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Ezekiel 20, Psalm 58

We have all heard the timeless wisdom, “To kill them with kindness.”  God intends to, in a sense, do this very thing to Israel. Ezekiel 20 is a message from God to Israel’s elders largely reviewing Israel’s history through the lens of God’s fidelity juxtaposed with Israel’s spiritual adultery. The end of this chapter promises God’s deliverance of the exiles from foreign nations to vindicate the Lord’s name. However, there is a dual purpose in God’s rescue. Immediately after God promises to prove faithful and restore Israel to their land, the Lord says, “There you will remember your conduct and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil you have done.” (Ezekiel 20:43) There is nothing like kindness to make us hate the evil things we have done, and God wills Israel to hate their evil deeds. Most have known the power of good deeds in response to bad deeds, love in the face of hate. It convicts and chastens. God knows what love can do and God loves Israel. There is no greater love than the love which gives its life for us. Though we loathe the evil that led Jesus to give His life for us, we must not stop there. May we be glad that Jesus doesn’t repay us with evil, but with love and follow in his footsteps!

Jeremiah Vaught