** And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doing: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD. ** Ezekiel 14:23
I am so not an expert when it comes to the books of the Prophets. I am just happy if I can get through them and grasp anything that will help me through my day. This verse in Ezekiel did stand out for me though.
Yesterday, we talked about the goodness of God. We talked a little about the sad end to many nations that would not worship the True God. It is difficult to think of entire nations that perished, with not one person who turned to the Lord. I am learning to look for the Lord’s goodness while reading the Prophetical Books so that I can glean something encouraging for my day.
This verse in Ezekiel 14 gives us a little more insight as to why the Lord decided or decides to punish these nations who forsook Him…..it says that He has not done it without cause. He has reasons. And because we know the Lord to be merciful and gracious, not always giving us what we deserve, we can assume that these nations did what they did many times. For generations. Many generations. And from other passages we know that they worshiped idols and they sacrificed their own children to them. A sad commentary on any nation ….sacrificing children as a form of worship to a false god. Sooner or later, judgment has to come.
But instead of focusing on the judgment, let’s look at the good news in this verse….it says ** and they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: **…who is Ezekiel talking about? Who are they?
If we go back just one verse, it tells us the answer….** Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant..**
Like Noah…a righteous man in an evil nation.
Like Abraham being sent out of Ur of the Chaldees ( one of the nations that receives a harsh judgment from God) to start a new nation that would serve the True God.
Even Lot…who **vexed his righteous soul ** living in Sodom.
The Lord always saves a remnant…like Ruth from Moab (another nation that felt the judgment of God)…that will declare their faith in the Lord…
A remnant that will bring comfort to the hurting…
A remnant that will bring restoration to the survivors…
A remnant that will be an example of faith and courage and steadfastness.
A remnant that is willing to be identified with the One True God.
A remnant that will rebuild and strengthen a nation through righteousness.
Wherever we live, we may be in danger as a nation to soon receive the judgment of God for the sins we have committed. …. The murder of children, the exalting and approval of sinful living, pride, sowing of discord, the violence, the lies….all are things that the Lord hates and one day our nations will have to give account to God for all of it.
But God, in the midst of His righteous judgment will save a remnant. Those that have faith in Him. Those that are willing to pay the price for their faith. It doesn’t mean they will have to die. But there will probably be some kind of sacrifice.
Just look at Noah…Abraham…Ruth….they all paid a price. They all had to walk away from those they knew, the comforts of ‘home’, the culture and customs and pleasures that those around them enjoyed. They had to walk away and lean on God alone.
And through their testimony, their lives, their choices, their actions and words….a new nation can be built. Hope can be restored. The path to the Savior was formed.
But the remnant has to take that step and walk away from the pleasures of their doomed nation. I guess that is what 2 Corinthians is talking about when Paul tells us to come out from among them….Like Noah, Abraham and Ruth all did. They decided to be different, even though it was costing them a lot.
The lesson for us?
Would someone call us the Remnant? Do we bring comfort to others? Do our lives show that we are different? Or is there no difference between us and our neighbors who don’t know our God?
It’s worth thinking about.