Today's Foundations Devotional: In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie

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Memory verse:

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God,

am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to

the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy

to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

(Exodus 20:5-6)

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This point is again brought out in verse 24 of the same chapter.

But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaith- fulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

The final words of this verse, “because of them he shall die,” indicate that God is speaking of the condition in which each individual soul passes from time into eternity. The condition of each soul at this moment will determine the destiny of that soul for eternity. The soul that dies in sin can never be admitted into the presence of God thereafter. In Ecclesiastes the same truth is presented under the picture of a tree falling.

And if a tree falls to the south or to the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie (Eccl. 11:3).

The tree falling corresponds to a man dying. “In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.” The position in which the tree falls decides the position in which it will lie. The condition in which a man dies – the condition of his soul at death – decides what will be his condition throughout eternity. In this respect, each soul is answerable for himself alone and responsible only for his own condition.

These passages in Ezekiel and Ecclesiastes deal with the eternal judgement of God upon each individual soul. The destiny of each soul is settled by the condition in which it dies.

On the other hand, the passages which we considered earlier in Exodus and Jeremiah dealt with the judgements of God in history, worked out from generation to generation in the experience of families, of nations and of whole races.

Viewed in this light, there is no conflict or inconsistency between these two presentations of God’s judgement. In history, the behaviour of one generation has an important effect, for good or for evil, upon the course of succeeding generations. This is part of God’s judgement in history. But in eternity, after time and history have closed, each soul will answer to God solely for his own character and conduct. No soul will be justified by the righteousness of another, and no soul will be condemned for the wickedness of another. This is God’s judgement in eternity.

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Prayer:

Father, reading these Biblical realities, I am so thankful that I have found

You by grace, but I also directly intercede for my the people of my nation,

who throughout the centuries have always served you, but who, in the past

decades and in many respects have gone so far astray, Lord. Save them,

Lord. Let them return to YOU! Amen.

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