Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 18-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10
Everyone at one point has thought that God is unfair. But 100% of the time this conclusion is arrived at by faulty logic. The Israelites thought that God was unfairly punishing them for the sins committed by their ancestors (Ezekiel 18:2). But they were mistaken as God explains in today’s passage.
Each of us can choose our behavior. We are not robots. Nor are we permanently predisposed to good or evil. We can choose to do good or we can choose to do evil and our lives can fluctuate between the two as a result of intentional choices we make (Ezekiel 18:5-20).
If anyone repents of their sins (realizes & admits their mistakes) He will not only forgive, but forget it all (Ezekiel 18:21-22). God is willing – very willing – to forgive people (Ezekiel 18:23). But God is 100% just. Unlike human judges and juries, God is not going to let bad deeds go unpunished (Ezekiel 18:24). This is a very admirable trait and one that we should praise God for because He always does the right thing (Ezekiel 18:29).
We should understand that even though we will not be judged for any one else’s sins that does not relieve us of the consequences of those sins. Our parents and ancestors made many choices in their lives – many of them bad. The consequences of those choices do not go away even if our ancestor repented. Their punishment went away as a result of their repentance, but the consequences did not. A perfect example is King David. King David committed many sins but subsequently repented and God forgave him. But God did not remove the consequences of those sins. King David, his immediate family and future descendants still had to live with the effects of his sin.
In reality, the current state of the world is the result of bad decisions people have made since the beginning of time. Although some of these people repented and were forgiven, those of us who are alive today are the victims of those decisions. And here we see why the world can never get better – it can only get worse. People will always sin. And sin always has negative consequences, even if it is later forgiven. The only way to improve the world is for everyone to stop sinning. That is, of course, unlikely. But in lieu of that we can expect nothing but a decline in the human condition.
The author of Hebrews continues to explain to his Jewish audience how the new covenant replaces the old one by pointing out that the temple was only intended for earthly service (Hebrews 9:1). It was never intended to be permanent. In fact, the temple, the priests, and all the services were really just metaphors for a future time (Hebrews 9:9-10).
That future time arrived when Jesus became the ultimate sacrificial lamb and died once and for all for the sins of all mankind. His sacrifice was better than the temple sacrifices because it dealt permanently with sin.
I believe that just about everything we do here on this earth metaphorically points to God. We’ve already read how marriage is symbolic of the relationship between the three members of the Trinity and how the family unit is symbolic of God’s relationship to His children. But even the simple act of eating is meant to remind us of Jesus’s death for us. Just like an animal or plant must die in order for us to live physically, someone had to die for us to live spiritually (i.e. eternally in heaven). That someone was Jesus – God Himself. Even sleep is metaphorical of death. Just like we awake each morning, some day we will be resurrected from death (those of us who die and aren’t raptured).
I believe that God designed everything that happens in this temporary life to remind us of Him and point us towards our eternal, permanent existence.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.