Monday, August 17, 2009

Is this What Ministry is About (Ezekiel 4)

Ezekiel was called to do some strange things. When I was a child one of my joys would be to build something using legos and than smash it to bits. Ezekiel is told to take a brick, write Jerusalem on it, and than lay siege to the brick. One can only imagine how silly this grown man would look with little ramps, small chariots, and battering rams attaching this brick yet this is exactly what Ezekiel did. His next requirement must have been extremely uncomfortable. He was told to lay on his left side for 390 days. For over a year he was to lay on his left side. One can only imagine the pressure sores. Was he allowed to get up to relieve himself. What about food? Did he have a pillow? The 390 finally passed but the object lesson was not over for 40 days he was to lay on his right side. It appear that he was unable to move during this time. Indeed, God himself was the one who tied him up (v.8). He is then told to make a type of bread and use human excrement to bake the bread. For all the other actions Ezekiel appears to comply without complaint. But not so with the request to use human dung! He protests to the Lord by saying that he has never been defiled. God graciously allows Ezekiel to use cow dung as a substitute. What was the purpose of all these object lesson? The life of the Prophet was also a message. Often the truth God want to communicate to us must come via a shock! As we progress in the Book of Ezekiel these shocks will become even more bizarre.

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