It Takes A Village – Week 23
A Difficult Truth To Swallow
The children of Israel were in ruins, of this we know. And God brings hope out of smouldering piles of nothingness. This was the call and appearance of a gutsy young preacher named Ezekiel. He was a Jew who lived in slavery in Babylon having to begin anew each morning knowing he lost all that was dear to him. But though his former life lay in ruin, his faith did not.
The Jews had a difficult seeing beyond the situation and circumstance before them finding hope in the rubble. Understandably so when everything you knew is no longer. But God had a plan to resurrect the hearts of His people and He positioned Ezekiel at the right time and right place to minister to His children. His commission was to show the people that they had a choice: either turn to God fixing our eyes on him, or befall eternal damnation for our refusal.
“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’
“They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Ezekiel’s heart was to show God’s people that God was indeed at work to restore what was lost. And just as it wasn’t destroyed in a day, it would take time and an obedient heart to restore it back to its former glory. He is still working. And that glory is not the comforts that once surrounded them, but the glory of a heart submitted in awe to the Father and King who loves them.
It’s a difficult truth to swallow: turn to God or turn to your own ruination. But, alas, the scriptures are clear and Ezekiel’s words still hold truth for the Word is living and breathing. When we look at the community around us, do we as a collective village hide Ezekiel’s words in our hearts so we may not sin against our God? Have we surrounded ourselves with people who can understand- and live out- how to love but can agree to disagree with the views of the world?
It is becoming more and more difficult in our world to hold God’s Word to the highest of authority and standard. We are bombarded with messages of goodness-in-self which has caused us to become somewhat selfish in our theology. Because without God, it is difficult to see good. Because the Word tells us God IS good. And good comes in many different forms. But Ezekiel’s bottom line is this: before we can look to the authority of people, we must first look to the authority of God.
Father, help us to see your authority at work in a world that struggles to accept US. May your guidance and compassion rival all acts committed against your people who’s heart desire is to love without bounds. In Jesus name, amen.