Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land,’” (7:1-2).
I found myself searching for hope, much like I imagine the exiles did. And even though I know how this portion of the story ends, still I wanted so much to read that surely God would spare, surely He would have mercy, surely He would relent concerning the coming disaster, surely He would stop the day of doom.
But again, I know how this ends, and I am so looking forward to when Ezekiel’s message will turn to hope; but first the fall of Jerusalem will come. For what He has spoken will be accomplished by Him Who Determines Our End.
“Once news was received that Jerusalem had fallen, Ezekiel‘s message turned to the Lord’s consoling words of hope for His people — they would experience revival, restoration and a glorious future as the redeemed and perfected kingdom of God in the world,” NIV Study Bible.
Consider Him Who Determines Our End
Though today’s reading is both frightening and depressing, it is necessary that we heed His repeated reminders. He Determines Our End, and His patience does run out.
“Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come, the day is near—tumult rather than joyful shouting on the mountains,” (7:7).
And if we reject His warnings and refuse His grace, the day will come when He will deal with us according to our own ways and will judge us according to our judgments as He Determines Our End.
“Now I will shortly pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you; judge you according to your ways and bring on you all your abominations. 9 My eye will show no pity nor will I spare. I will repay you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst; then you will know that I, the Lord, do the smiting,” (7:8-9).
“The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord,’” (7:27).
He calls us to remember, He Determines Our End and His purpose will be accomplished.
“Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
9 “Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure,’” (Isaiah 46:7-10).
He will always fulfill His Word; and for all who look to Him in faith, believing His Word and trusting His promises, there is a future and the hope of restored relationship with Him Who Determines Our End.
“For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile,’” (Jeremiah 29:10-14).
He Determines the number of our days; Our End is ordained for us.
“Since his days are determined,
The number of his months is with You;
And his limits You have set so that he cannot pass, (Job 14:5).
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them, (Psalm 139:16).
And after that, His judgment will come.
And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27).
How do we respond to Him Who Determines Our End?
The question we must all ask ourselves is, do we want to be judged according to our own ways, or according to His Way?
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).
Jesus is the Only Way to the Father. And when we look to Him in faith, believing His Word and trusting His promises, we will have a future and the hope of restored relationship with Him Who Determines Our End.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” (John 5:24).
And as His sheep, who follow our Good Shepherd, we can have the confidence that He Determines Our End, keeping us eternally secure in His hand.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one,” (John 10:28).
As His sheep, we are called to make the most of our days, walking in the wisdom He gives that we would follow Him and understand His Will.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is, (Ephesians 5:15-16).
And perhaps the best way to make the most of our days is in being continually reminded of how truly transient this life is as we seek Him Who Determines Our End.
“Lord, make me to know my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.
5 “Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath, (Psalm 39:4-5).
Our life is a mere breath in light of eternity. So let us live with the joy of eternity in mind, trusting Him to keep us from stumbling to the very End, that we may be presented before Him blameless by Him Who Determines Our End.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen, (Jude 1:24-25).