Spoiling God’s Reputation


A work and witness project in Armenia. These types of activities are
a positive reflection on the character of God. 



Scripture:

Ezek. 45:9   Thus says the Lord GOD: Enough, O princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression, and do what is just and right. Cease your evictions of my people, says the Lord GOD.

Observation:

The vision of restoration for God’s people includes justice and righteousness. In this case it is the princes of Israel who have exploited their people for their own advantage. They are the ones who have ruined God’s reputation, not only among their own people, but among the outsiders who have been looking in. The vision of the restoration which is to come will reflect God’s holiness. God’s people will practice no violence or oppression, and they will do what is right and just. 

Application:

What does the world have to say about Christians these days? What are the things for which Christians are advocating? How are Christians known? Followers of Christ must recognize that their behavior determines God’s reputation in the world. That is a heavy burden to bear, and yet it is reality. 

As a descriptor of holiness, Ezekiel provides a vision of restoration. One could easily equate the princes of Israel with ministers in the church. Let’s just substitute that language and see where it takes us. First of all, the minister is supposed to have their own space. This had been part of the problem, that the Levites didn’t have their own designated land and this created tension. The person who is serving God in ministry should be provided with a place to call their own in which to live. That said, the way in which others are treated is vitally important. One commentator said that the religious leaders of Ezekiel’s day had “fleeced the flock instead of feeding them.” (Henry) We’ve seen this in our day and this behavior puts a black mark on God’s reputation. 

Unfortunately there are times when high profile pastors may become overwhelmed with power and money. This doesn’t help God’s reputation. Take, for example the new Instagram site, “PreachersNSneakers” where someone has captured ministers wearing some of the most high-end sneakers, with costs ranging from several hundred to thousands of dollars a pair. The world looks at this and thinks that this doesn’t really reflect God very well. What Christians do directly affects the world’s view of God. 

Holiness is reflected in those who show justice and righteousness. We are called to deal with others in a fair and just manner; looking after the needs of others. Our resources are not ours alone, but are to be used to help others. We are to be honest in our business dealings. True godliness must come with honesty. We should never cheat others by short-changing them, or being dishonest. Remember, all that we do is a reflection upon God in this world. 

Prayer:

Lord, help your people to reflect your mercy, justice and righteousness. Amen. 

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