Ezekiel 24:18 “So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.”
We all have a filter through which we look.
That filter has some elements of justice and judgment. It has some of care and compassion. It has elements of love and mercy. It also has prejudice and preference. We use this filter to accept or reject, judge and pass judgement with what goes on around us.
When we deal personally, we must follow that which the Word of God prescribes. But often, when we see others, we are more apt to follow the crowd than stick to God’s Word.
By way of illustration, let us take a look through the eyes of a wounded soul.
A person who suffers at the hands of another gets hurt – deeply. How they handle that hurt is their responsibility. God calls us who are saved to comfort and to lead them to find the healing from that wound.
It is so easy to take up the part of the victim.
But what of the attacker? The abuser? The murderer? The drunk? The addict?
These are they which a wounded one might cry out and say;
“I want justice! I want vengeance!”
We see from one perspective the hurt one’s pain and think; ‘Something must be done.’ and their hatred becomes our hatred. Their cry for justice becomes ours.
Our enemy has blurred the lines that God has placed for us. While it is true that I can have a view and a sense of justice for any situation or circumstance, I must also realize my place.
We must ask ourselves whether or not we have the authority to make a decision that will be made public to those around us. You ask anyone and they will have an opinion. But usually with someone who has been wounded deeply, their opinions are strong and the hurt desires acknowledgement, affirmation and when publicized, cries out for justice or even vengeance.
When I read the verse I placed for our text today, I thought how I would react to someone who had just lost his wife, going out and continuing so soon after her death.
What things I would use to process that situation would more than likely be what “I” would do – and maybe not what they would do.
I have found that the closer I am to the person, the more I must beware of the judgments I make because they may be clouded, biased, or even blinded by my relationship. More often than not, we never know all the facts of exactly what has happened, what went into the decision that we see outwardly and ultimately, we are faced with a choice.
Do I speak out? Do I let my opinions known? Is my assessment of the situation right?
But the one thing we often fail to ask is:
“What would God have me do?”
Situations of extreme grief and loss make the situation all the more intense. Emotions are high and words are charged with such raw feelings that sometimes we say things we really do not mean or even believe.
Had the Jews truly realized that they were crucifying their Messiah, would they have cried “Crucify Him!”? It is easy for us to be that third party to say, “I would never…”
Our enemy is a master at creating mob rule scenarios.
We see such things on the nightly news that get our emotions. We hear on talk radio situations and circumstances that would make our blood boil.
I was listening one day and found that what was being said was an outright lie. They were misrepresenting someone with whom I could relate and applying wrong principles to judge this person. I quickly dialed and was put in queue to talk on air. As I waited, I was formulating my argument and just how I would set this whole thing straight.
It was then that the sweet Spirit of God said, “Whether you are able to sway this argument is of no consequence. How will this glorify God? Will you look like an enraged, hate-mongering, bible thumping religious fanatic? Or a compassionate Christian?”
I hung up the phone and realized I had been baited.
Nothing I would say would sway that listening crowd to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I was angry. I was not at peace and most importantly, God had not instructed me to join in a conversation that would more than likely turn sideways and make God and God’s people look foolish.
Today as I read, God reminded me that I will be placed in all sorts of situations and circumstances where I may have strong opinions and even be prejudiced for or against those involved.
Unless those involved fall under my jurisdiction and authority as a husband, a father, and a ministry leader, I must find a way to remove my heart unless called by God to do so.
There are good and right fights. But, there are also battles created by our enemy that will expend our energy, take up valuable time, keep us from working what God gave us to do and make us weak for the true battle.
Pray to God that He give us the wisdom and discernment to do exactly as His will would iprescribe and that we would have the submission and yielded spirit to obey.