Lent Devotional: Ezekiel 14:21-23
by Jonathan Haefs
Ezekiel 14:21-23 (click here)
…you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, declares the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 14:23b)
The wrath of God is one of the hardest truth pills for modern people to swallow. Yet, the Bible is filled with images, pronouncements, and actual outpourings of God’s wrath. Ezekiel 14 is just one more example among the pages of the Bible.
For many people, this is a hurdle they simply cannot get over. How could Christians possibly proclaim a God of love who seems to be filled with so much rage? How could such a God ever be good, great, beautiful or glorious?
What are to make of such questions when they rumble around within our own souls?
Ezekiel 14:23 helps to bring a little bit of clarity to the questions with which our hearts are wrestling. God tells his people that after his judgment has been poured out on Jerusalem, he will work to help them see his wrath from his perspective. They “shall know” that he has not judged without cause. In other words, they will be able to see that his wrath was the right and righteous response to sin.
Too often, we think of God’s wrath in the same way we experience our own wrath… as a type of blind-rage that is simply flying off the handle, but it is not so with God. His wrath is a perfectly calculated, right response to sin. And, his wrath is working for good and righteous ends!
Our world is filled with so much injustice and evil… and it is the wrath of God that executes justice on injustice… it is the wrath of God that removes evil. We cry out of God’s wrath any time we cry for God to set all wrongs right… to make all things new… to overcome evil and usher in his kingdom!
One day, we will see the wrath of God totally from his perspective and we “shall know” that none of it has been poured out without cause! All of it has actually come out of a place of love for his people and his creation!
We will see that God has poured out his wrath to right all wrongs, execute perfect justice, and make all things new!
The wrath of God actually gives us hope that this world will not always be broken… that wickedness will not win… that all suffering will come to an end!
The wrath of God actually is part of the good news!