This three chapters of Ezekiel are God’s declaration of judgment against the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Philitines, the Edomites and the land of Tyre & Siddon.
All these enemies of the land of Israel and Judah had been used by God at various times to deliver judgment against the land of Israel when they sinned against God and worshipped the idols and gods of the nations around them. So in battle these nations had plundered the Israelites from time to time. It appears though that these nations failed to realise it was God who was using them to punish the Israelites and I this is were they missed it. So they all started rejoicing over the fall and defeat of Israel who despite all the sin they had committed still happened to be “the apple of God’s eye”
So God became angry because these nations rejoice over Israel’s downfall and these three chapters of Ezekiel are God’s proclamation of judgment over all of them.
The lesson to learn here is never rejoice over someone else’s downfall.
I love this Psalm because it shows a clear picture of the children of Israel appealing to God for restoration after He had punished them for all their iniquities and sins.
In Ps85:1-3 they talk about how God has forgiven their sins
Verses 4 – 13 they appeal for God to cease from being angry with them and show His mercy bringing restoration for all their enemies had plundered them of. They ask God in His righteousness to let His salvation cause His “glory may dwell in our land” again. In faith they declare “Yes, the Lord will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase.”
Scriptures like Psalm 85 were recorded as a warning to us so that we may not the same mistake Israel made by being enticed by the sins being committed by the nations around them and straying away from God. This caused God’s protection over them to be removed and He punished them for what they did leaving them a mockery amongst other nations who He allowed to deal several blows of defeat on them.
It’s interesting how Jesus’s disciples make an assumption that because a man was born blind it was punishment for he or his parents sins!! Jesus gives the perfect answer in verse 3“……Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” What I take away from this scripture is that we may not always have an answer for every challenging situation we find ourselves in, sometimes things wouldn’t make sense. These challenges that don’t make sense are not necessarily a reflection of the presence of sin after all the Bible says God causes the rain to fall on the good and evil. Also once we ask God for forgiveness He nevers holds our past sins against us, and if he doesn’t why should He then punish us with sickness or infirmity.
Rather than focusing on sin one should really focus on our merciful God who desires to and can heal all sickness and infirmity which is exactly what Jesus’s focus was as He then proceeds to heal the blind man.
We also see the evil side of religion at play when the Pharisees condemned Jesus for healing the man on the sabbath day. They also went as far as trying to discredit the man’s healing.
Let us learn a lesson here because it is easy to criticise the Pharisees when we are also guilty of the same sin. We must never let religion get in the way of us showing compassion when it is needed.