Israel Grasped

Today's devotion from Ezekiel 28 & 29. Of course Egypt would receive judgment from God. Israel and Egypt had a long, entangled relationship. Egypt was a place of refuge and a pit of servitude, a strong foe and weak friend. In this case, Israel had grasped for straws in trying to stave of the oncoming assaults of their powerful neighbors. The straw they grasped was a reed in the Nile.

Egypt was the hope they never should have had, and the hope that never became reality. Israel awaited military support from Pharaoh that never arrived, and they fell. This is the event to which Ezekiel refers in 29:7, "When Israel grasped you by the hand, you splintered, tearing all their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you shattered and made all their hips unsteady." (Ezekiel 29:7, CSB)

God had warned them repeatedly not to look to Egypt for assistance or support. He had warned their kings not to develop economic or political relationships with Egypt. Yet, Israel failed to listen.  However, even as Israel is being punished for rebellion, God refuses to let them simply sow what they had reaped. He will not allow those who hurt His people go unpunished even though His people should have known better.

You see, even though God will allow you to experience the outcome of your rebellion, He will not reply to your pain with, "I told you so", or, "That's what you get." No. God is not vindictive toward those that He loves. Even when we go against His express Word, He is concerned for us. Even while He punishes, He loves.

What are you grasping at today? What are you frantically trying to restrain even as it spins out of control? It could very well be that the last straw you grasp will be the one that causes you to fall and injure yourself even more. Why not stop grasping for reeds, and, instead, cry out to God, the One who loves and cares for you on a deep personal level?