So even though I have not posted in a long time, I could not continue to ignore the Spirit urging me to sit down and write this morning. Last night, I was looking at something from the book of Ezekiel that I had heard from our brother Paul White, and next thing I knew, I just continued reading. I am so grateful that I am not confused about the God of the old testament any more, and I believe because of that, I can see so many amazing things about Him that just seem to get missed for some reason.
Take the title of this blog for example. As I was reading, I noticed the things about the wheels and the cherubim, and all that stuff that gets put to the forefront as a means to justify so many misinterpretations about what the heck is going on today, that the precious little meaningful nuggets get neglected or passed over. I am referring to chapter 11 of Ezekiel, verses 13-20. I will type it out, and then say a few more things about it.
Now it happened, while I was prophesying that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord God! Will you make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?” Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in it’s entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ Therefore say, “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”
Therefore say, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel’ And they will go there, and will take away all it’s detestable things and all it’s abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be my people and I will be their God.
Whew! I know that is a mouthful, and there is a lot of context that would need to be discussed; however I just wanted to point out a couple things that had me laying in bed marveling at what a loving Father the children of Israel had, and we have today. Did you catch that part about ‘I shall be a little sanctuary for them’? That one little phrase touched my heart so deeply, I seriously could not go to sleep for quite a few hours last night. It made me think about the situation my husband and I are in, and how many would assume that we are out in the wilderness living a backslidden life of debauchery and wantonness; but how wrong they would be. We are encompassed about by that little sanctuary, (who is not so little btw), every moment of every day. My Father is always aware of when I perhaps need a little encounter with an incredibly tender dad, who is ready, willing and able to shoot a little nugget my way. The days of looking for justifying an angry God are way past over, and the ministry of reconciliation is long past over due.
The second beautiful part about this group of scriptures is the last verse. He comforts the prophet Ezekiel by telling him that when they return and get rid of all the distractions, He will give them one heart by removing the stony one, (indicative of the law), and giving them a new one along with a new spirit. Oh the amazing grace and mercy of our Father. It is only then that they can follow His statues and judgments which are not the big ten or the other 603 laws and ordinances. It will be a walk of faith and trust in the only one we can trust. Faith cannot be defined by a list of laws because as we should know by now thanks to the bible, the law only brought the knowledge of sin; it could not make us righteous or obedient. I love the analogy Andrew Farley used on a teaching about myths I listened to this morning. It was a picture of a sign that said no shooting allowed in a particular area of the forest. Can you guess what the sign was full of? Yes, bullet holes. A lot of good that sign did. Just like there were a remnant of Israelites that realized they could never fully obey that thing, and God saw their heart towards Him, and promised them good; so it is today with many saints that realize they too needed a new heart and spirit, and received it by faith in the one who defeated death, and rose again with abundant life for those who trust in what He provided for us once for all. Our Father is not to be feared even when reading the old testament. To be quite honest, when I read the stories of the children of Israel’s antics, I seriously can’t blame Him even if He did get angry.
I encourage every saint to read the old testament through the eyes of Jesus, and I promise that you will see a very different God than the angry wrathful one who has to kill something to be appeased. All He wanted was a relationship with His sons and daughters personally. He really is a very loving, patient, caring and amazing Father; and we can see that if we do not do what many of the children of Israel did and have eyes but do not see, and ears but do not hear. People can be wrong in their understanding all the time! I know I have been wrong about many things regarding my Father; but thankfully, He has been patient and kind enough to move me in the right direction so that I can see Him more and more clearly as we walk side by side each day!
Just wanted to share my recent encounter with my amazing God. Would love to hear yours. Leave a reply. I am going to start writing again as there are so many stories to tell, especially when they are fresh! Grace and Peace to all in Jesus Christ our Lord! Lisa
P.S. I am not trying to be provocative; I am simply trying to get people to think and read it for yourself. I don’t blame you for not wanting to read about a bunch of rules you can’t keep or an angry God who is ready to smite everyone and send them to hell; just to be contradicted by His Son. No wonder it is not interesting and hopelessly contradicting. The people that wrote the bible were real people going through real things, and they only had so much room to write about events taking place in their day. It’s ok to be wrong or misunderstand; however, it is not ok to shut people off or discount their take on things just because it does not line up with traditions of men we have put many years of trust in. Our Father is not put off by that. In fact, that is what it means to repent; change your mind about Him, and oh how He will open the floodgates of your understanding and you will truly be showered in the amazing grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ! Let the Holy Spirit lead! We can trust Him because we can trust Jesus right? Blessings!