Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ezekiel 12-14: Dramatic Foreshadowing for a Preliterate Audience

From Garden to City reading: Ezekiel 12-14

Sometimes it's just so very obvious I majored in English and study writing.  (Pastor Mike likes to say we just can't help telling our story.)

I previously wrote a post entitled "Signs, Symbols, and Images" in which I discussed my general lack of understanding about God's use of Ezekiel as an object lesson.

This time is different.  This time Ezekiel is right out in the open, packing up his things and heading out of the city every single day, with everybody watching/

This time God says, "I have made you a sign to the house of Israel--so tell them.  I am a sign to you, and this is what's going to happen to you." (Ezekiel 12:5-10)

And they ask, and he tells them.  Over and over.
And the visual nature of this daily act will stay in their minds so that when the people go into exile, they will remember the crazy prophet know that God is the Lord.  They will know that in his love he warned them.  And they will know that the punishment is just.

They will know, declares the Lord, I have done nothing without cause. (Ezekiel 14:23)  And God will save some.  Not because they deserve it, but so that they will know he is the Lord.  (14:17)

We hear a lot about God's love, his compassion, and his forgiveness, but we don't like to talk about his utter holiness and the need to surrender everything we have to him.  Not that we will ever do this perfectly, but that doesn't mean we can set up idols in our hearts, worshiping other gods and putting other things ahead of him.  At some point he will say "no."

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