Sunday, January 31, 2010

Passages that make you think

Sometimes just the NIV section titles alone can fill one with a sense of dread when reading the Prophets.

Take the book of Ezekiel...

Chapter 8: Idolatry in the Temple

Chapter 9: Idolaters Killed

Chapter 10: The Glory Departs From the Temple Yikes! I don’t know if I would have wanted to be around when the glory of God was on the move!

But Chapter 9 turns out to be not only about the idolaters who were killed, but also about the remnant that remained.

In verse 4, the Lord instructs the man with the writing kit to “go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
Meanwhile, the guards of the city are instructed to kill anyone who doesn’t have a mark, beginning with the elders who were “in front of the temple.”(v.6)

The ones with the mark are spared.

How many people read this passage and wonder, “would I have had the mark?” Of course if we are believers we consider ourselves “marked” for Christ. But can my personal witness be compared with “grieving and lamenting” for the condition of the world?

The remnant’s faithfulness was outwardly noticeable. I don’t know how loudly they wept and wailed, but once they had the mark, at least, there were no secrets.

Sometimes it seems like in life there is no time and place to stop and really grieve for the lost. Maybe that’s why we have accepted the “daily quiet time” as a condition of a healthy spiritual life. We have to let out all our cares and worries. But should we also be stopping in the streets and wailing? Should we be standing in our Christian assemblies and denouncing sin? I don’t know what the equivalent is. I just know that we are meant to hate sin.


  1. I am ALWAYS wondering.....whenever I read the Bible. Most usually it is "would I have recognized Christ?" Just now I was walking down the hall and saw some child's poster on St. Joan - "Would I have denied my voices?" (Pretty sure - yes.)

    I depend on Grace, that's for sure, because on my own, I don't think I'm worth much.

  2. Yes, and I don't think we need to IMAGINE hypothetical situations in which we may or may not depend on God...but these situations in the Bible are certainly included for our reflection, so we might learn something.


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