It feels like it forever since I wrote anything. It has been a tough couple of weeks.
A couple of months ago, one of the people closest to me said, “you’re not a man of God!” To be honest, that was about the lowest thing this so-called Christian could say to me. If you have it you to speak that way to someone then you must have some kind of a God complex, because you have just judged that person; a person you really know nothing about. Plan on having a statement like that rebound on you. It will feel very similar to the worst slap in the face you have ever received.
Now how would I know that? Because I have done it, and six months later had those words come back to crush me.
Another aspect of this persons comments are that I am full of myself. If you only knew. Life has come close to devastating me. I have fought off the concept of suicide on several occasions, and there have been many moments where I could find no value in me. Sadly these damaging words are one of roadblocks that I have to over come as I write.
One of the men at Monday morning bible study has made comments to the effect, “is this an essential aspect of doctrine? Do we really need to focus on this so much?” Mind you, I am not the only one there, but I am one of the outspoken ones. And yet, this man, who, in my mind, is a scholar on church doctrines and early church history, consistently asks me if I have written anything new, or have something to say.
Why ask me?
If I were to define the why, as if I were looking at myself, I would have to say, I know where life has taken me and it is filled with painful realities of God’s mercy and grace. To top off this dark cloud I found myself under, work has been especially stressful to me.
I finished reading Leviticus, and had a difficult time with it much of it. Sometimes I feel like a kid, climbing a very rocky hill, and I keep falling down as I go. Each of those falls just beats me up, and I think I only continue climbing because of sheer determination.
So, I migrated into Ezekiel
Ezekiel fascinates me for several reasons, and here is one.
The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD on me.
(Ezekiel 3:14 NIV)
What is the big deal about this passage? Quite possibly nothing, but then why does the Holy Spirit bother to even mention it at all?
We know a little about Ezekiel
- He was a priest. That may imply a cushy job. It certainly implies an education and a better than average knowledge of Moses and the preceding prophets.
- His being a priest also implies that he has friends that are priests, and may imply that he has intentions of climbing the religious ladder, but we do not know this.
- We do not know that any of the priesthood could hear from God, and as we read Ezekiel we learn that if anything Israel has turned it’s back on God, and has never abandoned their idol worship.
- He is a married man. The only thing we hear about this aspect comes when God tells Ezekiel that he is going to take her life quickly, and that Ezekiel is not to mourn for her. (How do you do that?)
- We also know that Ezekiel is among the captives in Babylon.
- He is told what his mission is, and I am not sure it could be any tougher. He is to go to the house of Israel, a people who will not listen to him, because they will not listen to God.
I realize that we could conjecture many things and reasons about why Ezekiel reacted as he did, and many would not be that far off, we really need to stick with scriptural aspects that define this. Problem is I don’t see much, but this idea of knowing that no one will listen to me sounds very discouraging.
What I do see is God not reacting to what ever was bothering Ezekiel
One might think, oh goody, God has finally called me. Based on how wealthy some of today’s ministers seem to have become, you might think that Ezekiel would be ecstatic about that possibility. Not having much in the way of a track record, Ezekiel might not have any idea of what God was about to ask him to do, but then not knowing how “ridiculous” the tasks would be, what cause would he have to be mad.
I tossed this idea about with someone who has known the Lord for many years just to see what they thought. They responded with, “I think it is because God picked him up by his hair.” I can remember thinking, “where did that come from?” We have nothing to show that God is carrying anyone around by their hair.
Here is my take on this. God has taken Ezekiel out his comfort zone. He has given him an impossible mission, and Ezekiel knows full well that the message is not going to be popular, possibly taking away friendships and relationships that Ezekiel found essential.
When I have found myself in bitterness and anger of my spirit, I am probably not aware of God’s hand upon me, and yet Ezekiel was.
This man Ezekiel is exceptional and worthy of an intense look. The prophetic words he spoke have tremendous significance for today, and echo in Revelation as well as the word of other prophets.