Ezekiel 2 and Psalm 38

Ezekiel 2 is a relatively short chapter. My first read through it seemed a bit vanilla until I took a look at D. A. Carson’s For the Love of God Volume 2:

…success is not measured by how many people Ezekiel wins to his perspective, but by the faithfulness with which he declares God’s words. 1

How often do I approach my life with a goal of being faithful no matter what the outcome is. I realized yesterday that there are areas in my life where I need to make changes with regard to this principle. Ezekiel 2:7 says:

… you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear …

Psalm 38 seems to be a song of mourning for the psalmist’s sins. It echoes a repentant heart and pleas for God’s mercy and forgiveness as well as protection from the author’s enemies. Ps. 38:9-10 recognizes that God is not unaware of my grief and sorrow. Ps. 38:15 reminds me of yesterday’s reading where the psalmist reiterates the need for patience in the life of a believer as he/she waits for God to heal and rescue. But in spite of the recognition of the need for patience, the psalmist still cries out to God for relief and immediate intervention in Ps. 38:21-22.

That is how I feel this morning. I want to wait patiently for The Lord, but my heart longs for His intervention and rescue. I believe that is a very human perspective to God’s work in my life.

1 Carson, D. A. For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998. Print.

Ezekiel 1 and Psalm 37

This morning I began a new book, Ezekiel. Ezekiel 1 begins with the author sharing his vision of the four creatures. The description was so strange that I went online to see if I could find any artistic renditions. This one is on Pinterest and is of one of the four creatures. Another one was a rendition of the vision of the wheel.

I love the devotional book by D. A. Carson, For the Love of God Volume Two. I will quote from it occasionally in this journal. He gives a very helpful introduction on the book of Ezekiel:

EZEKIEL WAS JEREMIAH’S contemporary. Though he was born into a priestly family, Ezekiel was removed from the temple. In March, 597 B.C., he, young King Jehoiachin, the Queen Mother, the aristocracy, and many of the leading priests and craftsmen were transported seven hundred miles to Babylon. The young king was in prison or under house arrest for thirty-seven years. The exilic community, impoverished and cut off from Jerusalem and the temple, dreamed nostalgically of home and begged God to rescue them. They could not conceive that in another decade Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed. On the banks of the Kebar River—probably an irrigation canal swinging in a loop southwest from the Euphrates—the exiles tried to settle. And here, according to Ezekiel 1, when he was thirty years old and in the fifth year of his exile (i.e., about 593, still six years before the destruction of Jerusalem), Ezekiel received an extraordinary vision. 1

Ezekiel 1:28 closes with,

“…Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”

I would assume that it is very difficult to describe the glory of the Lord with human words and images. But I believe we would definitely know it when we saw it. Today we only experience shadows of His glory but someday, we will be able to experience the fullness of His glory. I imagine it will be more that the greatest visual scenery we have every experienced here on earth.

The heading for Psalm 37 in my Bible is, “He Will Not Forsake His Saints”. How timely for me today to read that! This psalm is rich in promises and encouragement for those who may be down-hearted. Probably the most familiar verse is Ps. 37:4. However, we cannot claim the second part of the verse without realizing the first part. Delighting in the Lord is a lifelong pursuit. It is more than a simple confession – it is a life consuming passion and drive and it affects what happens in the second half of the verse. When our delight is in the Lord, the desires of our heart line up with His will and purpose. Having noted all that, it is a wonderful promise to cling to!

Ps. 37:5 uses the word “Commit” as a apropos description of the action required. It goes “hand in hand” with the second verb in the verse, “trust”. Our responsibility is to trust God and commit our actions and will to Him.

Ps. 37:7, Ps. 37:9, and Ps.37:34 encourage the reader to be patient and still. God’s actions are not predicated on the timetable that I choose.

Ps. 37:17-19, Ps. 37:25-26, and Ps. 37:28 speak about the sustaining power of God in the life of the believer. I find words like, “upholds”, “abundance”, “lending generously”, “blessing”, and “preserved forever”.

1 Carson, D. A. For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998. Print.