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Discovery Magazine 12/1/2003

Getting Into Trouble with God

by  Deborah Miller

Ezekiel was the prophet who wrote a whole book, but never really told us much of anything about himself. We do know from chapter 24 that his wife died, but nothing else. This book was not meant to be about a man. Ezekiel is a book that tells us about a just and angry God.

The children of Israel had been misbehaving again. God had sent some of them into “time out” by allowing the Babylonians to take them captive. You might think that slavery would have made them sorry, but the Israelites stubbornly held on to their idols and wicked ways. Ezekiel was sent to tell them that the “beatings were about to begin,” that is, they were going to be punished even more.

Ezekiel not only warned the Israelites, but he also turned to the people of other countries and told them that God was going to punish them, too. You see, they had made fun of the punishment that God’s children were receiving. The children of Israel, and the countries around them, had been disobedient and disrespectful to God.

When adults disobey the Bible, they can get in trouble with God. Did you know that your parents can get into trouble with the Heavenly Father, just like all of us can get into trouble with our earthly parents? The difference is that God’s punishment is always completely fair, and never due to a bad mood or how He is feeling at the moment.

This book also gives us some very important rules for life: (1) children will not be guilty for their parents’ sins; (2) when a person follows the rules nearly all the time, he or she still must be punished for not following God’s rules fully; and (3) when a person has acted terribly by disobeying God, but then changes and becomes good, he or she will be forgiven.

The book of Ezekiel ends with the punishment being carried out for all who were not sorry. Those who changed their actions and corrected their attitudes were allowed to go back home and start a better life, living happily ever after—until the next time they got out of control.

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