Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ezekiel 15-18: Allegories

From Garden to City reading: Ezekiel 15-18


  [al-uh-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee]  Show IPA
–noun, plural -ries.
a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning throughconcrete or material forms; figurative treatment of onesubject under the guise of another.
a symbolical narrative: the allegory of  Piers Plowman.

I first caught a glimpse of what it's like to really love Jesus at the end of the The Voyage of the Dawntreader, part of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia

Aslan, the lion, tells Lucy that she can't return to Narnia, and she weeps, saying it's not Narnia she will miss, but seeing Aslan.  He tells her she will learn to know him by his other name in her world.  And it hit me, as much as Lucy loved Aslan, as much as I had learned to love Aslan over the course of these three books, that Aslan is Jesus.  It was obvious really, but at this moment the picture became real.  And I realized I didn't love Jesus as much as Lucy loved Aslan.

Allegories, stories about one thing that are really about another thing, show us truths.  Not in a logical way, but in story form.  They bypass our minds and go into our hearts.

And here is what God, through Ezekiel, does for the people of Israel.  He tells them stories.

I won't lie, the stories about the vine and the eagles don't mean much to me, but the one in chapter 16 creates the story of God's love for his people.  By comparing her to a child, a child he rescues, raises, and loves, he paints the story of Israel.  Her beauty.  He riches.  Her ultimate pride.  Once rejected and then praised by the people surrounding her, she sought her own glory and the love of her enemies instead of the love of God.

And so she will "bear the consequences of her lewdness and her detestable practices."  He will "deal with her as she deserves."

And it breaks my heart, but it makes sense.
They have broken the covenant God made with her.
But he will make a new covenant with her after he has made atonement for her.  (16:63)
And for all of us.

And then we will all know that God is the Lord.

Oh, thank you, Jesus, for your atonement.
Thank you, Lord, for your love and forgiveness.

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