‘Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, 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! Why will you die, people of Israel?’”
Be Willing to Say Hard Things
Are you willing to say hard things when someone is in danger? Raising your voice to warn and reprimand a child about to dart out into traffic is not pleasant but necessary.
Ezekiel was a prophet who was tasked with a hard message. Hard, but necessary. A vast majority of God’s people in the nation of Judah had turned away from the Lord, darting right out into grave spiritual danger. They abandoned God’s promises and God’s commands, and in doing so, were in danger of perishing eternally.
We often shy away from saying things that are hard for others to hear, but when the stakes are that high, we are willing to say what it takes to turn someone away from danger. It’s not just about turning away from danger but turning back to the one place where that soul finds peace and security.
Picture that child who was just turned back in a safe direction, away from oncoming traffic. The strong warning startles him and makes him cry, but it makes him run right back into his father’s arms, where he is loved and safe. When we say hard things but necessary things to someone running right into spiritual danger, away from God, the Lord’s desire is always that they run back into his loving arms.
Jesus, our Savior, put himself in the path of God’s impending wrath against sin when he died on the cross. He was willing to say hard things as he called people to turn to him and live. Even more, he was willing to lay down his life to save yours. Always turn to him and live.
Lord, thank you for saying hard things to me so that I might turn to you and live. Give me the courage to say hard things to those in spiritual danger so they might turn to you and live as well. Amen.