Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 3:16 through Ezekiel 4:17; Jeremiah 27:1 through Jeremiah 28:17; Jeremiah 51:59-64
Ezekiel and Jeremiah, two guys who had really tough jobs—
- Can you imagine having Ezekiel’s job and lying on your left side for 390 days? And then lying on your right side for 40 days? Eating just enough bread to stay alive, which by the way, was required to be baked over cow dung.
- How about Jeremiah’s job of being thrown into prison, dropped into a cistern to starve to death and then having a yoke fastened around his neck, like the ones used to drive a team of oxen, while traveling from city to city to share God’s Word with His people?
The thing that amazes me about these two prophets and the many others, chosen by God, is their willingness to completely change the course of their life to give the Jews one word-picture, one illustration of God’s message for that day. Remember Hosea… God had him marry a prostitute to illustrate how Israel acted like a prostitute by worshiping other Gods (Hosea 1:1-3).
In a course I took a couple of years ago at our church called “Follow the Rabbi,” Ray Vanderlaan, the teacher who developed the course goes into great detail about the Eastern verses Western style of communication. People from eastern (Jewish) cultures use mostly indirect and non-verbal communication, while those of us from western cultures use concrete and direct communication to get our point across.
As we can see from today’s reading God did whatever it took to reach his chosen people:
- He went to great lengths to make sure His people understood His message
- He thought it was worth a little pain and embarrassment for His chosen servant to reach His people for His Kingdom
Can I ask you the questions the Holy Spirit is asking me?
How far will you go to reach someone who doesn’t know the Lord?
- Are you willing to go into their environment to help them?
- Are you willing to be patient and understanding of their lack of interest and apathy?
- Are you willing to be used and unappreciated by others, so you can be a word-picture of unconditional love?
- Are you willing to devote your whole life to the salvation of one person?
- Are you willing to let your life not your word be the message?
No, we’re not all called to be prophets, but we are all called to go into our world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15).
Heavenly Father, I’m certainly not an Ezekiel or Jeremiah; I can’t imagine being used like them. I’m not sure I am willing to be used in a way that remotely resembles their level of sacrifice. Holy Spirit, I want to be willing. Give me the strength and courage to be who You want me to be. Grow me into the plans you have for me. Help me to reach others for your Kingdom and Your Glory!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 5:1 through 9:11