Ezekiel 3: 16—6: 14
Oh, boy. Ok so 4 very “out of the ordinary” signs for the soon-to-be-besieged-residents of Jerusalem. Remember, the Exile happened int 3 stages. When Ezekiel was called in yesterday’s section, he was among a group already settled in Babylon. He was transported by the Spirit to Jerusalem, or there about, so he can be their Watchman. Because of this role he will be held responsible for telling the people what the Lord tells him to tell them. He is not responsible for their response to the message; he is responsible for delivering the message. If he does not deliver the message, then he is responsible for his sin of disobedience and the Lord will place the sins of the people Ezekiel failed to warn. And people, God has placed the same kind of repercussions on us in the Church Age. The Great Commission tells us to go out and be Jesus’ ambassadors to the unbelieving people. We have to tell them; we are going to be held responsible for that. But we are not held responsible for their response. I don’t know about you, but this makes me breath a sign of relief.
So back to these strange signs. After reading this today I just feel sorry for Ezekiel. He needs to have a bigger space in our Hall of Faith. Talk about being obedient no matter how dumb you look. And again, these signs are so out of the ordinary because God, acting on his love for the people, is trying to get their attention. I would definitely stop and ask what is going on if there was a guy laying in Downtown Rockwall on his side for 390 days.
Hebrews 4: 1-16
The rest talked about in this section is held in the context of the OT teaching the author has just taught. The rest is the idea of being in the Promised Land and being obedient to what God is asking us to do. Israel did not experience this rest because they never put their faith in God alone. They wanted their own way. But God knew this rest would be offered to people after the Cross. This is the what I mean by the Church Age. The rest God offered comes to us who believe in Jesus. The rest means that we are secure in our future with God, we know where we are going when we die, we know that we don’t have to work to pay for our sin. This rest is not an absence of suffering. We continue in this rest, despite our suffering, by being obedient to the Word of God. Jesus knows, as our High Priest, how weak we are. He knows that as we interact with the Word that is sharper than any two-edged sword, we will need a High Priest interceding for us to receive God’s mercy. And that is the essence of this rest friends. You can be at rest in your soul, because your High Priest has made you right with God and given you a way to be obedient that the Israelites looked forward to!