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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ezekiel

Eze’ki-el (click name for source)

(the strength of God ), one of the four greater prophets, was the son of a priest named Buzi, and was taken captive in the captivity of Jehoiachin, eleven years before the destruction of Jerusalem. He was a member of a community of Jewish exiles who settled on the banks of the Chebar, a "river’ or stream of Babylonia. He began prophesying B.C. 595, and continued until B.C. 573, a period of more than twenty-two years. We learn from an incidental allusion, (Ezekiel 24:18) that he was married, and had a house, (Ezekiel 8:1) in his place of exile, and lost his wife by a sudden and unforeseen stroke. He lived in the highest consideration among his companions in exile, and their elders consulted him on all occasions. He is said to have been buried on the banks of the Euphrates. The tomb, said to have been built by Jehoiachin, is shown, a few days journey from Bagdad. Ezekiel was distinguished by his stern and inflexible energy of will and character and his devoted adherence to the rites and ceremonies of his national religion. The depth of his matter and the marvellous nature of his visions make him occasionally obscure.

This past week at church our pastor spoke on the subject of honor. After reviewing several people in the bible Ezekiel was mentioned. I'll admit, Ezekiel is not a book I have spent much time in except for "reading through the Bible" commitments. One thing that stuck out was that our pastor made a point of saying that Ezekiel was called as a prophet for 24 years. He was often asked by God to do things that seemed odd to those around him, and finally, Ezekiel never saw any fruits of his labor NOT ONE PERSON REPENTED! This statement was followed up with the question Do you honor God with your life?

Can you imagine working in a job for over 20 years and never seeing success? I have to admit, that seems like a daunting task. I'm thankful to this point that has not been the call on the lives of our family and pray it will stay that way. Regardless, there are several lessons that can be learned from Ezekiel.

1) Obedience-Ezekiel responded exactly as God called him to do, faithfully.

2) Persistence-Ezekiel responded often

3) Relationship-Ezekiel understood it wasn't about success, it was about the journey WITH God.

I wonder if those who watched Ezekiel felt that his life was a life of honor. I wonder if they truly understood the special relationship he held with God. Ultimately, I don't think it mattered, Ezekiel lived his life exactly how God called him to.

I'm linking this with Seeds of Faith Women

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this amazing reminder. We have it all wrong in this culture of achievement, and I fight against what you've challenged us to almost every day.

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  2. I thought that SAME thing during the sermon. 24 years and NOTHING? sigh...I was thinking about how that applied to my life. If I'm living my life exactly how God calls me to, then nothing else, especially other's opinions of me, should matter. Thank you for this challenge!

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  3. I'm so inspired by your words this morning, Beth! This really spoke to me: "Ezekiel understood it wasn't about success, it was about the journey WITH God." I pray I will draw closer to Him through all my experiences. Blessings to you, Beth!

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  4. What a good reminder and encouragement! We don't always understand or see the fruits of our labor; however, God still is using us. 1 Corinthians 15:58.

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