SCRIPTURE: Ezekiel 32
When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you; I will bring darkness over your land, declares the Sovereign LORD. [Ezekiel 32:7-8]
This sounds like the end of the world, at least for Egypt.
Ezekiel uses apocalyptic language to describe the fall of Egypt, the once mighty nation that ruled and terrorized its neighbours.
Like the people of Assyria, Elam, Edom, Meshek, Tubal, the princes of the north and the Sidonians, like every powerful, oppressive nation throughout history.
Any oppressive nation or ruler that tramples its neighbours and rules with violence and injustice will be brought down.
Even Babylon, which at this point is God’s service to execute justice, will one day end up in the same place.
But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [Matthew 24:48-51]
Jesus speaks these words to the people of Israel, but they apply to all people, all nations, all rulers, who for a time are blessed with authority and power, and who abuse that privilege and the people under them.
All governing authorities are God’s servants [Romans 13:1-5], and will be accountable to God for what they did with their authority.
Notice that Jesus – Whom we know to be God’s agent of grace and mercy – does not go softly against faithless, cruel servants.
Like the Egyptians, all of God’s servants will be held accountable for how they used (or abused) God’s gifts and responsibilities.
It is not pleasant to think about what happens to those who absolutely refuse to humble their hearts before God, and who continue to live selfish, hurtful lives.
I do not think that all people (except a few) are going to hell; I do not think that everyone that does not go to church or believe in Jesus or the message of Jesus are necessarily doomed and dammed.
I do believe that there is only one way to survive judgment day, and that is through the mercy God provides through Jesus.
I do believe that a day is coming when we will all stand before God, and it will not be a good day – a day of darkness and the shocking realization of the truth.
God knows our hearts better than anyone, even better than we do.
In the end, I believe God will give to everyone what they wanted – and the frightening thing is that some people prefer eternity without God than eternity with Him.
I cannot judge, I cannot say who is and is not saved.
I just know that a day of judgment is coming… and I need to choose now which eternity I want – eternal life or eternal death.
Lord, Your grace is greater than I realize, but Your justice is also important. Only You know in the end Who will choose life. Help me to humble my heart now, that I may be lifted up by Your mercy on that day!