Ezekiel 35

Scripture

Ezekiel 35:6b

Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.

Observation – What does it say?

Israel has no more implacable enemy than Edom. As the descendants of Esau, whose brother Jacob stole his birthright and his father’s blessing, the Edomites view the Israelites as illegitimate rulers and thieves. So shortly after Nebuchadnezzar razes Jerusalem in 586 b.c., Edom seizes its opportunity for revenge and swoops in to fill the political vacuum that results. The Edomites are not operating as God’s instruments. They attack Israel out of their own greed, thinking no one is left to oppose them. They are wrong. The land of Israel never belongs to the people themselves; it belongs to God. When the Edomites sneak in to pillage the land of Israel, they find the stewards of the land gone or severely weakened, but the true Owner is at home and is ready to prosecute them for their actions. (From The Voice Bible)

Understanding – What does it mean?

The language God uses in his judgement against Edom is interesting. He doesn’t say, “Since you shed blood…” but “Since you did not hate bloodshed.” There is something about not just doing the right thing but actually loving what is right; not just avoiding sin because God hates it but truly hating it ourselves. In other words, it’s about our heart condition.

This makes more sense when you consider what Jesus said in Matthew 12:35, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” 
 
He also said in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” Our actions, good or bad, flow from within; the outward actions are a reflection of the heart.  C.S. Lewis said something to the effect of, “God isn’t so concerned with the specific actions you take but with the kind of person you are becoming.”

Life Application

Ask God for more of his heart.

God, please chance our hearts! May we not just try to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. Instead, may we truly love you! Please also give us your heart toward sin. May our primary motive in avoiding sin not be fear of punishment, but a hatred for it as we live in awareness of it’s destructive consequences and the suffering you endured to do away with it. Give us more of your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– Levi Thompson

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.