Year 3 Day 64
Read - Ezekiel 5:5-12
Message - Alan Burke
I remember back in my school days that if you got caught doing something that you shouldn’t outside of school wearing your school uniform you’d face consequences in school. I’m not sure the same thing happens today though. The idea behind it was that you in your uniform represented the school, you were a witness as such, your actions spoke about the type of character the school was, and as a result we knew that it was important to take our blazers off so that we wouldn’t face the consequences of our behaviour. Wearing the blazer we represented the school, our actions had a direct correlation on how that school was viewed by the public, if one of us was seen spraying something on a gable wall then the school got a bad name, if someone was seen breaking a window then the school got a bad name, you get the idea!
Well God’s people were to be His people, a people who were a light to the nations, they were to live as God’s peoples under His word and rule. Well the fact of the matter is that although they were to to be a light, they lived in darkness! Not because God had not revealed himself to them but that they choose not to live as God’s people under His word and rule, they were a rebellious house. What had happened is that they had taken their status, their calling, their privileged position in the world for granted. Even though the Lord God in His gracious purposes had set them in the centre of the nations we are told here (v5) they were an example of a faithless people to a faithful God, they were disobedient, rebellious, they were worse than the nations around them, they rejected God’s laws, and failed to follow His decrees. They were worse than the pagan nations that surrounded them. This is an inditement on them, they were to represent God to the nations around, they were His witnesses, His witnesses, how they lived correlated to how the nations around viewed God.
As the Lord speaks once more though the prophet Ezekiel, tells them that “I myself am against you”. The Lord God was bringing judgement, He was against this people for they were wickedness and rebellion. They were to be His people but they were worse than the nations around them. Since they did not live as they should, then the Lord would make them an example, not and example of His Grace and mercy but an example of His judgement. God’s people were example of his judgement, the land of Judah was left desolate, the nations ridiculed her and at the same time these nations would see the hand of God at work against his own people, it served as a warning that God could and would do the same to them. Notice in all of this, in this declaration to the people nothing mentioned of the hope that was declared to Ezekiel of the few hairs that were folded in his garment, God was bringing judgement and even though there was hope in the midst of it they they were unaware of it.
Today the mission that was first given to the nation of Israel has been given to the church, the people of God, we are to live as God’s peoples under His word and rule. 1 Peter 2 makes clear, that we; “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once we were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Pe 2:9–10).
The implications of this is that we are to live in a way that conforms not with the world, but with the Word of God. We are to be a people that look to the word of God as our rule and guide. We are to be a people that live as God wants rather than the culture around us. We are to take the things of God seriously, instead of becoming a people who like the rebellious nation that the Lord was bringing His judgement upon have turned, rejecting the laws and decrees of God as they had done. If we don’t and we may not think that it matters too much but how we live correlates to how those around us view God, for we are His witnesses in this world of darkness, how we act and behave should be in accordance with the word of God in response to the salvation we have received.
Q63 Which is the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exod. 20:12)