By Benjamin H. Liles
There are times I get hugely stumped by something written in the Old Testament. For some time now I have done my best to look at and help Ezekiel make sense to us. More often than not we all need a little help in understanding what the text says and how we apply those things we learn. Now more than ever I see that Ezekiel is a deep and thought provoking book. The message God gave to him was to get those people whose hearts were turned away from God to come back to Him.
We often times wonder what all God was showing to Ezekiel and how we should orient our lives. While I have been taking time to seriously look at what Ezekiel is saying to Israel as well as to us in this day, I haven't once forgotten any one of you. Every one of you who reads the words of this website/blog I pray for. Sincerely, I do. We need to make sure as Ezekiel was Israel's watchman at that time we have a need for men to step up and to set themselves apart for understanding what it is God's telling us.
I think the overall message we can come to a conclusion on is that God desires us to be singly focused on Him, to put away the sins in our lives so we have a chance and a shot of being reconciled to Him. A lot of us, and I include myself on this, see God in the Old Testament, His anger, and His punishment and believe He's this wrathful and very hard to please God. But, then again, when i come to passages within the New Testament like this, "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours’" (Matthew 25:24-25, New King James).
Jesus gives us the parable of the Talents for us to see how much and what He's given to each of us. Some of us will use those talents for His glory, His kingdom, others will squander and squirrel it away in a place where that talent gains nothing: in essence, just being the one talent He's given us from the start. And we have the nerve to say back to Him, "I knew you to be a harsh man, reaping where you have not sown."
I'm sorry, but if His word is adequately given and the "blind receive sight, the lame walk, and the dead are given life," then isn't the work He's done on our behalf worth the effort of our faith to do something with? All He asks for from us is to have faith in Him who sent Jesus on our behalf to be sin for us, so that by His death we receive our sins washed away; in other words, we now have this opportunity to receive life everlasting, but it means we give something back in return - a life that was in ruin, sinful and dead, and doing wonderful things because we have this new and amazing thing within us.
So, when I say I have a problem finishing Ezekiel and what he's saying in the final three chapters it's because of the fact I know I need some help in understanding not just in what is being said, but the vast symbolism that is there in regards to how we are to act and to live our lives in front of a holy and just God. This is the same God who allowed Jesus Christ to go to the cross, offering His life a ransom so we have life eternal and to have peace "Not as the world gives" (John 14:27).
The best thing I can come up with if to suffice it to say that we are to honor Him in our faith, to show Him the best we can do with what He's given us, and to do so in this life the best way we can. In those regards I continuously pray for you. That everything He shows and has me to send your way blesses and encourages you to keep on in your faith, being steadfast in Him for as long as He keeps you and enables you to live a life in His wonderful love and glory. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.