Ezekiel 25:15-17 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred; Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.”
We all love a good ending. The guy gets the girl. The hero prevails and the villain is defeated. But when I read about God’s justice, I have to step back and truly meditate on why God did what He did.
In the verses I read this morning, I can’t help but think of those who harbor hatred. Not just from recent wounds, but those whose anger has been cultured over years and some hundreds or thousands of years.
Lost man does not understand the struggle in the middle east. They only see it for the power, the financial interest or the control. Ever since Abraham fathered Ishmael and Isaac, there has been unrest in that region and prophecy states that until Christ comes again, there will always be wars and rumors of wars.
Many try to determine just what city or country is the Babylon of the book of Revelation. While it is a worthy study, I try to hone my focus more on the practical. While I know the events of that prophecy will surely come to pass, my duty to follow the commands of Christ and lay up treasures in Heaven far outweigh the knowledge I may gain studying prophecy.
I look at it this way: if my time here on this earth is finite and the only activity I can do here that I cannot do in Heaven is to be a witness, then surely our focus should be on what is closest to the heart of God. Souls.
Being soul-conscious is something we must do on purpose. To see that driver who cut you off as a soul for whom Jesus died might just change our response from anger at our discomfort to pray for their need to see Christ as worthy of their trust. It is a selfless behavior that must be learned.
If our eternity is settled – if you are saved, it is secure eternally – then, we must be about our Father’s business just as our Savior did when He was upon the earth. Our enemy works overtime to get us busy about things that have no eternal value. Amusements, work, home career, friends, family and hobbies all take time. How we prioritize them and allot our time for them will reveal just where our mindset lies.
As this year comes to a close and most think on what was and wasn’t done; what weight we lost or found, what money we gained or lost or where did all that time go; inject the spiritual growth, investment in eternal things and how many lives we influenced, and the real question should be: ‘How can I arrange my life to make more of an impact this year over last?’
It may be that we purpose to take gospel tracts to give to one person while shopping. Give time once a week to dedicate to evangelism – winning souls to Christ. It might be the year we finally join the ministry God has poked and prodded our heart about or dedicate our mornings to meeting with God before we start each day.
God has promised and will execute vengeance upon this earth. But it does not have to be all doom and gloom. With a promise that a home is being prepared, I cannot set roots so deep here that my focus and dreams can’t see beyond the temporal. Let the motivation be that one day, we WILL see Jesus. One day, our lives here will be measured and rewarded for what gratitude we have had for the greatest gift we have ever been given.
This coming year, set some realistic goals for what you will do to affect the lives of those around you. Realistic goals that will reap eternal rewards. You have God’s promise that it will not go unrewarded.
Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”