Biblegateway Verse of the Day

Falling Away: Part 2 (Ezekiel 28)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          When we start looking at what Ezekiel is saying concerning Sidon, we see God is against Sidon. We read, "Behold, I am against you, O Sidon; I will be glorified in your midst; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I execute judgments in her and am hallowed (made holy) in her. For I will send pestilence upon her, and blood in her streets; the wounded shall be judged in her midst, by the sword against her on every side; then they shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 28:22-23, New King James).
          So why exactly does God have anger towards Sidon? And why does He want to destroy this city?  Earlier in the Old Testament we read what God tells Abraham for his faith towards Him, God, "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3, New Living Translation).

          When we look at what God is saying to Sidon, He's saying this, "There shall no longer be a pricking brier or a painful thorn for the house of Israel from among all who are around them, who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God" (Ezekiel 28:24, New King James, italics for emphasis). In other words God is against Sidon for cursing Israel. They didn't just despise Israel and her people, but they had open animosity towards His people.

          Even though Ezekiel is writing mainly to Israel, he's also writing to those who despise or curse against Israel. How does this apply to us these days? Anyone who apparently has any open animosity towards Israel is held in judgment by God towards His people. We are called as Jesus Christ's church to "love one another, just as I have loved you" (John 15:12, New American Standard). The command is simple we are called to love one another as believers and faithful to Christ Jesus. It is the essential mark of true and authentic Christian faith.

           Therefore it comes down to whether or not we are friendly or loving towards Israel for God sees everything, from the words we speak down to our very actions we use. We ought to love Israel even despite her sins and crimes against God as they are still His people, His special people, the apple of His eye. The reason we ought to not curse Israel is because One arose from Israel to give us a hope and a future to be made holy by God and to become His children, grafted into God's promises towards Israel. The point is simple: love one another, love also your enemies regardless how they treat you, even if Israel does wrong.

          I close with this prayer: "Father, I ask you to show me if I harbor any ill will or feelings towards anyone and that includes my enemies. For I know if I do not obey you and act on the same love you have shown me I am breaking my covenant with you. Thank you Lord for any chastisement for any wrong doing, for it tells me I need to re-align myself not towards people, but as well to you. So, give to me your will, your blessing in order I may be a light. I pray this in your Son, Jesus Christ's name. Amen."