This Day in History: 0000-02-23

February 23 – Ezekiel 33:10-11 

Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: “You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live! Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” 

So many of us have a grossly misconstrued idea of our Heavenly Father thanks in large part to the failures of our earthly fathers. One of the most common distortions of His character is that He is a tyrannical, punishing authority figure, eagerly watching our every move, waiting to pounce and bring down His vengeance upon us whenever we fail. 

Too many of us find ourselves constantly striving to please Him, secretly believing we cannot. 

The thing is, the picture we’ve created is not the God of the Bible. He is just; but we have warped His justice into spiteful retribution. He does discipline; but it is in love and with purpose, and it is rendered with sadness.  

Time and time again throughout Scripture we see a heartbroken Father, pleading with the people He has created to turn from their sin and receive His redemption. He tells us plainly, He takes no pleasure in the death of wicked people. He didn’t want them to choose wickedness. He didn’t want to be separated from them for all eternity. But, He made a way, and it was rejected. The wages of sin is death. 

On the other hand, those who have accepted His free gift of salvation no longer fall under His wrath. We don’t need to continue to strive in vain to please Him, because our faith in Him is all it took to do so. Once we were justified through faith in Jesus, our sins were erased from the record held against us. We became completely pleasing to our Father – the delight of His heart! 

So let’s choose to understand our Father’s discipline for what it is – the loving act of a delighted daddy who only wants to see the very best for His precious children. Let’s allow it to turn us from our sin and rebellion, and secure us forever under the favor of our God!