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Friday, July 08, 2011

As I Was Commanded

Flower policy keeps Vietnam Vet from honoring wife's grave ...Ezekiel 24:15-18 - Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.  Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.  So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.

If we slow down and read the book of Ezekiel carefully we will find a number of things God told Ezekiel to do that leaves the 21st century Christian a tad troubled.  Before us is one of those places.  It is easy to read past it and fail to grasp the gravity of what Ezekiel has been instructed to do.

It can be summarized in short order.  God was going to take Ezekiel's wife and he was instructed to show no sign of mourning.  This is incomprehensible to our minds and we find ourselves on the verge of questioning God.  But to do so would not be productive and assumes that we could possibly know better than God.  This is not a conclusion with which I am comfortable.  He is in heaven and I upon earth.  He is eternal and I have been around 48 years.

While it may not be productive to question God's reason for the seeming madness the Scriptures answers the purpose for which God had Ezekiel do this.

Verse 24 - Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the LORD GOD.

This explanation may not do much to comfort our hearts but it does inform our intellect.  We at least know the purpose even if we don't understand the reason.

Ezekiel in so many cases became God's living object lesson!  Ezekiel, even though we are far removed from the intent of this prophecy concerning the nation of Israel, still leaves a lesson for us in his behaviour.

Verse 18 is striking.  So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.

Ezekiel had been commanded to do something that was very unnatural.  He was called upon to suppress the mourning for his wife.  He was in effect to go about his day as though nothing had happened.  He was not to weep, cry, or mourn.  He was to get dressed and go about his business.  This is a remarkable thing that he is being called upon to do.

What is Ezekiel's response.  . . . . I did in the morning as I was commanded.

Lord help me this morning and every morning to do as I am commanded.
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