I am using One Year Bible Online for my daily Bible study. For today, One Year Bible Online links here. I have found that by writing this daily blog of what I see when I read these scriptures, I get more out of them. I hope that by posting these ruminations others may get some benefit as well. If you have any thoughts or comments regarding these verses or what I have written about them, please post them.
Today I begin the Book of Ezekiel, which contains imagery that has been poured over by many people. The prophet starts by describing the vision he had at his commissioning as a prophet. He describes a fantastic scene involving four humanoid creatures with wings and wheels, with the wheels described as being in an arrangement similar to a gyroscope. Above the four creatures, as if being carried by them, was a being that resembled a man. Ezekiel describes this whole scene as being the glory of the Lord. There are many different interpretations that could be made of this scene, but the key one for me today is that Ezekiel fell face down on the ground before it when he saw this.
A voice spoke with Ezekiel and told him to stand up. The Spirit entered into him and stood him on his feet. The voice then told him that he was being sent as God’s messenger to the nation of Israel, which had rebelled against God. Ezekiel is told that he is not to worry whether they listen to his words or not. He is to speak the words of God to the people of Israel so that they may have no excuse. God instructs Ezekiel to not be afraid of what the people say or do. He is to give them God’s message whether they listen or not and God tells him that they will not listen.
God then gives Ezekiel a scroll that is covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow and pronouncements of doom. God instructs him to eat the scroll. Ezekiel follows the instructions and eats the scroll, telling us that it tasted as sweet as honey in his mouth. God tells Ezekiel to let His words sink deep into his heart and to listen to them carefully before he goes forth and tells them to the people of Israel.
This is the symbolism that speaks to me today. We are to take the words of God deep into our hearts and digest them and make them part of who we are before we attempt to tell others to follow them. If I am going to be an effective minister to those around me who do not yet know the Lord, I must take His words into my innermost being and feed on them. I have been lax on doing this my whole life. I will try harder going forward to make God’s words my food.
Jesus was God’s messenger and high priest. He served God faithfully just as Moses had served God faithfully. Jesus is deserving of even more glory than Moses because while Moses served faithfully in God’s House (or perhaps, as God’s House), Jesus was with God as the builder of God’s House. Jesus, as God’s Son, is in charge of God’s House. And we, if we are courageous and keep our confidence in our hope in Christ, are God’s House.
Today when we hear God’s voice, we must not harden our hearts in the manner that the Israelites did in the wilderness. We must turn away from evil and make sure that we do not turn away from God. If we are faithful to the end, continuing to trust in God, we will share in God’s glory. We must remain vigilant so as to not be deceived by sin. We must both warn each other of the deceptions that we each fall into and be open to being warned by others so that we do not fall into sin. We must strive continuously to avoid sin and to warn our brothers and sisters so that they also may avoid sin, listening to their warnings as the very words from God.
Let all that I am praise the Lord. He has created the universe in all of its wonder. Each thing has its place and they are designed to interact in a finely tuned manner. Despite man’s attempts he has failed to disrupt the way that God designed the earth to work. How can I do other than praise God with all that I am when He has created such a wonderful world.
People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, they may pretend to be kind. They may conceal their hatred with trickery, but in the end their wrongdoing will be publicly exposed. Do not be fooled when people’s actions do not match their kind words.