September 15, 2021
“‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ This is the declaration of the Lord God. ‘Instead, don’t I take pleasure when he turns from his ways and lives?… For I take no pleasure in anyone’s death.’ This is the declaration of the Lord God. ‘So repent and live!’” – Ezekiel 18:23 & 32
Have you ever found yourself saying, “I hope that horrible person gets what they deserve!” As people made in the image of God, we have a built-in sense of justice. We know that wrong should be punished. Our God is a righteous God, and he cannot allow evil to go unchecked. We know this to be true and so we look to see how evil people will be held accountable.
But we can never let this ingrained sense of justice turn into a sick desire to see people punished, anxiously awaiting God’s wrath. It is never God’s desire to put to death the wicked. He never enjoys punishment. God is not looking for opportunities to “give them what they deserve.” Instead, he is patient, not wanting anyone to be lost. His desire is not to enact punishment on the wicked; his desire is for the wicked to turn from their wickedness, avoid wrath, and live. So, this should always be our desire as well. The evil in this world should break our hearts. We should not anxiously await God’s wrath on sinful people. Instead, we should deeply desire that they leave their evil behind and come in repentance to our loving God.
Mighty God, we ask that You work in a powerful way in the hearts of those around us. Convict people of their sin and draw them back to You. And Heavenly Father, we are your open vessels today to be used for that purpose. Fill us with Your desire for the wicked in this world to turn away from evil and come running to You.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon