Monday, August 16, 2010

2010 – August 16 – Spinning Ezekiel’s Wheel

Study from God’s Word Ezekiel, Chapters 8 – 11 … Passage for Reflection: Ezekiel 10: 9 – 10 … NIV 9 I looked, and I saw beside the cherubim four wheels, one beside each of the cherubim; the wheels sparkled like chrysolite. 10 As for their appearance, the four of them looked alike; each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel.

My Journal for Today: Today my devotional shepherd, Dr. LaGard Smith, had me reading from the enigmatic sections of Chapters 8 – 11 of the Book of Ezekiel in his edited The Bible in Chronological Order; and I must admit that it is mysterious language to me. But then again, it must have been difficult – if not impossible – for Ezekiel to find words to represent what God led him to see as The Lord let the Prophet see Him lifting His glory from the Temple in Jerusalem because of how His own CHOSEN people had abandoned Him. God obviously wanted His Prophet, Ezekiel, to be the witness to God moving His glory from the Temple built for Him by Solomon. And we know that the glory of God would not visit that Temple again until Jesus, Himself, was brought into the Temple by Joseph and Mary to be circumcised and blessed by the Priest, which we read about in Luke 2. And there we read of God’s blessing of New Testament Prophet, Simeon and Anna, who recognized that God had entered back into the life of the Temple and had fulfilled His covenant in the life of this baby, Jesus.

The scenes and imagery Ezekiel uses to describe what God allowed the prophet to witness are difficult for this limited mind to interpret, especially visages like the famous word picture of “Ezekiel’s wheel” in our passage highlighted by Dr. Smith in his devotional entry for today. As Dr. Smith reports, many different interpretations have been offered up as to the meaning of what Ezekiel wrote about in this passage; and whatever it was, it had to have been incredible to be a mental witness to God moving out of His Temple as part of the judgment for the rebellion and disobedience of His people.

If any reader of my devotional here will allow me the license of a very limited mind, not having the gift of prophesy or of any great Spirit-driven discernment, it is of great concern to me to read what I’ve been reading from the inspired writings of Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and now, Ezekiel, to see how God will – at least for a season – visit His wrath of abandonment on a collection of His chosen people who turn their backs, as a nation, on the God Who had a covenant with those people. And … though we are not God’s original chosen people, I do believe that it was God’s hand which led Christians to America. And I believe that it was God’s protection and leading which brought about the incredible founding and freedom to worship the one, true God which brought America through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the World Wars … so that the USA could be a witness for God, much like the ancient Hebrew nation. But also like we are reading about from these OT prophets, God may be incredibly patient, as He was with Israel and Judah; but His patience has limits; and He will only visit His protection on a nation so long when they are turning their backs on Him.

And as I’ve been reading in the times of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God can – and will – lift His Spirit-imposed hand of protection to let His people experience His “wrath of abandonment,” which is a term I heard some time ago in a sermon by Dr. John MacArthur, who was reflecting on that incredible passage in Romans 1: 18 – 32 [linked for your study]; and this, to me, is one scary passage when one considers what is going on in our country and culture these days. Yes, I know that God’s promise is true (see Hebrews 4: 12, which quotes Deut. 31: 6) never to forsake those who believe in and have a deep/abiding relationship with God through Christ; but God does not promise to stay with individuals, or collectively with a nation of people, who turn their backs on Him or His ways. And that is my concern for what we may be seeing happening in America today.

Yes, it may be a far cry to go from “Ezekiel’s wheel” to seeing God move out of America and allow us to be turned over to reprobate forces of evil; but I pray that God has mercy on His remnant of believers, of whom I count myself as one, just as He promised He would for those in Israel and Judah who were willing to ride out the tide of captivity and enforced evil in Ezekiel’s day.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I know You’ll stay with us during these times of evil. Amen

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