If you’ve been reading the Word of God with us in our project of reading it through in two years, you should be starting the book of Ezekiel about now. It’s tough to read but let me encourage you to read it prayerfully.
In Ezekiel it says, “I shall make you pass under the rod. And I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant.” God was going to work in the lives of the children of Israel. It wasn’t going to be easy to make them into what He wanted them to be, but God will faithfully keep at it. He abhors what is defiled or impure. Israel was to be holy unto the Lord, but they compromised by worshiping idols, thus they defiled themselves and became impure. That’s why God flung them into the furnace of affliction.
God’s purpose, however, was not mere punishment. It also involved restoration. When God punishes His people, He does it to purge them of whatever defiles and disqualifies them from fellowship with Him. Don’t resist God’s punitive purge. That only intensifies and prolongs it, as in the case of Israel as found in Ezekiel 24:13. Respond to God’s chastening by renouncing your evil ways and returning to the Lord with all your heart. Such a response always leads to restoration. God chastens those He loves.
If you feel you’re under God’s chastening rod, remember, He wields it because He loves you. He wants you to deal with whatever is evil in your life and return to Him with your whole heart. Do it today.