Year 3 Day 55
Read - Ezekiel 4:1-8
Message - Alan Burke
Rod Stewart if you don’t know, and this is according to Wikipedia so it may not be gospel truth “is a British rock and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer”, he has “sold over 250 million records worldwide”. Although I think for all those men who have grown up and still have their inner child wanting to get out the most interesting bit about Rod Stewart is that he has a model railway that is 124 ft by 23 ft (that’s 37.7m by 7m). While most of us have to put the toys away and do life, selling 250 million records means you can pay other people to do that and get on with building your model railway and if you bought one of his records back in the day you played your part in it. As children we loved this kind of imaginary play, but as we come to chapter 4 of Ezekiel, the Lord tells him to make a model but this isn’t imaginative play, this is a sign of the judgement of God.
Ezekiel is to take a clay tablet we are told and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. Likely he is to place this tablet outside house, and around it, with this clay tablet, this depiction of Jerusalem at centre point, Ezekiel is to build a model. The model has siege works, a mound, rampart, set up military camps around it, with battering rams. This is what God is tasking the prophet to do before the people, with Jerusalem drawn on the tablet and this three dimensional model surrounding it. It may not have been as fancy as Rod Stewart’s model railway but it would have been a very visual and striking way of communicating to all who saw it what was indeed going to happen and what would happen in Jerusalem some years later that ended with its destruction (586 B.C.).
The iron pan he is to put this between himself and the tablet of Jerusalem it was to represent the barrier between God and his people. It is heartbreaking and frightful because God has warned his people, there would be blessings for obedience and punishment for disobedience (Lev 26). What it means is because of their disobedience their prayers would not reach Lord in the coming judgment for it was too late. The Lord would not step in to save them for the judgement was at his hand. Ezekiel is to turn his face was towards Jerusalem which was a sign of the judgement of God, and this should make us sit up and listen because God will not let the disobedience of his people go on forever.
Yet notice what Ezekiel is to do once the model is built, he is to lie and as he does he is to put the sin of the house of Israel on himself (4). Ezekiel is to bear the sin of the people of God while he is on his side. Don’t miss in this that God was dealing with the sin of his people, all of his people. Although everything seems hopeless, notice that there is even in this an element of hope, for what Ezekiel faced would indeed come to an end. Ezekiel would lie but it would end, he would lie for 430 days in total it was not going to go on for ever.
The good news for the Christian is that we are those who have received Christ and have escaped the judgement and wrath of God that is due to us because of our sin. We know that Jesus Christ has taken the punishment that we deserve, but it does not mean that we will be free from trouble in this life. We live in a fallen world among the righteous and wicked and sometimes although you may not want to hear this, God as our loving Father discipline those whom he loves (Prob 3:12, Heb 12:6-8). In all that you face, if it is hardship because of living in a fallen world among the righteous and wicked, or under the discipline of your heavenly Father remember Christ, remember that he went to the cross and has taken what we deserve and that he will ensure we cross the finish line.
Q55 What is forbidden in the third commandment?
The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning and abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known. (Mal. 1:6–7,12, Mal. 2:2, Mal. 3:14)