The Old Testament prophets warned the people of those who would come telling them what they wanted to hear, and not always the whole truth. They led the people astray with deception and lies, by making excuses, and hiding or muddling the facts. The world hasn’t changed much – in that we call it spinning the truth now a days. Any story can be spun to the negative or to the positive, depending on the audience listening. The truth can be covered over by differing points of view or even the interpretation of the reporter. Sadly, we have become accustomed to having the truth distorted in some way to make it more palatable to the masses…and in doing so, the world wanders farther and farther from God.
The Lord calls you to do His work and instead, you balk. You feel incapable, inept, and unfit for the job. Wonderful! You’re in great company! Here King David, a man after God’s own heart, lamented…”Who am I Lord to be used by You?” When God called Moses, all he could do was make excuses and ask, “Who am I?” (Exodus 3:11) Isaiah, when called, could only fixate on his own sinfulness and unclean lips, not on what God was commissioning him to do.(Isaiah 6:5) Jeremiah tried to justify not obeying the Lord by claiming he was too young to preach. (Jeremiah 1:6) And Ezekiel when called, just got angry. (Ezekiel 3:14) Realize that you are not alone when you feel unworthy and unqualified for the plan God has laid out before you. He would not have called you if He wasn’t absolutely certain you were the best one for the job. Please understand that the Lord isn’t asking you to do it alone…He’ll be with you every step of the way…He’s only asking for your obedience.
For many, God is this tyrant sitting up in heaven taking great delight in causing good people grief and suffering. But this Scripture tells us quite the opposite. God’s desire is that no one perish…but with this Scripture also comes responsibility and accountability on our part. II Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” So what’s God promise in this verse? His promise is the Day of the Lord…or Judgement Day. God gives each one of us ample opportunity to turn our lives around… but it’s our decision though whether we respond or not.
I’ll admit, most of my prayers are very selfish and self-centered, and begin with “I”. But what the Lord is trying to teach us here… is that regardless of how Job viewed his own personal crisis…it was only after he had prayed for his friends that God moved. The ministry of intercessory prayer takes the I and Me out of our prayers and replaces it with our friend’s names. Intercession is so wonderfully described in Ezekiel 22:30, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap…” When you intercede for a friend in prayer, you are standing in the breach of their broken down life…a life split open by divorce, torn apart by job loss, or ripped asunder by cancer. By standing in that gap of their wall of life…you make their wall whole and complete again. When the Holy Spirit lays someone on your mind…respond immediately and pray for that person…stand in the gap of their life’s wall. For you may never know how crucial your intercessory prayer was for them at that moment.
The sign of the promise made by God to Noah was a rainbow…a everlasting covenant that we still see today when the sunshine breaks through the rain clouds. This arch of colors is used both in the Old and New Testament to describe the glory of God. Ezekiel 1:28 says that the glory of God was a radiance around Him like a rainbow. And John describes a rainbow encircling God’s Throne in Revelation 4:3. So the next time you spy a rainbow, take a moment to be in awe of God’s magnificent glory on display for you.
The Lord had brought Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones and asked him this question. The only appropriate answer Ezekiel could give is, “O Lord God, You know.” Rather running ahead of God “doing something”, Ezekiel was waiting on the Lord’s direction and working within His Will. Many times it’s so much easier to “do something” rather than to just trust in the Lord and wait on His timetable. What we see as good works and “helping” God is more panic than inspiration.