Ezekiel: A Message of Hope

Devotions from the prophet Ezekiel written to mobilize prayer for Europe

That None Should Perish - Ezekiel 18:21-32

Repent and live! (v. 32)

In Western culture, divine judgement is one of Christianity's most offensive doctrines. I commonly hear, "I just don't believe a loving God would send people to hell." Another is related: "How can God be both all-good and all-powerful in the face of the terrible suffering of humanity?" At the same time, people believe there should be justice, that evil should be punished and not merely excused. In cultures that have experienced genocide or persecution by those in power, the idea of a forgiving God is offensive!

God speaks to both in Ezekiel 18: God's wrath flows from his love. In Hope Has It's Reasons Becky Pippert observes, "God's wrath is ...his settled opposition to the cancer... eating out the insides of the human race he loves with his whole being."  

Kosovo is rebuilding after a ravaging war with Serbia. With an estimated 10,000 Muslim Albanians killed, and a million displaced, how does life return to 'normal?' How does one move beyond hatred to forgiveness?  Christians have brought development to this war-torn country, and even more challenging, a ministry of reconciliation. Christ has radically changed the lives of a number of recent converts and the difference is seen in their attitudes and relationships. Their living faith and its attractiveness is bringing healing to their communities, hope for ending the cycle of hate, leaving justice in God's hands. Repentance brings life!

Prayer:  Lord, in every place where conflict is tearing apart families, communities and nations, establish justice. Send your ambassadors to help bring reconciliation. Through repentance and forgiveness, change our hearts and bring your peace.