Devotional: ‘How Happy Are Those Who Dwell With God’

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Ezekiel 18: 4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. ESV

Many people today want to blame their problems on others. Few are willing to take responsibility for their actions. Even when someone does something that is obviously wrong, they tend to blame someone else. Yet the Bible teaches us that God holds each of us accountable personally for what we have done. In today’s passage we see that God told the nation Israel that it is the soul who sins that dies. Everyone suffers the consequences of his or her own actions.

A while back I read this from the book of Proverbs –

Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. NLT

How true that proverb is. Many sow seeds of foolishness and then complain about the harvest. Sometimes people pretend that they are completely innocent and that God is the one acting unjustly. Yet the Bible says – “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Gal 6:7 ESV)

The nation Israel was being judged by the Lord for their sins and many were complaining that God was acting unjustly. The Lord said to them –

Ezekiel 18:29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” ESV

The Lord did not want to judge His people; yet unless they turned from their sins, judgment was God’s only course of action. We read from the book of Proverbs-

Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. ESV

There is only one way to deal with our sins and find God’s mercy – HONESTLY. The word ‘confess’ means – [to say the same thing]. To find God’s forgiveness, we must say the same thing as He does about our sin. We must not make excuses or cover it over by calling it another name; for if we do, God will not forgive such sin nor prosper us. Scripture says that if we confess our sins, God will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (see 1 John 1:9)

“Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”

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