I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! Ezekiel 33:11 NABRE
The prophet Ezekiel is speaking for God when he proclaims to the people God does not want to see the wicked die. Personal responsibility is everyone’s duty and with that comes a hope for conversion. The exiles have come to realize that their sins are the ultimate reason for their situation. Ezekiel is speaking after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians and many have been taken captive and enslaved in Babylon. So what can they do to extract themselves from their situation? The answer is from the Lord. “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” This suggests only the guilty endure punishment and that they can repent and change. Conversion is the primary purpose of the prophet’s message and it is just as true for us today. All we have to do is turn from our wrong doing and God will show mercy. We are invited to repent and we will be forgiven. God makes this promise, those who are wicked, if they turn from their sin and follow the law and do what is right … none of their sins, which they have committed shall be remembered against them. (cf. Ezekiel 33:14-16) God forgets!
God’s message treats the people corporately. The wickedness done affects them all, the repentance they may do will affect them all. It is difficult to commit individual sins that offends God at such a magnitude that all suffer. The sin of the people is done by the majority and once the majority repents God forgets the sin and death of the entire people. God deals with the community, and expects us to be bonded in community for freedom and forgiveness.
Are you in a community of believers? Do you live so others see you’re good?All we have to do is turn from our wrong doing and God will show mercy. We are invited to repent and we will be forgiven and God forgets! Click To Tweet
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