God will use us as a sign for the world
In this Lockdown God will use us as a sign for the world, just as Ezekiel became a sign through his Unconditional Submission, Surrender and Sacrifice… Ezekiel 24:15-20.
💧 In this Lockdown what would we do and how would we respond if God is going to use us as a sign for the world to communicate His message in these perilous times? Ezekiel 24 is a chapter on how seriously God felt about the sin of His chosen people. They were to reflect His glory to the nations who travelled in and out of her, considering her strategic geographical location connecting the three continents. That is how God feels about our sin.
💧 The context of Ezekiel, chapter 24, is the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem, and how Ezekiel is to communicate the seriousness of the situation. He had to share imageries and parables to bring home to the people God’s message in simple language. But some of the lessons that Ezekiel had to share was not one he had ever imagined.
💧 In Ezekiel 24:1-14, God uses a rusty, corroded cooking pot with choicest meat on a very hot flame. The lesson for Israel was that whatever was left over in the pot after cooking the bones dry will be boiled until there is no more water. The pot will glow; it will be so hot that the impurities may be cleansed, Ezekiel 24:10-11. Many times I have left my pot absent-minded on the stove and have seen this glowing metal pot that was too hot to handle or go near it. Israel’s sin was so bad that their sin had to be removed, just like the rust in the pot had to melt, for its impurities to be removed by fire.
💧 Jesus had to go through the fiery furnace on the cross to remove our sins and all we have to do is to put our trust in the finished work of the cross, and receive by faith, the gift of salvation by the grace of God. If Ezekiel 24 has not opened our eyes to the free gift of Jesus, who took the pain and agony, what else will open our eyes? How important it is to bring our family and our community to the cross of Jesus!
💧 After the cooking pot, God took away the love of his life who did his cooking! Ezekiel 24:15-27. Here we read that with one blow God would take away the delight of his eyes. In other words, one cruel, sudden, unexpected event will take his most desired, precious wife away from him forever. God knew He was touching what he cherished most — the apple of Ezekiel’s eyes. Ezekiel was called as a prophet in exile in Babylon. He delivered many harsh messages: some in parables against the leadership and the people. God had given him visions of the end times, of false prophets and the future of Babylon. The people didn’t want to hear them. This would have made him, at the very least, disliked and avoided, and at its worst, hated and plotted against.
💧 The only comfort he would have had was his wife. His home was a refuge from the hostility of the people around him. His wife was his listening ears. His home was where he unwound and relaxed. A shared home-cooked dinner must have been his comfort zone. But all that was gone in a moment! Instead of coming home and discussing the events of the day, he found her dead and began arranging a funeral, without mourning or weeping, without being in tears.
💧 Child of God, Remember this, Ezekiel was a sign of the Judgement to come upon the people, when they would lose their loved ones and will not be able to weep or mourn, Ezekiel 24:24-25. Because the people could not understand any messages, either through parables or signs, God had to do a live demonstration through Ezekiel’s life-partner’s death, tear his clothes or shave his head or beard, according to the culture of the day. *How would you react or respond if God asked you to go and preach, as usual in the morning, and then come and find your loving wife who cooked your breakfast, would not be cooking your evening meal, because she would be dead when you get home, and you can’t even mourn? It will be business as usual.
💧 Ezekiel would endure all these things so that “they will know that I am the Lord.” How important is it that others know that He is the Lord? For Ezekiel, it was more important than the presence of his wife in his life. It would be more important for his wife that her husband was being able to teach and preach. If she was a delight in his eyes, it would be certain that it was delightful for her eyes to see her husband preach.
💧 To do great things for the Lord requires great sacrifice. In order to faithfully serve God, it cost Ezekiel his wife. In order to redeem mankind from its sin, God sacrificed His own Son on the Cross. If you are willing to serve the Lord and His people, what are you willing to sacrifice in order to be obedient to your calling to God and His people? God is calling each one of us for a higher purpose in this lockdown. Use it wisely to realign to God’s plan… Amen. 🙏
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