Prayer Focus: Mauritius, Mayotte

Bible Reading: Ezekiel 1-4

Scripture

20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths.

21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”

Ezekiel 3:20-21 NLT

Observation

Five years into the Babylonia captivity Ezekiel has a vision of the four living creatures that appear again in John’s vision in the book of Revelation.  He’s told to tell the people of Israel to repent.  He’s also told they might not listen.  Then he has to build a model of Jerusalem under siege and lie on his side and stare at it for 390 days.  Then turn over to the other side for 40 days.  All the while he can only eat bread that has been cooked over a fire of dung.  At least he was allowed to drink clean water.

All this was to show Israel their sin.

Application

I think I would have been asking, “Why me?”  Why does Ezekiel have to go through all this because of Israel’s sins?  And why does it have to be so gross?

Ezekiel is like Isaac.  The Lord told Abraham to sacrifice his son.  Just before Abraham brought down the knife the Lord said to stop.  At first it’s a strange scene until you realize that God did go through with the sacrifice of His son, Jesus.  In the same way, Ezekiel is sitting in for Israel for their sin.  Like Isaac, Ezekiel is not a perfect sacrifice, so this whole procedure won’t save Israel, it will just reveal that they need saving.

And the sad thing is they still won’t realize it.  They still have another 65 years of exile to get through.

Prayer

Lord, the prophets of old had it rough.  Today a lot of people call themselves prophets and they make good money doing it.  They often drive fancy cars and live in big houses, but the prophets like Ezekiel had to eat bread cooked over dung and lie on their side for 100’s of days eating rationed food.  It makes me think that we don’t understand what it means anymore to be a prophet, or to suffer for your name.  I don’t want to suffer, I’m not asking for that, but I pray that we will always consider what it means to be your people and never lose sight of you, Jesus.  Amen.

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