UNDERSTANDING our PRIVILEGE & POSITION in this WORLD: "Thus says the Lord God: 'This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.' Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you'-- therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Indeed I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations." (Ezek 5:5-8)
The above words were being said in anguish by God to prophet Ezekiel. Jehovah God had gifted to the Israelites this magnificent city called Jerusalem as an inheritance. God had loved this city and had established it as the center of the world, because His holy temple was there. Jerusalem was regarded in God's point of view as center of the whole earth, designed to radiate the true light over the nations in all directions. "Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (Psalms 48:2)
God had also planned Jerusalem to be the meeting place of all the nations in the future: "At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem." (Jer 3:17) This great city lay midway between the oldest and most civilized states, Egypt and Ethiopia on one side, and Babylon, Nineveh, and India on the other, and afterwards Persia, Greece, and Rome. Israel was thus placed to be the spiritual benefactor of the whole world! (See Psalms 67:1-7)
However, Jerusalem had rebelled against God and His laws. The people of this favored city had not only stubbornly refused to keep the laws of God, but had sinned even more than all the heathen nations around them—they had even failed to follow the moral laws that were common among the pagans. They started worshipping idols and had literally gone beyond the heathen in provoking God to anger. So, God promised to judge the Israelites more severely in the sight of the nations (v. 8).
God had placed Israel and the city of Jerusalem in a strategic position, and so their punishment would be more severe on account of their disobedience. We, as Christians, have even higher privileges than the Jews. Like Jerusalem set in the midst of the nations, we have also been set in the midst of the unbelievers to be a source of light to them. Let us understand our privilege and position in this world, and live only for eternal rewards that God will give us one day!
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden...let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:14-16)