Bible Insights

Consider God’s Punishment

God Had a Purpose for His People and They Let Him Down

God established Jerusalem as the center of all nations. This suggests he intended them to set an example and be a global leader, showing everyone how to live right and pointing them to him. But this isn’t what they did.

In their wickedness, they rebelled against him, even more so then everyone else. They rejected God’s ideals. In their disobedience they were worse than all the countries around them (Ezekiel 5:5-8). Talk about an epic fail.

Finally, God had enough. Punishment will come. Here’s what he’s going to do:

He Will Turn Against Them

The idea of God turning against us is a horrific thought. As an all-powerful being, he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Though we hope he will use his vast power for our benefit, it’s not guaranteed.

If we turn against him, don’t we realize he has every right to turn against us?

He Will Punish Them Openly

God says he will discipline his people for what they did. More frighteningly, he says he will inflict punishment on them. And this won’t happen privately, it will occur publicly for all to see, heaping embarrassment upon their penalty.

He Will Do Something Unprecedented

And this punishment he plans to inflict upon them will emerge as something so intense that it’s unfathomable. It’s something he’s never done before and will never do again.

This suggests how angry he is with his people for not living up to his expectations.

What is this vast punishment God plans for them? Though it’s hard to write, they’ll resort to cannibalism—of their own family members (Ezekiel 5:9-10).

What About Punishment for Us?

Ezekiel directs this punishment at Jerusalem, but as the political center of the nation, Jerusalem is a metaphor for the whole country. The nation doesn’t do what God expects of them: to advance his kingdom and influence the world.

The result is severe punishment. Just as this applied to God’s chosen people thousands of years ago, by extension doesn’t it apply to us today?

[Read through the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Ezekiel 5-8, and today’s post is on Ezekiel 5:5-10.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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