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I Did As I'd Been Told

I Did As I'd Been Told

03 September 2010

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 22-24; Revelation 9

Scripture:

15 God’s Message came to me: 16 “Son of man, I’m about to take from you the delight of your life—a real blow, I know. But, please, no tears. 17 Keep your grief to yourself. No public mourning. Get dressed as usual and go about your work—none of the usual funeral rituals.” 18 I preached to the people in the morning. That evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I’d been told. (Ezekiel 24:15-18 MSG)

It’s hard for me to read these chapters from Ezekiel. Jeremiah’s book of warnings is long and hard, but Ezekiel’s book is brutal! For one thing, it’s almost pornographic in its description of the sins of Israel and Judah. For another thing, it’s one of the few places in the Bible where God speaks of the absolute inevitability of the judgment that’s coming and gives no more opportunity for repentance. And not least is the fact that Ezekiel, a good and godly man, suffered the heartbreak and grief of his wife’s sudden death and God didn’t even allow him to express his grief.

Then combine that with the reading from Revelation 9 about the trumpets of the fifth and sixth angels and it’s not a warm and fuzzy daily devotional time.

Facts to face:

• There comes a time when God says, “That’s it.” I like hope and encouragement and second and third chances. God does give hope and encouragement and second chances. But there comes a time when it’s too late. Don’t push it.
• If you’re going to be a servant of a holy and righteous God, there will be times when you get to suffer on his behalf. God let Ezekiel experience some of God’s own grief. Both Paul and Peter wrote about being “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” for the sake of others.
• When there’s nothing else you can do, all you can do is do what God tells you and trust him for the outcome.

Prayer:

Father, I read today’s scriptures with fear in my heart – fear of a holy and righteous God, fear for those who have no place for God’s message of grace in their hearts, and fear of walking too close to the line I must never cross. Help me to walk way over on the God-fearing and God-obeying side of the path. Help me to be willing to simply do as I’ve been told and trust you for the outcome. Amen.

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