At Odds With God

Thus says the Lord God: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel … I will stretch out My hand against you … I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 25:6-7

This proclamation was made against the people of Ammon, descendants of Abraham’s nephew Lot. It should be fair warning to the nations of the world who find pleasure in any pain Israel suffers. The Lord had allowed Assyria and Babylon to take Israel and Judah captive as a means of chastisement but always with the goal of their repentance and restoration. This is yet to be accomplished but the Lord frequently asserts that it will. This chastisement will bear fruit in its time to the glory of God.

The accusation that Jews killed the Son of God and therefore have been rejected by God forever is false. The Jews did not kill Jesus and neither did the Romans. They wanted Him silenced by death but they did not kill Him.

As pictured when Abraham offered up his son Isaac, it was God the Father who killed the Son. Like Isaac, Jesus gave himself into the hands of the Father (Luke 23:46). Unlike Abraham, the Father took the life of His only Son to satisfy the debt of sin (John 18:11).

People who find pleasure in Israel’s continuing chastisement and suffering can expect to receive the same judgment as the people of Ammon. The reason being is that they have not believed the word of God regarding God’s mercy toward Israel.

One cannot call God a liar and go unchallenged by God. Many nations and kings have discovered this to their demise and destruction. The mighty empires and nations that did so are all gone and those currently lifting up their hearts in pride against the Lord will likewise come to an end. This is the prophetic revelation of Daniel 2 & 7.

Sadly some in the professing Church find pleasure in Israel’s suffering. Unwittingly they have placed themselves at odds with Jesus Christ whom they claim to serve.

Speaking of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out … and I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and will bring them to their own land'” (Ezekiel 34:11, 13).

A Little While

“For yet a little while and the indignation will cease as will My anger in their destruction” (Isaiah 10:25)

The context of this statement from the Lord is that Israel had turned from following the Lord. For the purpose of reconciling Israel to Himself the Lord had allowed Assyria to become stronger and have eyes for the land of Israel. Assyria was the Lord’s means of chastising Israel.

As a result of this chastisement a “remnant” responded and returned to following and worshipping the Lord (10:20-22). The majority of the nation remained indifferent or loyal to the idol gods of the surrounding nations and did not respond to the chastisement of the Lord or heed the messages He sent by His prophets.

Those who did respond were suffering and enduring the same persecution from without as those who did not but they also endured being out of step and favour with their brethren. Drought affected them as it did others; they suffered and died in battles with neighbouring nations; they had their crops and animals stolen in the raids by neighbouring nations; they had their parents killed or children stolen to be slaves just like others who still worshipped dead idols.

The same question was on their hearts that has been on many of the Lord’s people through history and most certainly is today; How long, O Lord?

The faithful remnant in Israel today suffers just as their forebears did. The rockets from over the borders do not discriminate and neither does the anti-Semitism coming out of all the nations of the world. The opposition and persecution from without affects Messianic Jews as well as other Jews but the Messianic Jews are also opposed by and out of favour with other Jews.

From our perspective it may appear that the Lord is tarrying unnecessarily but His word to the believing remnant of Israel remains the same, “For yet a little while and the indignation will cease as will My anger in their destruction.” The Lord’s word to believing Israel then and to Messianic Jews today is to patiently endure and in a little while He will bring this painful situation to an end. That end will be by the completion of Israel’s chastisement and the destruction of all who oppose the lord and persecute His people. That day will be the day Christ Jesus returns in glory. He will destroy all who oppose Him and then He will establish His kingdom on earth.

For Christians today who long to see an end to iniquity and evil; who long to be able to worship the Lord in freedom and without risk of persecution; He says endure for a little while longer because the day will surely come when He will put everything under His feet and we can worship Him in the beauty of holiness.

As we continue to hear reports of Christians being persecuted in many parts of the world for no more reason than their faith in Jesus Christ we, and they, can find comfort and assurance that the Lord has not forsaken or forgotten them. Let us bear a little longer and the Lord will vindicate those who have turned to Him and remained faithful even through persecution.