I am in the middle of reading Ezekiel….and I am telling you what, if that doesn’t freak you out…I don’t know what will. There is no horror movie that comes close to it. Because God is speaking clearly through a man who He chose to be his mouth piece. At the time of Ezekiel, Israel is in Babylonian captivity, and God in no uncertain terms tells them what is going to happen to them in “judgment” of them since they CONTINUALLY reject what God asks them to do…which by the way…they agreed to in many covenants with God…and all were broken. And by the way, think about how YOU feel about people who break their promise to you…
BUT…and this is critical, that same God who executes justice which we may or may not understand….is the same God who asked this question in the book of Jeremiah…
Jeremiah 2:5 – This is what the LORD says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. (NIV)
In Dan’s paraphrase…God asks, what was wrong with my plan? I take care of you, and tell you things to do so that you are different from everybody else on the planet. When you follow me…I bless you so much beyond anybody’s wildest expectations so that all men will want what you have…and return to me. Because that was the plan! BUT…you insist on going the way of the world…and even though I tell you that it will be to your detriment…you do it anyway just to spit in my face.
I think that is an accurate paraphrase….because I have followed that path so many times myself. And you are probably in the same camp…because that is the way of our “flesh”…which is constantly at war with God. It has been that way since the garden of eden. Because we want to be in command of our lives…even though that is impossible…and we will ALWAYS screw it up.
BUT…here is how cool God is….He stays with His plan regardless of how much we mess up….why? Because He loves us. Don’t think so? Check these verses out…
- 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV)
- Isaiah 43:25- “I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. (NLT)
- Jeremiah 31:34 – “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”(NASB)
Be encouraged…that same God that “appears” to be “mean”….is the same God that says, I will forget ALL of those things that you have done…because I love you. AND…I will wipe the slate clean….and restore our relationship…because I want to take care of you…and bless you so that everyone else around you will ask, “what makes you different, and what do you have that I don’t have.” And you can answer, “God.” And then you can sit down and tell them about how wonderful God is.
I love Revelation 3:20. Because it is the picture of God knocking at the door….and He is always knocking. Why do people knock on doors of those who are in trouble? Not because they want to be mean to you…but because they want to come in and help. God is the same way, and He has an amazing plan for your life. And I leave you with this…
Hebrews 4:7 – He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.” (NASB)
So TODAY…when you hear that voice….or you hear that knock. Say, come on in God…and thanks for knocking. Can you tell me about your plan? I hear that it is amazing… If you do that, I can guarantee you that your life will never be the same.
Grace and Shalom, Dan