Lord who Smites
Ezekiel 7:9 (H5221 )
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. (3) Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. (4) And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. (5) Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. (6) An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. (7) The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains. (8) Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations. (9) And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the LORD that smiteth.
This is a name that God has given Himself, therefore I place special importance upon it.
Here are the words the KJV translates this as:
smite 348, slay 92, kill 20, beat 9, slaughter 5, stricken 3, given 3, wounded 3, strike 2, stripes 2, misc 13
When I first read and started to work on this name I was thinking that the Lord that smiteth would be smiting the enemies of a godly man. Obviously reading the above passage, that is not the case. . . verse 3:
I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.
He is smiting His chosen people for their disobedience. This does not mean that He is mortally wounding them, but His smiting is more like the smiting that a parent does to a child. It is also called chastisement:
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; 13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. 14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. 15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
Certain chapters of the Bible are renown for their themes. Hebrews 11 – faith, I Corinthians 13 – love, Isaiah 58 - fasting. There are other examples. Hebrews chapter 12 is very much focused on chastisement of believers by God:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
If you think you endure injustice and unfairness. . .Jesus sacrificed Himself for the very ones who killed Him. What a paradox. In their evilness they killed him and through His death, His murderers were given a path to salvation. . .
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
This passage begins by reminding us that while we have fought against sin, that we have not yet paid the ultimate price of pouring out our blood in this battle, like Jesus did, therefore we need to respect He who fought like we do and yet paid a much greater price for His righteousness. He has a right and standing to correct us as a father corrects his children.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
It is not enjoyable to be chastised. No one would say that they enjoy it, but by the same measure we all require it occasionally. As the verses above state, at times our earthly fathers gave into their own desires, their own anger while chastening us. God never does this. It is always for our own benefit that he corrects us. In another compound name of Jehovah we looked at Leviticus 26. In that passage God clearly outlines the building up of consequences if we do not favorably take to His correction. There will be an ever increasing level of consequence, if we choose to ignore Him.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Again we do not enjoy our punishment from God, but if we allow it and take it with an agreeable heart, if we take it in the Spirit of love in which it is given, it will bring forth the result of righteousness in us. Do not allow yourselves to be sullen and injured in your spirit by His correction. It is our reaction to His correction that determines its result. Our response must come from humility and a contrite heart. This results in a very sweet fruit. We will walk more closely in His footsteps with a heart of humbleness. Pride and arrogance within us will cause a crop of very bitter fruit and we will be lamed rather than enabled by His corrections with such a heart. . .
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Esau gave up for a pittance, what should have been of utmost importance to him. Likewise for us the danger is that in our response to correction by God we turn our backs on our birthright, we turn our backs on our obligations as sons of God and through our rejection of God's correction we deny His right as a Father and thereby in effect deny Him. The warning here is that the rejection of God's correction is not to be lightly done, nor is it lightly undone. Esau terribly regretted his decision and wished it differently, but it was not to be so. . .
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
In the Old Testament, under the old covenant God was inaccessible. We were forbidden from approaching Him. God spoke to all the Jewish people and they asked that He no longer speak directly to them, but through Moses only. God granted their wish, but at great cost to them.
22 But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Under the new covenant, we now have a path, a mediator, a way to the Father through the Son. Under the blood of Jesus, we come into His presence with a more pleasing sacrifice than that of Abel. He will now speak directly to us. We have access to a new Holy mountain. No longer does the priest alone go into the Holy of Holies. . . under the sacrifice of Jesus we are all sanctified. . .
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Therefore we being given access to Him directly we must allow Him to speak to us directly and act directly upon us. The consequences of the Jews requesting no more direct contact, is paralleled with and was as great as the effect of Esau turning his back upon his birthright. This is what we do if we reject God's chastisement. In a very fundamental way we are rejecting Him totally and therefore the implication is that we should not be surprised if we do not hear from Him directly ever again. . .
WOW! Esau tried, but could not undo his rejection of his birthright. Thousands of years ago, the Jews rejection of the voice of God directly speaking to them lasted. . . How long? Till today?
My God. . .
I hope. . .
I pray that I have never turned my back upon Your chastisement. . .
Let me always have ears for Your corrections. . .
This is strong meat. . .
We must not be casual about anything of God. . .
I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Lord who Smites