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Jerusalem's Judgment Portrayed

(Ezekiel 4:1-13)

Lesson 10 -- fourth quarter 1996
November 3, 1996

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications

Why did Ezekiel have to do all that?
God puts up with a lot!

Do this and that and the other thing. Lie this way and that way for differing but precise amounts of time. While you are doing that, eat a little bit of this and drink a little bit of that. And prepare some of it this certain way. So many particulars in these instructions for Ezekiel! Why? And why bother doing all these things just so?

Those may be honest questions, but they are not the right questions. I suggest to you that the questions are better worded with a negative in each. Like this: "Why not? And why not bother doing all these things just so?" We humans are incredibly prone to approach God's ways with plain "Why?" questions instead of "Why not?" questions.

Since God has given the instructions, we should assume, yea, know, that plenty of good reason abounds for obedience. Instead of presuming that someone needs to tell me why I ought to obey, I should conclude that the naysayers need to prove to me why I should not obey the Lord. In the meantime, I live in the fullest obedience possible to me.

So think about it: can you give some sound reasons why Ezekiel should not have fulfilled all the details of God's instructions to him? I can't. Does that mean I would like to do what God called on Ezekiel to do? I flinch to consider the possibility. But my likes should have nothing to do with the matter: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).

How does all this apply to what the Bible has to say to you? So many want reasons for obedience. I'm telling you again, that's backwards! Let them give safe, sound reasons for disobedience.

God is loving. God is merciful. God is forgiving. Have we fallen into the trap of thinking God is also lenient, easy to get along with and easy to humor (and perhaps even mislead)?

I call on the church to give renewed consideration to God's will in her life on earth. He may not be calling us to a final accounting just yet, but why act as if He never will. Does God mean what He says, or does He not? The people of Ezekiel's day misjudged and misinterpreted God, so they disobeyed Him and eventually ignored Him altogether. Then they discovered that God meant precisely what He had told them.

We must beware in our day and age, or punishment and judgment will catch up to us also. I challenge you and your class to study the Scriptures, looking for God's will to obey. Let me help you get started.

"...Pray for them which despitefully use you..." (Matthew 5:44).

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth" (Matthew 6:19).

"...If thy brother shall trespass against thee..." (Matthew 18:15).

"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer" Leviticus 19:16).

"Children, obey your parents in all things" (Colossians 3:20).

"But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat..." (Romans 14:15).

"Love not the world, neither the things..." (1 John 2:15).

"...Forgiving one another..." (Colossians 3:13).

"Wherefore receive ye one another..." (Romans 15:7).

Do you really think God will put up with continued disobedience?!

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