How must God feel about his children when we go our own ways? When we get too big for our britches and we stop being humble and reverent toward our God? God feels like we do as parents who dedicate life and love only to have their children reject them…
1 “Now, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor to shave your head and your beard. Then take a set of scales and divide up the hair. 2 When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword. 3 But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment. 4 Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.
5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her. 6 Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.
7 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not even conformed to the standards of the nations around you.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
When God told Ezekiel to shave his head as part of his prophecy against Israel, God gave an indictment that would have cut Israel to the core. Israel was more wicked than their neighbours – more unruly and they did not even conform to the standards of ‘pagans,’ let alone the God of Israel…
At the heart of God’s plan for Israel from their time in Egypt up until now has been the importance of God’s people being separate from their neighbours as a testimony of the Living God’s uniqueness as the Creator God. Their laws contained substantial numbers of commands and practices which set them apart. This would have made Israel feel proud, likely to the point of a fault when it came to contrasting with neighbours.
I think this sounds a bit like the Christian church in some parts of our world today. So separate and set apart that we start to imagine that we are holier than thou… Pride goes before a fall, we learn from Solomon in Proverbs 16:18.
How must God feel about his children when we go our own ways? When we get too big for our britches and we stop being humble and reverent toward our God? We can see that God’s anger burns. It burns like a parent who has dedicated life and love for children only to see them reject Mom and Dad in favour of poor decisions and rebellion.
God, show us where we are starting to walk down our own paths.
Give us eyes to see where we are separating from you.
We want to walk with you.
We remember the Psalmist’s words:
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.