Sunday, August 15, 2010

2010 – August 15 – God of Velvet, God of Steel

Study from God’s Word Ezekiel, Chapters 1 – 7 … Passage for Reflection: Ezekiel 4: 15 … NIV [God to Ezekiel] “Very well,” He said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow manure instead of human excrement.”

My Journal for Today: Well, having read and studied through the first seven chapters of the Book of one of the so-called “major prophets,” in this case Ezekiel, and coming on the series of lessons God teaches to His called/designated Prophet, Ezekiel, we read this somewhat bizarre interlude in today’s highlighted text. In its context God is giving Ezekiel some empathy lessons in what God is going to put the northern tribes of Israel through while they are in captivity; and God is showing Ezekiel that the people will gladly eat even foods forbidden to God’s people, like barley cakes baked over human excrement (can you believe that would be in God’s word?). Well, Ezekiel balks, indicating that he has never – and will never – eat food prepared in such a forbidden manner; so, God – our sensitive God - Who is spewing forth his anger, honors Ezekiel’s obedience by giving him the lesson using animal dung rather than human manure.

I know, … I thought, “How bizarre can God’s written truth get at times!” But this little sequence teaches us that God, even when His wrath and judgment are on display, will show His “teddy-bear” side when He comes across one of His beloved children who has been – and will be – obedient to His expressed will and His ways. And that was what Ezekiel’s prophesies would speak to in the midst of God’s message of His wrath coming down on Israel in captivity. God will spare those for eternity who retain their faith and are truly His. And when he encounters those who, in faith, have remained obedient to His ways and His will through His word, God will exercise the side of His character which is the opposite of His wrath in judgment; and that is His love and mercy and kindness and patience.

If, in the midst of even bizarre scenarios like the one today, we get that message, which was spoken by “Watchmen” such as Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Micah, Joel, Habakkuk, and others, we can have hope … even in the midst of the evil and disobedience we see exercised today – even by those who call themselves “christian,” mocking God with their disobedience. And may God have mercy on His remnant as we do all we can to carry our His great commission and live as salt/light in a very darkened and poisoned world.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, again I plead, “Have mercy on those who love You and do, in truth, follow Your ways.” Amen

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