Today’s Text: Ezekiel 19-24
Key Text: Ezekiel 20:33
“As I live, says the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you.”
The prophet Ezekiel’s writings are not for the faint of heart.
Chapter after chapter, it is fire and brimstone all the way. Judgement is soundly pronounced on idolatry and rebellion of every form – individual and communal. It’s not the calm, soothing voice calling us to return to the Lord, but the pounding demand of an angry prophet.
So, we aren’t exactly inclined to read it as our bedtime devotional. Give me the 23rd Psalm, “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” any time.
But we must not do that.
We must not turn away from the harsh, but potentially life-saving words, of the prophet.
Idols demand everything – body, mind, soul – just ask the heroin addict struggling to find recovery. Just ask the alcoholic or someone struggling with an addiction to pornography.
We must recognize that idols are not just small, harmless, shiny little objects.
Given an opportunity they will demand your soul.
No wonder then that Ezekiel and those like him told it like it was – like it is.
No wonder, before they offered some easy form of grace, they spoke of an almighty, powerful, even wrathful God who reaches out to us “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,” in order to be king over us.
It is only God Almighty who can rule over all the other idols out there clamoring for our attention and our devotion.
On the one hand, we may find ourselves trembling before such and awesome and powerful deity.
On the other hand, in the end, it is only such a powerful God as this who can offer the salvation we so desperately need.