Jeremiah and Ezekiel each paid an extremely high personal price for delivering God’s message to His people. And their words to the children of Israel were not pampered, by any means. These two prophets, along with several ‘minor’ prophets and the accompanying Kings and Chronicles framework, comprised most of our reading yesterday.
The messages of the prophets often seem contradictory. In one breath, the enemies of Israel are being condemned, and in the next they are triumphing over Israel and devastating them. In one moment, God is promising His people restoration and in another, He is pronouncing judgment.
This verse really helps make sense of it all: “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” (Jer 18:7-10 emphasis mine). Again, we have to make our choice.
And what is the point of God’s mercy in our lives? God would say “I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake” (Ezk 36:22, 32). It is “not about me.” It’s all about God. We are told at least sixty-five times in Ezekiel (yes, I counted), after all the trials and terror, “Then they will know that I am the Lord.” The sovereign God resolved that He would be revealed and acknowledged.
In our journeys with God, what do we know about Him? What has life taught us about God’s nature?
Bible Trivia Day Eight: How did the Psalmist refer to God’s people in Psalm 74:19? (yeah, look it up!)