By: Jeff Sutherland
Many people listen to sermons about the love of God. They hear that God loves them and accepts them as they are. This is a common belief but in reading Ezekiel a few weeks ago, I discovered a very different view of God’s love.
Over twenty times God spoke through Ezekiel to His chosen people, Israel that He was going to send swords from nations to destroy them, send plagues to decimate them, send strong nations to overtake them and put them in slavery, send pestilence to demolish their crops. In every instance the love and purpose of God shows through. He put His people through these things for one common purpose, so that they would know that He is God.
In Ezekiel God’s love is shown toward His people in all of this utter destruction. Today we usually don’t think that way yet God does not change. The truth is He will do whatever is necessary, have us go through much in order to cause change, to get us to the point where we see Him as the God of Gods, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, a God who loves us too much to leave us where we are, in our sin. A God who loves us more than we know.
Here are a few examples:
I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes; and they will know that I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance on them. (Ezekiel 25:17)
Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed. Ezekiel 33:29
Your outrageous conduct will be repaid to you, and you will bear the guilt for your idols; so you will know that I am the Lord God.’” Ezekiel 23:49
7 The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 6:7
4 So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and hurl it down to the ground, so that its foundation is exposed; and when it falls, you will perish in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 13:14
There are over twenty more references to ‘so you will know that I am the Lord’ in Ezekiel and hundreds more in the Bible. But I share this because God impressed on me during the reading of Ezekiel that God’s love is much deeper, more purposeful and more salvific. If you are going through hard times or know someone who is and you don’t understand why take the time to dig into His Word looking for God’s purposes.
One of my favorite stories in the Word is that of Joseph. In Genesis 37-50. He went through horrible, unfair times but in the end he realized God’s purpose in it all. Genesis 50:20, to his brothers he said, “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good in order to bring about this result and keep people alive.
If you would like to discuss this I am available. Jeff Sutherland HOME | Fortmorgan (fortmorganministries.com)