Correction and Discipline

 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God.” ’ ” —Ezekiel 28:25-26

Men, right in the middle of the Lord God’s proclamations of judgment on the nations surrounding Israel, and the lamentations spoken over the cities and kings, a promise of hope for Israel is declared.

The Lord is correcting His wayward child Israel for her sins and idolatry, but His anger won’t last forever. He will gather Israel from all the places they are taken captive and they will again dwell their own land given to the Lord’s servant Jacob. They will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards while the Lord pours out judgment on the nations that despise Israel. Then, all people will know that the Lord is their God.

This is good news for all people who love God. There is no one righteous, not even one, and the Lord chastises those He loves. His wrath, though unbearable and destructive, is poured out because He loves us as children. That child who is allowed to do wicked and self destructive acts without correction is not loved as much as the spoiled child who is told “no” once in a while. Israel is being told “no, that’s far enough” as a nation.

No child enjoys the anger of a father, and often hides until peace is restored. So it will be for Israel. Once the correction is realized and manifested in the lands where they are scattered, they will again return to their own land. The Lord will again fight for His children.

No matter how far you and I have fallen short. No matter how furious the Lord seems with you at this moment, He offers promises that if we turn from our wickedness He will return to us and restore us as He did Israel. The Lord is the God of a personal relationship as much as He is the God of nations and all creation.

Move forward men, acknowledging correction, manifest the appropriate disciplines, and enjoy His embrace as a loving Father. Let Him fight for you as you enjoy His peace thereafter.

Vance Durrance

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