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Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

20:25 statutes that were not good. Superficially this might seem to contradict Ezekiel 20:11, in which God had promised that those who “do” His statutes and judgments would “live in them.” Paul also confirmed that “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid” (Romans 7:12-13). Note also Leviticus 18:5, as well as Ezekiel 20:13, 21.

God’s law is, in every sense, good! There is nothing in it which men could not obey, if they would only follow it. But the fact is, they won’t! In context in this chapter, the people of Israel were deliberately rejecting God’s law (Ezekiel 20:24) in order to incorporate the laws of the pagan pantheists around them, even sacrificing their firstborn children to the “god” Molech. Therefore God “gave them”—or “gave them over to” (Romans 1:28)—these pagan “statutes that were not good.” When men insist on worshipping the creation rather than the Creator, as multitudes are doing today in their varied philosophies of pantheistic evolutionism, God eventually comes to the point of giving them up to wallow in their sins and to experience in all their fullness the awful fruits thereof (note Romans 1:20-32).

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