YouVersion Reformation Reading Plan, day 312
I don't think I understand this passage. Thankfully I think I understand enough: the end of time will not be pleasant, and I can only be saved by God's choice. I pray, God, that you shorten the time of deception (verses 20-21), and that you add my name with my children and my wife and all those I love and many, many more to your book of life.
I don't know what to take away from this passage either, except that the glory of the LORD is indescribable.
It is the Spirit that sets Ezekiel on his feet (verse 2) to speak with the LORD (verse 1). Ezekiel in his own strength could do nothing but fall on his face. This is a picture of how we should (the only way we can) relate to God.
Ezekiel is sent to speak words, whether the people hear or whether they refuse. His job is not their salvation; his job is to deliver a message. Our job in the kingdom on earth is much the same.
Eat the word of God, so that you may be able to speak it to His people (verse 1). Be filled with it, and enjoy its sweetness (verse 3).
Ezekiel is overwhelmed for seven days by his brief encounter with God. We have the Spirit inside us constantly. Are you overwhelmed?
And at the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning for me. If I say to the wicked, ‘you shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”
Ezekiel has to feel that this is totally unfair. God is angry with Israel and Judah — whole peoples — and yet Ezekiel alone has to lie on one side for 390 days, bound with cords, then another 40 days on the other side. That's more than a year and two months, lying on one side. Oh yeah, and he has to defile himself by eating six-grain bread cooked over ~human~ cow dung the entire year-plus.
Shaving with a sword is not the approved solution, and the wrath of God is no joke.