How Can Mankind Not Know?
Read Ezekiel Chapter
Eze 39:23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to Me. So I hid My face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid My face from them. 25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for My Holy Name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward Me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show Myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.
The phrase, “Then they will know that I am the Lord” appears in the book of Ezekiel 19 times. Other variations of that phrase also appear throughout the book of Ezekiel and among some other books of the bible. The main purpose of God’s word and His actions are to make very clear to the world that He is God. It is His purpose that no one comes before Him at the end of time and says, “I didn’t know.” Yes, we could discuss the plight of the remote tribes of the world. How do they know? We do not have the answer to that question, so we won’t go there. Our main point is that God reveals Himself over and over to the world, in many venues and methods. It is a very serious thing for mankind to ignore any signs of His existence and His Lordship.
Almost all of the references in Ezekiel are in regard to the disciplining of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, because of their rebellion and worship of other gods. Every time that His people refused to repent and turn back toward Him, He sent some kind of disaster to gain their attention. What parent, who loves his children, would not do all he can to turn them back toward the right pathway of life? God is the epitome of the perfect parent; therefore, He does whatever is necessary to protect His children from those things which would bring upon themselves eternal harm.
On the other hand, some of God’s handiwork in our lives is shown through His blessings bestowed upon us. This particular example from Ezekiel does both. He revealed Himself both through His disciplines and through His blessings. The purpose of today’s study is for us to be alert to recognize when our Lord is revealing Himself to us. Personally, I have seen both types of revelations in my life. He has revealed Himself to me through severe disciplines when I fell into willful sin, and He has revealed Himself to me through countless undeserved blessings.
Mankind generally falls into three categories –
1. Those who recognize Him and accept His leadership and purpose for their lives.
2. Those who recognize Him but refuse to submit to His authority.
3. Those who refuse to acknowledge Him in any way, and attempt to explain away all the evidence of His existence.
You know which category is the correct response. The bible shows us many examples of all three types of response. We also see all three kinds of response around us every day.
Mt 18:12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
These last two scripture passages should bring us to a greater appreciation of His goodness, mercy, love, patience, and forgiveness. You and I fall into the first category of mankind. We should rejoice that He revealed Himself to us and we accepted that revelation. We also should rejoice because He did not allow us to remain entrenched in a belief that we can indulge ourselves in willful same-sex pleasures, without suffering greatly both in this life and the life to come. He did not allow us to believe false teachings in regard to homosexual behaviors. Praise Him!
Prayer: Yes, Lord, we do praise You for all of Your blessings, especially the revelation of Yourself through disciplines and blessings.