A couple of thoughts from today’s reading …
1. God has a message for a number of nations of that time. For example,
“Elam is there, with all her hordes around her grave. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword. All who had spread terror in the land of the living went down uncircumcised to the earth below. (Ezekiel 32:24)
Interestingly, each nation hears a very similar message: Their armies have been destroyed and sent to the grave as uncircumcised (i.e. no part in Israel’s covenant relationship with God). Ironically, those who at one time spread terror in the land of the living, are now lying in death as powerless as everyone else. To me, it is a reminder of how God uses death to level everything; what was true back then about powerful nations that came and went is also true today about things like comfort, power, wealth, possessions, health, popularity, … It is challenging because these things often seem so real and significant but, in the light of death, I need to keep my focus on things whose importance lasts longer than this temporary life. So are you seeing clearly today?
2. God also has a message for Israel:
“Therefore, son of man, say to your countrymen, ‘The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. (Ezekiel 33:12)
In other words, regardless how good I have been in the past, if I have drifted into wrong, there is no place for “trusting in my own righteousness” and being complacent about where I am right now – I need to turn around. On the other hand, I should never let a history of failure keep me from turning back to God right now. In both cases, God cares very much about where I am right now and turning back to God is the only safe turn to take! So where are you right now?
3. Finally, God has a message for Ezekiel:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. (Ezekiel 33:7)
How does God want me to be a watchman and pass on his message to others? If you and I have heard what he is saying, we have a big responsibility to pass it on. So how will we?