Read Ezekiel 32
Focus on verse 20
An oxymoron is what the grammar police call words that are used together which seem to contradict each other. Some of the more common ones you might be familiar with are things like “bureaucratic efficiency” or “military intelligence”.
Today’s theme – fatalistic hope – might also be considered an oxymoron since fatalism and hope would typically not be considered synonyms. While today’s chapter does not speak directly to this, it does present the notion that from a purely physical perspective, we all have the same destiny, commonly known as death.
In this reading Ezekiel records a lament for Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt in which he lists all the other nations that the Babylonians already have, are in the process of, or are scheduled to destroy. It is an impressive list, and Egypt is just one more victim of this unstoppable military tidal wave of destruction. When we put this together with previous prophecy describing that ultimate destruction of the Babylonians and so on, we begin to get the idea that nothing lasts forever, and that our ultimate destiny seems to be a grave. That is the fatalistic part of today’s theme.
The hopeful part is that our existence does not stop there. If this life was all we have and nothing more, it would be a rather sad and hopeless existence, and it would make sense to try to grab as much as possible and cling to life with every once of energy for as long as possible. The good news is there is more; the short span of time each of us will spend here on this planet is but a tiny little blip on the timeline of eternity. The bad news is our worldview and particularly our response to God as a result of that worldview will determine the quality of our existence on the other side of this veil we step beyond at the point of death.
Jesus spoke of a wide easy road that many people travel that leads to a place of agony and torment, and a narrow road, which few find, that is difficult to navigate but leads to a place of joy and bliss. (Matt 7:13)
The bottom line would seem to be that one’s worldview is what will determine whether one finds fatalistic hope to be an oxymoron or a congruent phrase that makes sense. If your worldview includes an accurate assessment of who God is and how He plays an active role in our world and that it is possible for us to truly know Him through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, then it likely makes sense to you. On the other hand if your worldview is such that it does not leave room for God to play a part in your life, then it probably does not, which is your choice, however, I would invite you to reconsider.