July 15

Ezekiel 34-36, Psalm 41

We have all heard the modern day phrase, "What goes around comes around." Though this does not come directly from the Bible, this concept is prevalent throughout Scripture. Would everyone continue to behave and talk like they do if they believed that their words and actions against others would one day come back the same way against themselves. It has been said, "We judge ourselves by our best intentions and everyone else by their worst actions."  More convicting of this is not just our words and actions, God even sees our thoughts and motives, as we read in Hebrews 4:12-13, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword...and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

As we have seen in the many previous judgments against both Judah and the surrounding nations, the measure that they used, God in return used against them. The Edomites in Ezekiel chapter 35 not only gloated over the destruction of Judah, but as the people were running from the Babylonian army, the Edomites were all too happy to pick them off in the midst of their adversity. They also were planning on taking over the now empty land. We read of this in Ezekiel 35:5-7. God responds in Ez 35:11, "therefore as I live", says the Lord God, "I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you." God through Ezekiel tells Israel in 36:19, "So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds." We read an exact example of this in the opening chapter of Judges, when the Caananite king Adoni-Bezek who had a habit of cutting off the thumbs and big toes of the the 70 kings he had conquered was himself captured, and they removed his thumbs and big toes, and he responded, "as I have done, so God has repaid me." (Judges 1:5-7).

The New Testament is filled with this same concept. Jesus warns those who judge others in Matthew 7:2, "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." Though everyone has memorized the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, if you go on to the very next 2 verses, this portion concludes with, "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." We all know the frequently quoted words of Paul in Galatians 6:7, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." The truth is if we were all judged by the standards that we have used to judge others we would all be in a lot of trouble. This is the standard that everyone outside of Christ will be judged. If everyone who considered themselves "pretty good" would realize God's standard of judgment they would not feel so comfortable any longer. The only reason our judgment is better than the rest of the worlds is not because we are better but because our sins have already been paid for by Jesus, once and for all, when He defeated sin and death upon the Cross by the shedding of His blood.  Realizing this and remembering this should keep us all in a very grateful and humbled state and should make us all a lot less judgmental towards others.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster