“For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” – Ezekiel 18:32
As we live in this cruel world, we must’ve heard a lot of people saying, “Does God get His satisfaction by watching us suffer? Why does He allow suffering? Why does He let us suffer?”, like it’s something we do not deserve. It’s quite funny for us to point our fingers to God in terms of our suffering wherein, we are the ones who put ourselves in this situation. We should not act blindly and just blame everything to God for why we are suffering. Instead, let us understand that we are sinful and that we really deserve to suffer. However, our verse today also tells us that it is not because of God that we are suffering. He does not even delight in the death of anyone.
Ezekiel witnessed that God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone. He is not happy that we are suffering or that we are condemned. He even gave us the way out– the freedom from sin and death. He gave us His salvation that will make us free from the bondage of sin and death so that we will live. That’s why in our verse today, God declares through Ezekiel that He does not take pleasure in the death of anyone, so He encourages us to repent and live. What we do not understand from this is that we have no right to blame God that we will die or we are suffering.
Again, the wages of our sin is death, but because of the grace of God, we are saved in Jesus’ name. Now, since we are saved, it doesn’t mean that it will magically lift us up and save us from death. But it means that we have to confess our sins and only through our faith in Christ we will be saved and live. Also, we have to recognize that God declares this during the Old Testament, which means that He has already planned our salvation since before. So, we must be thankful, and we must understand that all of these are really the grace of God and we don’t have any contribution to it.
Therefore, we must also remember that it is not because we are good, why God encourages us to repent, but it is because He loves us so much and He is existentially good and faithful. Thus, as we venture into this hard life, we must always remember that we are living under the grace of God. We need His grace and we can only live through His salvation in Christ Jesus. There is no way we can ever save ourselves from death, so only through Christ can we be saved. Therefore, let us repent so we can live!