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Ezekiel 3:16-4:17


3:18-21 | The implications of these verses caught my eye.  God is telling Zeke that, essentially, he is responsible for conveying God’s message to the people.  He is not responsible for how they respond, but anyone (among the exiles, presumably) who sins and is punished as a result of not having been told God’s word represents a failure on Zeke’s part for which God will hold him responsible.  Yikes.

3:26-27 | God is basically telling Zeke that he will be unable to speak anything that is not the direct word of God.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to be thus restrained.  Even if we don’t think we’re doing it, it’s awfully easy to let our emotions and preferences cloud how we interpret and share God’s will.

I have a friend who is in a battle with her father over a serious decision, and each of them is convinced that the Lord’s will is on their side of the argument.  I believe that they honestly think this, and that they’re representing their understanding of God’s will to one another in good faith.  I also know that, as fallen humans, it’s impossible for us to separate our own desires and emotions and hangups from how we see God’s will.  They act as a lens through which God’s truth is filtered.  That’s why it would be nice to be unable to speak anything but His truth.  It would give us a surety in our convictions that we cannot claim now.

4:1-3 | God has Zeke act out this elaborate charade with bricks and other such to represent the siege of Jerusalem.  The image reminded me of playing with castle Legos when I was a kid, planning assaults and defenses by glorious warriors (oh, those were the days, before I was self-conscious enough to realize how nerdy I was).  The ultimate point here is to demonstrate that the fall of Jerusalem is foreknown and ordained by God.  It does not happen because of divine neglect but because of His wrathful hostility to the sin in which His people are wallowing.

4:4-6 | Zeke is then told to lie on one side for 390 days and then the other for 40 days.  I must admit, I’m not sure exactly how this ties into God’s specific message, but I’m open to suggestions.  All I know is that 390 days of lying in one position is bound to create bedsores.  The study Bible suggests that the language is vague about whether he must lie continuously or if he must just do it for a little while each day.  Either way, yikes.


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