GOD will JUDGE all UNBELIEVERS ONE DAY
September 3 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 25-27
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Son of man, set your face against..., and prophesy against them." (Ezek 25:1-2)
In Ezekiel chapters 25–32 we read of God’s judgment on seven heathen nations, who included all of Judah’s neighbors: on the east, Ammon, Moab, and Edom; on the west, Philistia; on the north, Tyre and Sidon; and to the southwest, Egypt. Most of these prophecies were never heard by the nations themselves, but were delivered to Israel to emphasize the sovereignty of God, which includes His guidance of His own people and His rule over and judgment of the nations with whom Israel had come into contact.
Though God’s judgment began with His own people, it would extend to all the neighboring nations. These nations are judged for various forms of rebellion against God. They had contact with God’s people, knew about Him, but were unwilling to turn to Him. What we can understand from these passages is that God’s ways always reveal His thoughts, whether in judgment or in grace.
The first nation upon which judgment is pronounced was Ammon (25:1–7) because they rejoiced at the fall of God’s sanctuary, Israel and Judah, and the Babylonian captivity. The second nation was Moab (25:8–11), which was hostile toward Judah, and they would know that God was the Lord. The third nation was Edom (25:12–14) because they took vengeance against the house of Judah, the Lord GOD said, they would know His vengeance. Philistia (25:15–17) was the fourth nation for God’s judgment. Their never-ending hatred of Judah would bring upon them the vengeance of the Lord. The fifth nation that God judged was the seacoast city of Tyre (26:1–28:19). Tyre rejoiced when they heard that their business rival city Jerusalem had fallen, thinking that they would now get all the business!
Just as these nations would learn that if they touch God’s people, they touch God, even so those who engage in “Christian-bashing” today will one day learn that Christian believers are the apple of God’s eye. This is even true when God’s people fall into sin and are judged for it.
When other believers are experiencing God’s chastening or are suffering the consequences of their sins, what is our attitude toward them? Do we pray for them and encourage them to seek the Lord and yield to His will, or do we add to their trials? We should beware of all malicious joy, gloating, or revengeful thoughts against God’s children. Instead, like Ezekiel, we should mourn, intercede, and confess the sins of other believers as our own.
"Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord" (Heb 12:12-14)