one of the entrances, the elders worshiping strange idols, women weeping for Tammuz, and men worshiping the sun. It would seem that the people had lost all hope and were turning to anything but the real answer to their problems.

Sadly, this is often the case with those who are facing the consequences of their sin. They try everything but what will really help them. It is as if they have been shot with an arrow but choose not to remove it in favor of more Ibuprofen! It's a ridiculous situation but how often it happens with spiritual problems. Instead of addressing the root of the problem (sin), people look for relief from the consequences. That may give temporary relief, but it won't provide a lasting solution.

Whether the person is a believer or not, the solution is the same — repentance and faith. Once we have realized that our sin against God is the problem, we must turn from it to God. Otherwise, we will continue to suffer the God ordained consequences. While God does hate sin, he does not enjoy punishing people. As Ezekiel 33:11 reminds us, God desires to see each person come to repentance:

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

No matter what the sin or its consequences, there is hope for every sinful person. But that hope is only found when a sinner admits his sin, and turns from it to God. That may not always be easy, but without God's prescription, there is no complete solution. So, learn from the mistakes of Judah and turn to what will truly help your sinful condition.

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