God had an agreement with Israel, a long-standing covenant that said, “I will be your God and you will be my people.” This is Creator making a commitment to creation. Think about that–the Creator owes nothing to creation; creation owes its all to the Creator, and yet, God kept his word and his people broke theirs repeatedly.
Ezekiel is a tough read; judgment is terrifying and terrible. When God commands his angel, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion” (Ezekiel 9:5), I shudder. I fancy the God who is gracious and merciful, the patient and long-suffering Father, failing to consider I am the reason he suffers long. I expect patience in others with no thought of lessening their burden.
Israel used God’s mercy and grace to disregard his holiness and justice. They said of each prophecy’s terrible doom, “the vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future” (Ezekiel 12:27). They are content to live in God’s favor even if their children pay their debt. Now that is truly terrible.
We, rather, have the heart of Jesus before us, who “bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1Peter 2:24). The world lives as if their joy is another’s burden. Christ dies because his burden is our joy.
Lord God, You accomplished salvation because You were focused on the joy of eternity. You endured the cross because You loved me. When You call me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, You have already shown a love that strong, that complete, for me.
God, I deserve worse, You gave me Your best. I now desire to live a life completely sacrificed to Your glory. May I never take advantage of Your love. I am grateful for Your mercy and grace, and committed to Your righteousness, Your holiness, Your goodness. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, that my heart will always belong to You.