Oh God, may I have the insight and the blessing of your Spirit to keep me from myself. Teach me from your word and the stories of your relationship with Israel so I can keep my way pure. This is the prayer of the rebellious. Sound like you? No? Read on…
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.
3 “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious people. 4 During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile. 5 While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it. 6 Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the Israelites.”
26 The word of the Lord came to me: 27 “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’
28 “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
Ezekiel 12:1-6, 26-28
Ezekiel was to be a physical sign to the people of Israel of their future. God made Ezekiel do some crazy things, such as today when he had Ezekiel pack his belongings and dig a hole through the city wall to act like an exile being forced from his land.
The people, though, were hard-hearted. It seemed that even though God was speaking through Ezekiel to them, they always thought it was future prophecy that wouldn’t affect their generation.
They would say that his visions are for the future. God spoke through Ezekiel to say he would break that rebellious spirit in his people so that they would never say that again. Uh oh. I don’t want to be like them.
I was just thinking this morning, knowing that I would be reading Ezekiel today, about how Israel needed to be told again and again and time after time. Why didn’t they get it? And I also realized something about myself as I reflected, which is confirmed in Ezekiel 12. I am like them. I am rebellious and I need to be told over and over.
I think that I’ll be okay while others won’t be. I think prophecy is for you and not me. I think that my rationalizations for sin are good and I think yours are flimsy.
And God is looking upon me with a promise to break that rebellious spirit.
Oh God, may I have the insight and the blessing of your Spirit to keep me from myself. Teach me from your word and the stories of your relationship with Israel so I can keep my way pure.
My I be like those who walked with you in their glory days – like Enoch and Moses and Elijah and Abraham. May my heart chase after you like David. These people were not perfect, yet they were counted as those who had faith in you…