#DailyDevotion Do You Really Want God To Be Fair With You?
Ezekiel 1825“And yet you say, “The LORD’s way isn’t fair.’ Listen, Israel, is My way unfair? Isn’t it your ways that are unfair? 26When a righteous man turns from his righteousness, does wrong and dies, he dies for the wrong he did. 27When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he did and does what is right and honest, he saves his life. 28If he understands and turns from the wrong he did — he will certainly live and not die. 29“And yet Israel says, “The LORD’s way is unfair. Is My way unfair, Israel? Isn’t it your ways that are unfair? 30I will judge everyone of you according to his deeds, Israel, says the Lord GOD. Come back, turn from all your wrongs or your sin will ruin you. 31Get rid of all your wrongs you have done and get yourselves a new heart and spirit. Why should you die, Israel? 32I don’t want anyone to die, says the Lord GOD. Turn, then, and live.”
God’s ways are higher than our ways and God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. The world and the religions it makes up are tit for tat. The world runs on karma, or so we think. The Jews Ezekiel and the LORD are dealing with certainly think so. In fact, they are probably running on a much more vengeful streak of “you bring a knife and we’ll bring a gun” type of thinking. At least they think God works that way and so as you believe so you will do.
But now God brings forth to them how he really thinks and works. He has been for a number of verses here in chapter eighteen explaining how if a man does evil he will die and if he does good he will live. But then he throws a wrench into that mix, as far as we think as fallen human beings.
If the one working evil turns, repents of his wickedness and start doing what is right and honest he saves his life. It’s not just his life in this world he saves, i.e. things will start going better for him, but his soul. Confessing his wickedness and turning to God, the LORD and his ways sets his relationship straight with the LORD. The Jews didn’t think that was particularly fair. If someone lives a righteous life and does good up to the last days of their life and they turn from the LORD and his ways and starts living wickedly and then dies, none of the good they have done their whole life will be remembered. Apparently God does accounting by Last In First Out (LIFO). It is this that Israel thinks is unfair. But the LORD is not so much concerned with what we do as much as what we believe or rather who or what that we trust.
Who and what we trust for our daily lives and the world to come determines how we are living right now. Now you might not think that is particularly fair. Why live a good life if it doesn’t seem to be rewarded with eternal life when you can “have a good time” and then repent at the end and live? You should ask those who have lived such a life and have repented of it. They will tell you it was a living hell. Living a good life today, trusting in the LORD is its own reward. Yet how can all the evil we have done be just forgotten? It is forgotten for the sake of Jesus Christ. Having become Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the LORD Jesus Christ has taken our punishment into his own soul and made atonement for it. Now trust in him, get a new heart and a new spirit in baptism and you will live eternally. This is fairness to God. If you trust this, then you will live out the life God wants you to live.
Heavenly Father, grant that we may turn from our wicked ways, trust in your Son Jesus Christ that we may not die but live. Give us your Spirit that we may live our lives according to your holy will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen