Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ezekiel 23-25

God keeps illustrating Jerusalem's lack of faith through very vivid and graphic comparisons (Ezekiel 23-25).  Today, Israel and Judah are compared to two adulterous sisters who have resorted to prostitution.  God also makes a connection between Jerusalem and a cooking pot whose impurities and deposits are so heavy they cannot be melted by fire and burned away.  God's words are far from complimentary.  

Things are really bad folks (just in case you haven't gotten that yet or you forgot the situation).

God's people are in trouble because His people in Jerusalem are going to be judged according to their conduct and actions.  

We've heard the bad news and so many of the details to come over and over again through the prophets.  It's been hard to take, but it's nothing new, really, at this point.  We've worked to learn from people's mistakes.  We're aware that we, too, are prone to becoming lost and losing our focus on God.  And we've certainly realized again and again how much we need our Savior.  Thank God, for Jesus in our lives.

However, I stopped in my tracks today when I got the part in our reading about Ezekiel's wife dying...

The word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes.  Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.  Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. 

My heart broke for Ezekiel.  God takes away the love of His life, and God tells him not to cry and mourn.  

That, I definitely don't understand at all.  I hurt for him.

And my mind immediately thinks of all the others in this world who pass away in ways that go so far beyond our understanding.

It takes intention on my part at this point...I have to remind myself that no matter what, God keeps His promises.  He is a good God who so loves us that He gave His only son (and he was brutally tortured on a cross) so that we live.  He works all things for good.  Not that all things are good, but He is able to work all things to be good in a much bigger and graceful picture.  I have faith in God, and I trust Him even though I don't understand.  And as I struggle to take in what happened to Ezekiel, I have to draw closer to God...

Even more amazing to me in Ezekiel's situation is his wholehearted faithfulness to God.  That's really mind blowing.  Ezekiel obeys all that God commands him to do even though there's no way he felt like it.

See, I think God is really making a point to me here.  Sometimes He has to get our attention. 

And sometimes, God needs me to do things for Him that I really don't feel like doing and that I can't understand, things that will break my heart.  

I have a choice.  We all do.  I can follow what I feel or I can trust God and rely on His help, His grace, and His hope.  

And as I write, I know which way will fill me, satisfy me, and transform me...

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your goodness, and Your love that stands firm forever and ever.

Forgive me for all the ways I act and rely on the way I am feeling instead of turning to You and following You.

I trust in Your plan, Lord, for life.  You work all things for good.

I pray for all the people and situations I do not understand and especially those people and situations that are full of heartbreak. 

Strengthen my faith and the faith of those who believe in You.  Help us to build each other up and love one another as Christ loves us.

Fill us with Your joy, Lord.  May we walk in the world with grateful hearts.  And may, we praise You each and every day.

In Jesus name I pray,

Peace of Christ,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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