I have been reading in Psalms and Ezra and Romans and the Gospel of Mark this week and have found a reoccuring theme, the companionship of blessing and wrath. One is often discussed in relation to the other. Part of this is the working out of the “blessing and curse” theology of Deuteronomy 27-28. But today, reading in Ezra 8:22, I saw it with a new clarity.
“The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him,
and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.”
The lines are in parallel. The second line mirrors the first. The first line affirms the glory of belonging to God while the second line proclaims the horror that abides on those who forsake him, who refuse to bow their knee to his Lordship.
“The hand of our God / is for good / on all who seek him,
and the power of his wrath / is against / all who forsake him.”
Some thoughts for application:
- I need to live always in light of the promise of blessing for those who seek God.
- My life should be a reflection to others of the delights of living under His guidance.
- The horror awaiting those who forsake God should motivate us warn all who stand outside of Christ.
“O Lord, I need You, I need Your help in living moment by moment on the basis of Your promises. I want my life to be a reflection to any who know me that it is a delight to live under Your loving guidance. And Lord, I want to be bold in proclaiming You and Your word to my neighbors and friends. What kind of friend would I be if I kept silent while they continue to live outside Your will? Make me a man who is willing to risk rejection and worse because of my love for You and them. I am a wicked sinner, but You have saved me, blessed me, and promised me glory with You. Make me bold to invite others into Your blessings.”