Sunday Service Sneak Peek for March 24, 2019 – Ezekiel 33:11

Sunday Service Sneak Peek for March 24, 2019 – Ezekiel 33:11

God has been accused by some of being a murderous tyrant.  Those who make such  inflammatory statements have mutated the Bible’s picture of who God is.  God is love, but God is also fair and just.  Since the wages of sin is death, God must carry out the sentence.  In the first reading for today, God talks about that aspect of His nature. Find out more this Sunday, March 24th at Victory Lutheran Church. 

 

Victory Vitamin Blog – Ezekiel 33:11

“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.

-Ezekiel 33:11 NIV

The God of the Bible has been accused of being a “bloodthirsty, murderous tyrant.”   I’ve actually heard those words said.  It requires massive manipulation of the biblical facts, and a serious dose of slander to make that accusation.  The verse above makes it clear that God is not a fan of punishing the wicked, but He must because He is just.  He must execute perfect justice.  When someone wrongs you, you expect things to be made right.  Why would we expect anything different from God?  When God’s law is violated, there needs to be justice.  Through a sobering act of unpleasant justice, Jesus paid the price for the sins of all people when He died on the cross.  And yet, some reject and refuse the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life that are given freely through faith in Jesus.  For those who reject God’s free gift, justice must be served.  Is that what God wants?  NO!  He already balanced the scales when Jesus died.  He paid the price out of love and God would much prefer that His beloved people turn to Him rather than reject the forgiveness that’s already been earned.  God has already provided the ultimate pardon through Jesus.  It’s our mission to get the word out.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Ezekiel 17:23

“On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar.  Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.”

-Ezekiel 17:23 NIV

 

God gave Ezekiel a parable to share with the Israelites.  It compares Christ to a branch, and the kingdom of God to a cedar tree.  The point is that there is shelter and shade to be had through Christ in the kingdom of God.  Even if the whole parable thing doesn’t make sense to you, consider those words, “shelter” and “shade”.  God offers relief when this world is too much to bear.  He promises to guide and orchestrate the events in our lives.  That’s comforting because sometimes those events seem very random and chaotic.  God promises to love us, and be with us every moment while we live here on earth.  That’s a relief because it’s easy to feel isolated and alone in this sinful world.  God promises to take believers in Christ to be with Him in eternity when this life is over.  That’s a relief because it removes uncertainty and dismisses my fear.  God is with us while we live, and we are with Him after we die.  Eternal life is real, and eternity is secure in Jesus.  He is my shelter and shade in the midst of life’s hardships.  There’s plenty of room for you under His branches as well!