“And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God,” says the Lord GOD. Eze 14:10-11
“Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it,” says the Lord GOD. Eze 14:22-23
There is a difference between the punishment that God brings upon the wicked, and the punishment by which He disciplines His own people. The wicked are left alone to prosper, because they are being fattened like sheep for the day of slaughter, which is the Day of the LORD. The LORD is full of mercy, forgiving iniquity, and patient and longsuffering, in the hopes that all, even the wicked, would repent and turn from their wickedness, and live. He forgives iniquity and sin!
But He will by no means clear the guilty. If the wicked will not repent until the coming of the Day of the LORD, then the LORD’s wrath will be poured out on the wicked. The purpose of the LORD’s wrath is not to vent anger or frustration. It is to make an end of wickedness. Wickedness hurts people, you know. Where there is wickedness, there are victims, and oppression, and abuse; and the victims are generally those who are weak or more vulnerable.
So for those who will not repent, who insist on continuing perpetrating wickedness and hurting others, the LORD’s wrath makes an end of them. One way or another, by repentance, or by wrath, the wickedness will end.
However, for those who belong to the LORD, as Israel belonged to the LORD, the purpose of His discipline is to lead His people into forsaking that which is evil and practicing that which is good. The terms of the covenant He established between Himself and Israel on Mount Sinai, was that He would be their God, and they would be His people. Then He gave them the Ten Commandments, and the statutes and judgments which explained what keeping the Ten Commandments meant. He gave them, in other words, the definition of righteous behavior.
His people will walk in His ways, for their own benefit and blessing, and when they stray from His ways, He will lead them back. If they rebel, He will discipline them for their own benefit, in order to lead them back to His ways. For His people will walk in His ways. Those who will not walk in His ways, are not His people.
Let the church of the Lord Jesus Christ not be deceived! The way to enter into the Father- child relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth, is by grace through faith! Faith makes a person a member of the LORD’s household. But the way to receive the benefit and blessing of obedience in this life of that household (Deu 28:1-14), is not by faith, as we have been told, but by obedience to the Father! Seek His face, and learn His ways, and walk in them, that the benefit and blessing of obedience may rest upon us!