Friday, June 15, 2007

Birthday musings

I have been slowly reading through Ezekiel. It has taken at least two months - I am not finished yet - and something has begun to stand out with almost painful clarity. I am not sure if I will be able to articulate what I have been seeing, but I'll try!

God was crying out for Israel to know Him.
He loved Israel with a perfect love, a love that included the wisdom of a Father and the passion of a Lover.
God expressed this love over and over. He looked for a response ........... and repeatedly saw Israel turn away to lavish their affection on other gods
("I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols ... on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak." -6:9,13).
Over and over He showed them Himself, His power, His provision, His protection.
Israel would be dazzled by God's greatness and His strength, but they did not make the next step of knowing Him.
They acknowledged Him, paid Him lip service and made sacrifices to Him, but never gave Him their hearts. That is all God wanted! He wanted to be their LORD, not just the God they were obligated to sacrifice to.
He wanted to have a heart relationship with the people He loved.

That is what He asks of us today.
God asks for our hearts.
God does not ask us for part of our hearts, or for our hearts for a limited amount of time. God asks for all of us, for all of time. ("Y
ou will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart". -Jeremiah 29:13)
He desires that we desire Him.
Not for anything He does, but for Who He Is.
LORD of everything (Who He Is and the things He does are interchangeable, really). Do we recognize His LORDship in our lives? In every part?
Have our hearts answered to the wooing, calling, and crying of His?
God displays Himself for us over and over. He declares His love, His power, His holiness and His redemption in every place.
Just as God looked for a response from Israel, He is looking for our response today. What will it be? Will you give Him all of your heart and place Him as LORD over all of your life?

Ezekiel 36
16 Again the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. ... 18 So I poured out my wrath on them ... 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the LORD's people, and yet they had to leave his land.' ...

23 "I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

24 " 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. ... 36 ... I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.

38 ... Then they will know that I am the LORD."

God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:9-11


Abby said...

Happy Birthday! May you know God even more this year as He wants you to know Him. Great post. ;)

etrnlcoca said...

Hey, that is a great thought and meditatin. But do your-self a favour. Don't let thata become commen. Don't let KNOOWING Christ, become a ritual, another THING in your life. God doesn't want you to have -isms, like huminism. He deosn't want things. But a person, Christ. Don't let this great concept of Christ's otherness become a thing.

Anna said...


"Hey, that is a great thought and meditation. But do your-self a favor. Don't let that a become common. Don't let KNOWING Christ, become a ritual, another THING in your life. God doesn't want you to have -isms, like humanism. He doesn't want things. But a person, Christ. Don't let this great concept of Christ's otherness become a thing."

I think Lizzie's post was about what you're addressing in your comment. She's saying that God had become a thing to Israel, and relationship was lacking.
"God was crying out for Israel to know Him."
I may be plunging into semantics, but I think it's necessary to define what I take this above quote to mean: God was crying out for Israel to know God as one would know another human, like as in a relationship, rather than know about God. I distinguish between the two in my own life by looking for a feeling of condemnation. If I feel condemned for not living up to a standard in my Christian walk, I take that to indicate that I may becoming more knowledgeable, but not necessarily more intimate with God. If I have a greater understanding of His grace, and through that grace, a desire to obey, I understand that as a symptom of a relational closeness to God.

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