Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 17-19
Today’s Reflection: Ezekiel 18:31-32
31) Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32) For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”
As Ezekiel recounts Judah’s sins and God’s punishment against them, he makes this stunning observation: God has no pleasure in seeing anyone die.
The conversation is often had in Christian circles, how does one know they are saved? We look at texts that talk about the way to destruction being wide, and the path to salvation being narrow (Matthew 7:13-14) and conclude that being saved must be incredibly hard. But here God makes it seem so simple. Cast away your sins. Renew your heart and spirit. Turn from your evil way and live. Simple it is, isn’t it?
Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Simple, and yet not so simple. Because it does require sacrifice, surrender to God’s leading, turning away from selfish desire, putting away evil and pursuing righteousness.
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
So in the end it’s up to us. We can make it hard, or we can make it simple. Because God’s question to us is pretty clear: Why die?