S: Ezekiel 18:30b-32 This is what the Lord GOD said. “So come back to me! Stop committing those crimes and do away with those things that cause you to sin! Throw away all the terrible idols with which you committed your crimes! Change your heart and spirit. People of Israel, why should you do things that will cost you your life? I don’t want to kill you! Please come back and live!” This is what the Lord GOD said.
Ezekiel 33:11 “You must say to them, ‘The Lord GOD says: By my life, I swear that I don’t enjoy seeing people die—not even evil people! I don’t want them to die. I want them to come back to me. I want them to change their lives so that they can really live. So come back to me! Stop doing bad things! Why must you die, family of Israel?’”
O: God does not desire the wicked to perish, but rather, that they would repent. As human beings, when we experience injustice, our natural inclination is to retaliate, to hurt the other person. Like Jonah, we don't want our enemies to repent and be saved; we want the judgment of God to destroy them.
But this is not God's heart. Romans 12:17-21 says:
If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone. My friends, don’t try to punish anyone who does wrong to you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one who punishes; I will pay people back.” But you should do this: “If you have enemies who are hungry, give them something to eat. If you have enemies who are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will make them feel ashamed.” Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.
A: Today, it is Hari Raya Aidiadha here in Malaysia. (Eid al-Adha) Yesterday, the Appeals Court in Malaysia made a terrible decision in favour of the UMNO-led supposedly "moderate" Muslim government to ban Christians and other non-Muslims from calling God the Father "Allah" in Malay, Iban and other related languages. This is in spite of the fact that Arab Christians have been calling God the Father "Allah" since before the advent of Islam, and in spite of the fact that Malay- and Iban-speaking Christians have been calling God the Father "Allah" since before there was such a country as Malaysia. Even Arab countries are incredulous at the Malaysian government's stance.
So this is a timely reminder for us as Malaysian Christians to not hate the people in the UMNO government. God does not desire for them to perish, either, but to come to repentance.
As people annoy us and do evil to us in our daily walk, we also need to remember this, and to see them with the compassionate eyes of Christ, instead of seeking revenge.
P: Father, help me to see people who do evil to me with Your eyes, and to remember that You would rather that the evil repent rather than die in their sins. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)