Statutes that were not good


In The Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 20 Verse 25 states:

  Therefore I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances through which they could not live.    

Please explain.


The NAB offers the following footnote:

I gave them statutes that were not good: because Israel rejected the Lord’s life-giving laws, he “gave” laws (e.g., the sacrifice of every firstborn) that would lead only to death and destruction. Dt 12:29–31; Jer 7:31; 19:4–5 may address a popular assumption that the Lord accepted and perhaps required child sacrifice, especially as evidence of great trust during national emergencies (2 Kgs 3:27; Mi 6:7). By combining language from Ex 22:28 with the vocabulary of child sacrifice, Ezekiel suggests that firstborn sons were regularly sacrificed in Israel.

I think I’d offer that, at that point in time, they didn’t understand the distinction between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ causation. For them at this time, every thing was caused directly by God – if not, then it undercut the belief in God’s sovereignty. So, they believed that everything that happened, was caused directly and intentionally by God. By this way of thinking, even things that we (today) would consider as not being caused by God would be things that they’d say were His direct action.

Ezekiel 20 is harsh – God says, over and over again, that He wished His people to follow His law, but they refused. Finally, then, he allowed them to reap the effects of their actions. Are these actions, in fact, God’s will? Of course not: “By offering your gifts, by making your children pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols even to this day.” These actions defile the people – and they are the actions performed with idols, not with God.


Perhaps it’s another way of saying he allowed them to have statutes/ordinances that were not good.


Opps. I thought the title was “Statues that were not good”. :smiley:


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