“You rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and you defile one another’s wives. Should you then possess the land?» (Ezekiel 33:26, NVI).
When I moved to the United States with my family, we had a special visa that granted us permission to live and move around freely for three months. The idea was to get residency and then, in time, citizenship. However, in my home, to be honest, we did not really express that longing. We spoke in Spanish all the time; we listened to music from Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay; we cooked food from our countries and missed our homeland very much. How could we hope to be citizens of such a different homeland that had such noticeable demands for adaptation and abdication? Our hearts were not there.
With the question in today’s verse, God was not only establishing definite criteria. The laws were already given as a reflection of His character and righteousness. The people continually broke them, and in spite of that, they longed to possess the land and be blessed by God.
Something similar can happen to us today. Sometimes we live a life of dissolution, immersed in pleasures and earthly worries, and we hope to reach our home in heaven. It is true that, as we said yesterday, salvation is not by works, but by faith, but we often show in our lives that our desires are more of this world than of heaven. Sometimes facing the consequences of that life and of our own choices shows us that we are far from reaching heaven. Do we not sometimes also complain and brand God as unjust?
This question makes us reflect precisely on His righteousness. It is one of His greatest proofs. He has created us with freedom and gives us the option of choice. He would not force us to be in a place we would not really enjoy. These attitudes that the people had, which are also often ours, take us away from God and the characteristics of His home. It is not so much a question of deserving it or not, but whether we really want it and long for it, and whether we are going to «fit in» there.
In the gallery of faith, we are told, «But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country, Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them»
Could the same be said about us today? What do our hearts long for?