He has selected two passages this evening and while they initially seemed randomly selected when He first began this blog, He proves each time that He is indeed in control. His message is that He is fair.

He selected Ezekiel 2 and 18, one at the beginning and one 16 chapters later almost one-fourth of the way through his book, but both with the same message.

Ezekiel 2 is entitled “Ezekiel Called to Be a Prophet.” He prepares those whom He calls to be His servants on a regular basis by letting them know what to expect. It holds true today, for man’s nature has not changed despite the many years that separate us. No matter the age, no matter the social strata, no matter the ethnic background our flesh is a constant and transcends all of the cultural and social frames of reference. Basically, without the Lord’s help we do not get passed the mentality that was first expressed in some of our first words, “mine,” and “no.” We will always default to this perspective for it is one of our strongest instincts. We do not want to be told “no, you can’t” …… “not now” …….”time for bed” and “because I said so.” We want to be in control, and sometimes it is to do things we shouldn’t. This is where the Lord steps in through His “still, small, voice” that we heard when very young, and it usually went something like this, “you shouldn’t be doing that.”  Problem is, we really wanted to, and we don’t want someone telling us we shouldn’t.

Ezekiel 2 (NKJV)

Ezekiel Called to Be a Prophet

And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are [a]impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

“And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.

The Father is not addressing children in the true sense for He would not be sending His prophet to reason with children. We are all His children and it is an affectionate term. Here it is describing their mentality. These are temper tantrum children who act out when they are told “no.” But what are they being told “no” to? He covers this in Ezekiel 18. He is basing this chapter on a proverb and on His assertion:

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Ezekiel 18 (NKJV)

18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right; If he has not eaten [a]on the mountains, Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife, Nor approached a woman during her impurity; If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not [b]exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true [c]judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.

10 “If he begets a son who is a robber Or a shedder of blood, Who does any of these things 11 And does none of those duties, But has eaten [d]on the mountains Or defiled his neighbor’s wife; 12 If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination; 13 If he has exacted usury Or taken increase— Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.

This is what He is telling us not to do:

Do not oppress “the poor and the needy,” do not renege on a pledge, do not shed blood, do not rob “by violence,” do not commit adultery with “your neighbor’s wife,” do not lend with interest, just lend.

Notice how He has written it, He doesn’t simply say do not commit adultery, He adds with your neighbor’s wife and we can add husband, but that is not the operative word it is “neighbor.” Similarly, with do not rob He adds “by violence,” and of course He doesn’t want us to steal period. He adds “poor and needy,” “by violence,” and “neighbor’s wife” to personalize it, to make them real people to us, to add affection, and a sense of caring for others as we would care for ourselves. This is how He cares for us and why He cares so much….

“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

We are all His. Every one of us, He doesn’t want us to perish in our sins for He knows where that leads to and you are worth all of His efforts to keep you out of harm.

And this is what He is telling us not to do. Can we justify any of the actions as right? And particularly if we view them as He does. He is their Father and we are their brothers and sisters. Read below what He asks us to do. Is this not fair? Is He asking too much? You tell Him, is this asking too much:

5“But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right….

But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not [b]exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true [c]judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.

Keep in mind another point-He has sent His spokesmen to them, and despite the ramifications, they have spoken His word faithfully to warn them and invite them to return:

17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not [f]fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not [g]fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

In the previous chapter Ezekiel is called to be the Lord’s prophet. It is the servant’s/prophet’s job to represent the Father no matter the message. It is the word of a Holy God and a loving Father, it is not to be tampered with. We are all a rebellious child from time to time, and we all refuse to listen despite well-intentioned warnings. What is a parent who care about the long-term welfare of their child do in such instances? Typically, the warnings become sterner and we as children dig our heels in even more. This brings on an even sterner warning, and even more rebellion. So, if the parents care more about the child than themselves and whether the child will like or hate them for the moment or make their life difficult, then they act. Surely they do not want to, hence the repeated warnings, but if they truly love the child they will. It is His representative’s job to relay the word of God. The “still, small voice” is not heard, so there is no other way. This is yet another instance of the heart of the Father who prefers to tirelessly warn and entreat and offer forgiveness without guilt, or consequences at least from Him, for our actions could set in motion the natural consequences from others who are not following Him. But He is the one we need to be concerned about, for He can help us through anything even when we are responsible. Which is one of His points here. We are His watchmen, if we warn them at least they have a chance. The Lord has spelled it out in a selection He added:

Ezekiel 33 (NKJV)

“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have [b]delivered your soul.

10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine[c] away in them, how can we then live?” ’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

The Fairness of God’s Judgment

12 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. 14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does [d]what is lawful and [e]right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not [f]fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not [g]fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

He has repeated this same message throughout the book of Ezekiel in chapters two, eighteen, and thirty three and possibly more, but He selected those tonight.

Ezekiel 18 (NKJV)

14 If, however, he begets a son Who sees all the sins which his father has done, And considers but does not do likewise; 15 Who has not eaten [e]on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife; 16 Has not oppressed anyone, Nor withheld a pledge, Nor robbed by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; 17 Who has withdrawn his hand from [f]the poor And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes— He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!

18 As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

Turn and Live

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

This is a repeated message that He first mentioned at the beginning and again at the end:

11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

Ezekiel 2 (NKJV)

Ezekiel Called to Be a Prophet

And He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.” Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are [a]impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

“And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.

Ezekiel 18 (NKJV)

A False Proverb Refuted

18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. But if a man is just And does what is lawful and right; If he has not eaten [a]on the mountains, Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife, Nor approached a woman during her impurity; If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; If he has not [b]exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true [c]judgment between man and man; If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully— He is just; He shall surely live!” Says the Lord God.

10 “If he begets a son who is a robber Or a shedder of blood, Who does any of these things 11 And does none of those duties, But has eaten [d]on the mountains Or defiled his neighbor’s wife; 12 If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination; 13 If he has exacted usury Or taken increase— Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.

14 If, however, he begets a son Who sees all the sins which his father has done, And considers but does not do likewise; 15 Who has not eaten [e]on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife; 16 Has not oppressed anyone, Nor withheld a pledge, Nor robbed by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing; 17 Who has withdrawn his hand from [f]the poor And not received usury or increase, But has executed My judgments And walked in My statutes— He shall not die for the iniquity of his father; He shall surely live!

18 As for his father, Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people, Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

Turn and Live

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”