Ezekiel 33:17-20 “Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right. When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”
Israel had become so corrupt that its judgment had become completely skewed—good had become bad, black had become white, folly had become wisdom. And in their arrogance, they were claiming that the Lord’s way was not right.
What wasn’t right? God had declared that a man who’d lived righteously could, in latter days, choose sinful living—and lose his soul. That didn’t seem right to them. “Surely, a few good works would count for salvation, no matter what path you pursued later,” they thought. That’s too harsh a judgment!
And as if that weren’t enough, God had also “mistakenly” declared that evil men could return to God in their latter days—and save their souls. That didn’t sit right with some in Israel either. Forgiveness for past sins and offenses should be “off the table” in their estimation. Grace was for the “good guys”, not for enemies. That’s too much grace!
They had obviously forgotten…Who was God, and who was not. …Who was always right, and who was often wrong. …Who had authority to judge, and who would BE judged. …Who was the very standard of goodness, righteousness, and justice; and who was the poster child of sinfulness. God’s way was right; it always is.
But men make the same mistake today. It is not up to any man to be the law-giver or the judge. The most any man is authorized to do is be the messenger of God’s commands and judgments. And when God gives His judgment on a matter (good and bad, patterns and deviance , truth and falsehood, etc.), who is the man who thinks he can sit in judgment on God? Think about how many religious problems would be solved, if we’d listen to God’s judgment…
- One authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18-20)
- One church, united, composed of the saved (Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; and Acts 2:47)
- Baptism is immersion in water in Jesus’ name for forgiveness of sins and our salvation (Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 3:21)
- The Bible is true, God-breathed, and authoritative (John 17:17 and 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
- One Way to the Father, to Heaven (John 14:6)
Let’s just confess it: the very sins that we commit morally, religiously, and doctrinally are often a matter of us judging God’s judgment and ways as being “off”, inadequate, out of date, or not applicable to our situation—not right.
The way of the Lord is always right. Let’s live this next week by His way and His judgment.