Ezekiel 25 vs 1-17
Ezekiel Chapter 25 Verses 1 – 2
- We are entering into a new section of the book as chapters 25 through 32 deal with the judgment of the nations immediately surrounding Judah. Now, I do want to note that we have been talking about the judgment upon Judah for basically the past 20 chapters. So, the point I want to make just quickly here is that judgment does come (first and more significantly to the house of God; 20 chapters compared to 8)…judgement does come but it’s not a decision (per se) of God, like God is deciding to punish or judge sin, but rather it is the faithfulness of God according to His Word.
- This is why it is just plain imbecilic, insanely unintelligent to not know the Word of God! Back in Ezekiel 12:25 we read, “For I am the Lord. I speak, and the Word which I speak will come to pass.” Two things to think about on this topic. One, life should not be a surprise. Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” You and I should be strategic decision makers to eventuate into a life that honors the Lord and represents him well. If not, it’s not God’s judgment…it’s God’s faithfulness!
- How many times I have grieved with folks in broken marriages because their husband or their wife is not good to them. And yet I know also, you choose them! You married him…or you married her. Were they, or was he or was she the one in the crowd leading others to the Lord? Were they the one serving the most at church? Was he the one that prioritized serving the Lord and serving others over anything else in their life? It’s amazing how someone’s spiritual handsomeness or beauty isn’t even a thought and so often irreconcilable differences are just a manifestation of a poor choice in spouse. Now this isn’t always the case and certainly just one example/illustration…even spirit filled Christians fall, but certainly for the most part, life should not be a surprise. We have God’s Word.
- And, secondly, Christians should be a wild success and an absolute mentoring example to others in terms of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of those things are a fruit of the Spirit of God. Not an academic or economic All of those things are the result of a person living in and trusting the Lord…So, those are my two goals, bars, standards that I look to forward in my life…why? Because I can. God has been so gracious to give me His Word and if I put in the work to learn His Word and trust Him at His Word then I know what’s ahead because God is faithful and I know which way leads to quality of life because Psalm 119:105, the Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Ezekiel Chapter 25 Verses 3 – 17
- The Ammonites were the people on the east side of the Jordan River in what is today modern-day Jordan. Moab and Edom were also ancient parts of what we know today as Jordan. Today, the capital of Jordan is Amman which harkens back to their ancestry. Now the original Ammonite was Ben-Ammi who was the son of Lot and his youngest daughter. Likewise, the original Moabite was the son of Lot and his oldest daughter. (Genesis 19:37-37) Ancient Philistia, or in the Greek “Palaistinei,” was biblically a migrant and warmongering nation who occupied territory southwest of Israel between the Mediterranean and the Jordan which today is a portion of Egypt and modern-day Israel.
- Today, those that do not recognize Israel as a sovereign state still refer to Israel’s land as the land of Palestine. In fact, in all Arab maps, the area west of the Jordan River is called Palestine without any reference to Israel. Why is that? Prior to May 14, 1948, the majority of the people dwelling in the region were known as Palestinian-Arabs and the area was known as Palestine. Right after Israel was reborn, of course, war broke out between Israel and five Arab countries including Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. At the end of the conflict, known as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt was given control of the Gaza strip (area between modern day Egypt at the Jordan to the Mediterranean). (Miracle by the way! How can a brand new nation win a war!?)
- As a result, more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes in the newly formed Jewish Israel and settle south in the Gaza Strip. In 1967, at what is known as the Six-Day Way, Israel took the Gaza strip by force.
- And this is interesting. God’s sets judgment upon them not for how they lived but for how they reacted to the demise of their neighbor and I think this is super important. Judah was the literal enemy of these countries but God will pronounce judgment on them all for the same offense. That when their enemy fell, they rejoiced.
- Now before I go into this, I want to just make the point, there is a difference between my enemy and God’s enemy. God’s enemy is the reprobate, those who according to Romans 1:18, “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” and bring filled with all that is ungodly (just read the rest of Romans Chapter 1), make themselves to be the enemy of God. But here’s the thing. Many times, in fact most times, my enemy has not done that…they’re my enemy, not Gods. Especially this is true when we both are part of the Body of Christ, the church.
- Proverbs 24:17-18 says, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.” And the implication is that it is turned to you… Rather Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy.” And continuing to verse 19-21 we read, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
- Ok so that is clear. God doesn’t allow for rejoicing over the demise of your enemies and He doesn’t allow revenge on your enemies. Now without developing this further, because we need to move on, the direction is quite different when we are dealing with an enemy of God.
- Proverbs 1:23-30, “Turn at my rebuke; Surely, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.”
- So, the conclusion of the matter is this. We should not rejoice when our enemies fall but rather when the enemies of God are defeated and so with that…
- I want to bring this close to home and talk about something very important in the lives of Christians. When someone receives the consequence of their carnality…let me say that a bit more simply…when someone has something bad happen to them because they are stupid, does that make you happy? I bet mostly everyone in here would say, no…although ha, I know some of y’all will say, why yes it does, HA! But listen, if you hear of someone going through it and comment something like, “Well, that just serves them right…,” or, “Well you know what she or he’s being doing…” or something like that, make no mistake, you are rejoicing, happy about their malady.
- How do I know that? Because you don’t have the decency or the gentleness of heart to keep your mouth shut about it… Everyone, everyone that knows the Lord and has any ounce of wisdom can comment as to the cause of a problem…but the Godly take no public pleasure in someone else’s suffering…even if they are your complete enemy. But they deserve it! So does Israel…but notice in this chapter, God will not allow it.
- This is something I am keenly aware of in my own life…that while someone falls into their own ditch which they dug themselves with stupidity and pride…I cannot be the one standing at the edge pointing at them and wagging my tongue. Why? Because of the cross. The Perfect and Holy Savior, Jesus is His name, as He was unlawfully interrogated by men, spat upon, struck, lashed, ripped apart and finally nailed brutally to the cross, through all of that, never once did He blame others or express to anyone around Him that He was doing it for them because of their sin, not His.
- He took the accountability for my sin even though it wasn’t His and even more, my sin was against Him. His name is Jesus and I follow Him. He is my King. I report to Him and do His bidding. I’m a Christian. Throughout the whole process of His torture and murder, throughout it all, He knew that it was because of me. He knew that He was in the right…but He kept His mouth shut and out of Him came love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
- So, don’t get me wrong. I’m thinking everything they’re saying…but I won’t say it…because my heart is to actually be one of the few Christians that will actually honor the Lord. How could I not!?
- So, when I hear the voice of a Christian, saying something like, well they deserved it, in a manner that is not clothed in grief, then I know…they have not yet begun to understand the grace of God they have received…and they themselves are yet restrained.
- God judges the neighboring nations for not grieving for their enemies…for instead rejoicing that Judah had fallen…because it is a law of God to love your enemies…to do good to them. Matthew 5:43-48, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
- We are to become more like Jesus. Why? Because Jesus was and is the perfect Man. The very image of God…and that is our purpose and original design…but I know that most Christians this week will not guard their tongues and will not train their hearts in the ways of righteousness…will not commit to knowing more and deeper the Word and will of God…and so you will remain restrained…but in the end, I know…I pray you will know as well…you don’t have to be that way. You could actually choose to honor the Lord and actually be a follower of Jesus Christ…its not only what the world needs…real Spirit-filled Christians…it’s also what you need. What I need of myself….