Reading through the Bible together
When someone is short of sight, you may need to write in large letters so they can see. Judah has been hard of hearing so Ezekiel has had to shout. But now the unbelievable has happened and the city has fallen. Yahweh’s bride is dead. Now is the time for softer tones.
Before restoration must come rage. Rage at all those who have caused grief and pain. The long standing antagonists are addressed first. Ammon and Moab are relatives, descendants of Lot. Edom and Seir are from Esau’s line. Yet animosity between relatives can run far deeper than between mere acquaintances. In addition, the Philistines have been enemies forever.
I must confess to feeling uncomfortable with the intensity of this chapter. It doesn’t seem right to call for blood. Yet surely there is a place for rage at the wicked and even for joy over their defeat. No emotion is bad in itself. It is how you use those emotions that counts.
“What of forgiveness?” Yes, forgiveness is important. But you have to feel what you are forgiving, not just say it. Forgiveness is not to be seen as excusing wrong and not done at all simply by the light dismissal of pain. It faces heartache and allows no excuse, then forgives anyway, despite the deep pain. Calvary is the death knell of easy grace.
How often we rush people to the conclusion of things too soon. The abused, the shattered, the broken must be allowed the reality of their loss. The motto is not to skip the pain, then forgive. It is to feel the pain, acknowledge the grief, then forgive and let go.
Ezekiel will paint pictures of restoration, but first he will rage against the nations and justly so. You cannot heal what you do not feel.
God grant us the authenticity of our grief as You give authenticity to Yours!
Avondale College, Australia