Be Ye Reconciled to Your God and King
With Cover to Cover, we find ourselves two-thirds of the way through His Word this first day of September. As many of you have the day off today, I hope you enjoy a little extra recreation in some form or another. Rest is a commandment. Eating is optional. We did quite a bit of both this weekend, so today we catch up around the house and prepare for some rainfall from our monster in the dark Gulf, Gustav. Please pray for the storm to break up and not hover to guard against tornado activity and flooding and damage. So, we wait and pray.
Once again reiterated this week, I feel in His Word, a holy hug from our Lord. His one desire is for us to be reconciled unto Him. Though Ezekiel describes over and over the horrors of impending disaster to a warned haughty nation, our God continually provides provision back unto Him. Poor Ezekiel, when he heard the words, “Son of man, …” don’t you know he had to shiver in his sandals at the call. What next, Lord? Why me? You know this isn’t such a popular message I bring. At any point, it could be my neck in exchange for my conveying Your warnings. Why now? How much can a living man take of the revelation of his God? Fear-filled uncertainty must have surrounded Ezekiel as he heard the words of a Sovereign Lord come to him in so many graphic pictures of prophesy.
Belonging. I wished I had counted how many times I read the line, “Then, they will be my people and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign Lord. THEN, when all is said and done, you will be Mine, and I will be yours. . .THEN, when you finally submit. . .THEN, when I have made the haughty low. . .THEN, when you finally look to Me, trusting in the only One who can save you. You will be Mine, and I will be yours.
Bringing righteousness. Ezekiel 34:15-16 “I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” He is a right and holy God who brings peace and rest among us, searches out our lost hearts and brings us back to Him, heals us and strengthens us in Him alone.
Being equipped. Ezekiel 34:25-28 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” Through Christ Jesus, we are wholly restored, equipped with His Holy Spirit, to follow His laws, with His merciful love in our hearts, living in a land of peace.
Being transformed. A weary heart like Ezekiel’s and mine needs to hear that once in a while or every day, but more important than hearing it, believing it. God tells Ezekiel that he can talk a good talk, but his words need to be activated in the hearts of his hearers. Ezekiel 33:32 “Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.”
Breathing Life. God surely had a way to illustrate His points. He then takes Ezekiel further into the desert and shows him a bunch of corpses in the dusty valley. Ezekiel 37:4-5 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” I know what the valley of dry bones feels like in my spiritual walk. This verse contains the prescription for life. Hear the Word of the Lord, dry bones, and live.
Lord, activate Your Word in my heart. Keep me from just thinking the words of Scripture are beautiful and loving the sound of them, but put them to work in these dry bones to bring life to them. Breathe Your Holy Spirit to life within us, not just once as You already have done in saving us, but daily Lord, let Your breath be our very sustenance for life.