Daily D – Ezekiel 2:9-10
Ezekiel 2:9, 10 “Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.”
God does not seem to enjoy words of condemnation and judgment as much as we do. His words of judgment are declared in the minor keys of lament, mourning, and woe. These are heart words, not hate words.
Again and again, through the prophets, God speaks to his people like a husband whose wife has betrayed him. Even through her promiscuity and adultery, he woos her back to himself.
Why do contemporary prophets find it so easy to condemn where God continually seeks return and reconciliation? It feels good to speak powerfully. Patience and kindness take too long for full effect.
Brash podcasts gain more listeners. Powerful book titles sell. Flint-faced preachers are more dramatic on Facebook. Two-hundred eighty characters of shouting create more conversation than apples of gold in settings of silver. (See Proverbs 25:11.)
Let’s face it: Building a personal platform is accomplished more easily through declaration of contemporary condemnation than loving expression of future hope.
Shouting doesn’t help deaf people hear. Hugs do.
Belligerence never brings peace. Cessation of hostilities does.
I will speak God’s words of judgment in tones of brokenness and grief.
Our Father, forgive us for enjoying your judgment on obstinate individuals and groups. Teach us to enjoy, to look for, and to work for reconciliation for those who have wandered far from your heart. Make us ever more patient and kind with those who need you more than they could ever imagine. Amen.
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Leviticus 19:32-34 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord. “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
Luke 6:27-31 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”