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I have been slow walking through the book of Ezekiel in my personal quiet time for the last few weeks. I have read it but prophecy tends to escape me so I have never dug into it very deeply so this has been a good process for me. Recently, my reading brought me to chapters 25-28 where Ezekiel is instructed to prophesy against Ammon and Tyre. After scathing indictments and judgments on several nations for the ways they attacked God’s people, he prophesies judgment on  these two for simply rejoicing over Jerusalem’s demise. In fact, of each of them, He said, “Because you said, ‘Aha!’ over my sanctuary when it was desecrated…” Apparently, God takes it very seriously when people rejoice over the failure of His people.

I wonder what God thinks or what He might prophesy over us when we secretly (or not so secretly) smile when a fellow minister or church goes through a scandal, a splinter, or a split. I am amazed at the depravity of my own spirit when I hear of something going on in a sister church. I suppose it is a latent competitive spirit in my flesh that has yet to be crucified. I guess my flesh thinks if others fail, my job will be easier and I will be more successful. Now, on the surface, I know better than that, but convincing my flesh is more difficult.

Even when we don’t gossip or add to the confusion around such a church difficulty, we can just sit back and think, “Aha! I knew all that growth and success was too good to be true.” When you start unraveling it, it really boils down to some ugly sins. I am jealous of their status. I covet their success. I am skeptical of their systems. All of these point to a condition of the heart. We tend to see the failure of others in the Kingdom far differently that God does. In fact, his track record is that He HATES it when I feel anything other than care, compassion, and empathy when brothers and churches stumble. He felt so strongly about it that He completely obliterated and removed from human history two nations. That should be enough to make us think before we rock back on our heels and give a condescending “Aha!” when we hear of a sister church or minister in trouble.

Comments or thoughts?

2 Responses

  1. Right. Between. Eyes.

  2. Ephesians 4:11-16 speaks directly of how we should relate to each other in crisis or “normal” living until we reach the perfection of Christ.

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