Items posted on 28 August 2010
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Ezekiel 9.3-6, 11 – Divine Wrath
Posted: 28 August 2010 in Ezekiel

“And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.”

“And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.”

The first four verses quoted above are an echo of some of the passages to be found in Revelation, and they remind us that the God of love is also a God of wrath. Today it is common for both theologians and preachers to emphasise the God’s love, whilst virtually ignoring his wrath. I suppose that must at least partly be put down to a reaction against the hellfire sermons of yesteryear, when the imbalance was precisely on the other foot.

But when I hear people complain that they don’t much care for the God who judges, and then casts into hell those who are the objects of his wrath, my immediate reaction is that whether or not they like it is not really relevant. The only question which matters is whether or not it is true. The biblical authors (in both testaments) certainly seemed to think it is true, and, given that Christians are supposed to believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, they might at least give it the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to believing what it has to say about divine retribution.

As for verse 11, it is a reminder that, unlike humans, angels always obey the will of God.

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