3 minutes reading time (596 words)
God Has a Plan
Ezekiel Chapters 16-36
Ezekiel…is a lot of repetition. It seems like we read the same words over and over again, yet there must be a reason God wanted us to read these words…over and over again! Maybe we are too much like that original audience and we aren't getting the message. We aren't letting those words sink into hearts that are too hardened by sin and its allure.
This particular part of Ezekiel sounds a lot like Hosea. Lots of talk of infidelity by the woman. Actually two women - Israel and Judah - who continued to stray from their husband/s, their God and ours. Why is this? Why is the grass always greener on the other side? It's an age-old issue with a modern feel.
And child sacrifice comes up a lot in Ezekiel. We feel that we as modern-day Americans would NEVER go that far. We feel a little relief that we aren't doing that sin. But aren't we? We sacrifice thousands of children in our country each year to abortion—to the idols of lifestyle and freedom and money and youth and beauty. Our foster systems can't keep up with the number of children being abused or abandoned by family—for money, for drugs or alcohol, for freedom to do what we want. Again, it's an age-old issue that is oh, so modern.
In these chapters we also read all the oracles (words of wisdom, wise advice) against the cities that God was destroying one by one. Ezekiel was tasked with reminding these cities and their rulers of God's prophecies from year's past, and how those prophecies were about to be fulfilled right in front of their eyes. Same story, second verse. Could be better but about to be worse. God reckons with our sins, and we are responsible, just like His Word tells us we will be. Chapter after chapter as city after city fell, just as He had predicted. Will we as His people ever learn? Will we ever realize in an outward world with such allure, that He is truth, and we cannot escape that? No amount of money or fame or skyscrapers or high-tech company power can escape what God has promised will be His plan—if we are not following along with Him.
So, what lessons can we learn from these chapters in an ancient, not-so-easy-to-read book? First, God has a plan. He's had it since Day One of Creation, and it's still going. It's a plan to redeem and live closely with people He created in His image, for eternity. It's a plan He wants the entire world to know about and be participants in, worshipping him and fellowshipping/being friends, together. It's a plan with a few, very simple boundaries, which are laid out in His Word. Over and over again. It's a plan EVERYONE and ANYONE can be part of, from ANYWHERE on this planet. But it's also a plan where pushing the boundaries, over and over again as these cities did, with no remorse, will leave us out of the beauty and blessings He has given and will continue to pour on us.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to be a straying wife or city ruler. I want to stay on the path to forever with a God whose Words I can trust as truth. I want to stick with Ezekiel and the prophets who begged the people to listen to that truth. And one day I want to meet Ezekiel and talk with him about the plan.
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