Sermon ‘Nahum’ (Nahum 1-3) by Geoff Lin is available now in audio and video: http://bit.ly/2vAv4e0
Read the Bible text: http://bit.ly/2ubRtAK
Suffering and Judgement
Personally, I don’t really like the idea of suffering, even for a good cause. It is a brave person who prays – ‘Lord, make me suffer so that you will get the glory!’
I wonder, what the original readers of 1 Peter might have been thinking as they contemplated all the different kinds of suffering that might lie before them. Like us, I am sure they would have been uncertain.
Peter, seems to have understood that uncertainty and offers some perspective by looking at the role judgement plays in suffering.
‘Then they will know that I am their Lord’ (Ezekiel 28:26)
One of the clearest ways that we know that God is Lord is when we feel the consequence of his judgement. We are in common company here. Time and time again throughout the Old Testament, both Israel (God’s people) and the foreign nations felt the wrath of God as a consequence of his judgment – and in it realized that the God of Israel was in indeed Lord.
I just read Ezekiel 8-11 – it is shocking!
I found myself wondering how I would have responded if I was Ezekiel. God lifted him up and showed him the sin of the house of Israel and the leaders of Judah – and repeatedly stated ‘you will see things that are even more detestable...’ (Ezek 8:6, 13, 15, 17). The sin and rebellion of the people was shocking – insulting really. To set up an idol and then bow down to it – and to do that in the very sanctuary of God! That would be worse than inviting a prostitute to join you in bed when your spouse was in it! Or giving the PIN number to your joint bank account to a thief without asking your partner!
It is no wonder God was angry.