Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Posts tagged ‘wicked’

God, That Is So Unfair!

baby_pouting-crying

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

The focus of God’s message so far through Ezekiel was to the Jewish people of Israel and Judah. As we read towards the end of the book, the focus spreads out to include the world and the Jews’ neighbors in the Middle East and Africa. Prophecies of destruction were laid out to Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia (Ezekiel 25); Tyre (Ez. 26-28), Sidon (Ez. 28); Egypt (Ez. 29-32), Ethiopia, Libya, Lidia (Ez. 30); and Mt. Seir (Ez. 35). The destruction of Babylon was prophesied in Jeremiah 50-51. Don’t recognize some of the countries listed? That is because the prophecies came true; some were utterly destroyed while others like Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya never returned to their ancient splendor.

Why were these countries targeted for the wrath of God? Each played a part in the oppression and conquest of Israel and Judah. God kept His word that was spoken to His people way back in Genesis 12:3:

“I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (NKJV)

In Ezekiel 33:11, God makes His wishes clear, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” He then continues in the next nine verses to elaborate on how He will judge people according to the state of their hearts when they die.

• Righteous people who fall into sin will not be saved on the merits of their former virtue (verses 12, 18)
• Wicked people who turn from their evil ways will be saved because of their new found righteousness (verses 12, 14-16, 19)
• Righteous people who trust in their good works will not be saved (v.13)

God knew the hearts of humanity, because He also addressed the objections that He knew would follow, “The way of the Lord is not fair,” to which God’s response is swift and sure, “But it is their way that is not fair.” (v. 17, NKJV)

We now have the perspective of hindsight to understand that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for all was the most unfair event in the history of humanity. He did not see it as unfair, but essential to restore us to the relationship with God as originally intended. Even though we now live under the law of Grace rather than the Mosaic Law, God expects us to be holy (Leviticus 11:44), and repeats this expectation in I Peter 1:16. What this means is that we should be the same people the other 6 days and 23 hours as we are while attending church.

Many people feel this is unfair and too difficult to even try, given our sinful nature, but if we want God to be fair about that, there is nothing we could do to earn an eternity in Heaven with Him. Despite this fact, God is gracious and provided the Way. THAT is so not fair!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside. Lisa is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon. 

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No Peace for the Wicked

Stonehenge

Stonehenge photo by Wallyg on Flickr.

By Lisa Nordell-Detres

“There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22 NKJV)

In case you are thinking about all the godless people in this world who run around proclaiming “peace” every chance they get, this verse was not referring to them. Taken in context with the book of Isaiah and the rest of chapter 48, God was talking to His own people, Israel, who had chosen to worship their neighbors’ gods of wood, stone and metal. God sent numerous prophets over the years to warn them about the consequences of their apostasy, but for the most part, the warnings fell on deaf ears.

Listen to the agony of Father God whose desire was for His children just to obey:

“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sand,
And your offspring of your body like grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.” (Is 48:18-19, NKJV)

Is there peace like a river in your life? Are you at rest in your Savior or is everyday life a struggle for you? Read Isaiah 48 and then take some time away from the fray for an internal spiritual assessment. Are you really living in obedience to God? Who is truly number one in your life? Do you seek His will on a daily basis; do you spend time in His Word so you know what it is you are supposed to obey? Or do you merely pay God lip service occasionally on Sundays? The behaviors of the people of Israel that God referred to as “wicked” lived this kind of life:

“Who swear by the name of the LORD and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth or in righteousness…” (v. 1).

True peace comes from living within God’s will and knowing that He is in control regardless of what is going on around us. If the prophet Isaiah’s definition of “wicked” just included you, it is not too late to seek God’s forgiveness and His peace in your life. We all need more peace of mind these days and God is the only One who can give it to us. Just like ancient Israel, the day will come when God will put an end to this world as we know it, but that day will be too late for repentance. Seek Him today while He can still be found!

Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to two boys with a third on the way (!), a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.

Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.

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