Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 19-21
Probably the first section shows the sadness of God’s great heart that the cubs of king of beasts, the lion, are taken captive. Israel and Judah should have been blessed far above the nations, but because of their sins, they are taken captive! Sometimes I wonder if I have a big heart like God’s which is filled with sorrow when either I or my brothers or sisters are diminished to such a sad situation by God’s discipline! He loves us too much to turn a blind eye!
What a history of rebellion, whether it be in Egypt where Israel became a great nation, or in the desert or in the land or in their present situation, the story is always the same – rebellion and worshiping of idols. That He is able to continue to give them any level of blessing, is simply for His name’s sake so that His Name is not profaned by the nations by them saying that the Sovereign God is just another idol-god who can’t put up with His people or on the other hand, can’t deliver them! It reminds me of Psalm 23 which states, He restores my soul for His Name’s sake! That kind of grace baffles me, since I know I don’t personally in myself have the ability to extend such grace to those about me!
Can you feel God’s pain at His people lusting after idols and offering their sons and daughters to Him in fire (do you remember the passage some time before this one, that God tells them, “Such a thing never entered My mind!” How dare they do such evil things and hurtful things to those closest to them! Timothy calls that kind of people – ‘people without natural affection’. I love how God goes on to tell them that He will purge out those who revolt and rebel! And then He proceeds to describe a time when Israel will truly worship God and will loath all the evil things they have done and know for sure that the Lord has corrected all this evil for His name’s sake.
Isn’t it interesting that the people listening, would think Ezekiel was talking in parables and that the destruction would never take place! I guess we face the same thing today! Try telling the people of this world that God tell us through Peter in the Bible that in the end, this world will be burned up! Even the elements will be destroyed by fervent heat and in the end, God will create a new heaven and a new earth! I am pretty sure that people around us would think that one was talking in parables if you told them that, as they could never face the reality that such a thing would actually happen. But God assures them that judgment is indeed to happen!
It’s interesting that here as elsewhere, it ends with those in leadership, completely corrupt! They have no sense of right and wrong (does that sound familiar – is that what they call ‘relativism’. Everyone pronounces their own standard of good and evil! And God is surprised that there is no one to stand in the gap between Himself and such evil! Is it any wonder that His judgment is prophesied to be poured out without any reservation! But we are called to snatch from the fire (of coming judgment) those who are around us in everyday life! (from Jude 23 – the book about the last days in which we live!) Dear Lord, give enough love to care about the salvation of those around me!