I’ve never thought that I was special. Don’t get me wrong; I grew up in a home where I knew I was loved, and I was always encouraged to work hard, taught what was right and wrong, and given every opportunity to thrive. What I mean when I say I never thought I was special is that I never believed that I would be the “exception” to the rule. When my mama said if I did wrong, I would be punished, it never occurred to me that I would be the one to get away with things. When I heard warnings about not drinking or taking drugs or driving like a maniac or doing other foolish things as a child/teenager because it could lead to the destruction of my life, it never occurred to me that I would finally be the one to beat the odds, and I never had a desire to try to prove the statistics wrong. I knew the rules applied to everybody. I knew I wasn’t that special.
As I read through Ezekiel 32-33 today, I wondered what causes anyone (a person, a family, a nation) to believe that they will be the exception to God’s rules. Ezekiel is speaking a message to Egypt, telling them that God is going to punish them for their deeds, and they will soon fall to Babylon’s sword. He asks them, “Are you more favored than others?” and reminds them of the nations that have fallen before them, as an example: Assyria, Elam, Meshek and Tubal, Edom, Sidon. The list goes on. Why would Pharaoh think he is too special or too smart or too lucky or too strong, that he will escape, and finally be the “one” to beat the odds, that God will somehow “miss” him. Instead, Ezekiel says that Egypt’s downfall will be an example to others: “I will cause many people to be appalled at you, and their kings will shudder with horror because of you.”
It might sound harsh, but none of us are that special. We are all created by God, and accountable to our Creator, whether or not we believe it. No one is getting by with anything. God’s word is true, and despite what you think, you won’t be the exception. The good news is that God has no desire to punish anyone! Listen to His words, “As surely as I live,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” (33:11)
The only exception to the rule of standing before God at the end of your life and giving account for every sin you’ve ever committed is to lay your life down now at the foot of the cross and trust Jesus to pay for those sins. Jesus’ death and resurrection are not a loophole God came up with at the last minute. It was His plan from eternity, and forgiveness and salvation are available to all. What about you? Do you think you’re special enough to be the exception? Trust me, the odds are 100% against you.