Ezekiel 14.7-10 – God’s purposes in predestination.
Posted: 20 July 2011 in Ezekiel

For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

God’s dealing with the prophet in the above passage reminds me of his activity in hardening Pharoah’s heart in the Exodus story. There he acts to ensure that Pharoah will refuse the Hebrews permission to leave Egypt, and here he acts to ensure that a false prophesy is given. But in both cases Pharoah and the prophet are subsequently punished for their actions.  God’s action is not merely gratuitous, but are intended to bring about some end he has in view – ultimately the establishment of his everlasting kingdom.

In the New Testament the crucifixion of Jesus is an integral part of God’s plan in bringing those he has chosen to salvation. But in preordaining the crucifixion of Jesus, God necessarily also ordained the means by which this was to be effected – namely the treachery of Judas Iscariot. Nevertheless, at the Last Supper Jesus makes it clear that the person who betrays him will be held morally accountable for his actions and judged accordingly. Evil remains evil, even when it is serving God’s purposes.

We are all here to serve and glorify God. For some that will involve eventual salvation, but the Bible bears clear testimony to the fact that others will not.

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