God’s Purpose for Judgment
As we come to Ezekiel 38:1-40:37 today, we get an answer to the question “why does God allow His people to go through severe trials and judgment?” [See Ezekiel 39:21-23]. You might think that if God chose Israel to be His special people that He would be sure they were protected from all kinds of difficulties. In reality, God’s people are chosen to glorify Him and they could not do that without being disciplined and corrected.
One of my high school teachers was extremely stern, always demanding the best of her students. She perceived that I was not doing my best and called me in to make me an offer I could not refuse. If I would come to her classroom during lunch, she said, do the work she would assign, then for each day that I did this, she would add one point to my average for the grading period. I spent many lunch hours under her watchful eye that year, but I benefited from the extra work and the extra credit.
God chose His people and He demanded that they give Him their best. He did not let them get by with worshiping other gods or being negligent in obeying His word. When their sin reached a tipping point, God sent other nations to defeat them and take them into captivity. The bystander nations saw what God was doing and understood the power and glory of the God of Judah.
Has God disciplined you? Be sure you are a diligent learner. The watching world knows.
[For more reflections on today’s reading, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].