Lord, I want to be so near to You that I catch the very rhythm of Your heart and my heart begins to beat with Yours.
Read Ezekiel 4:1-8; 5:1-13
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness. . . the Lord God Almighty is his name” (Amos 4:13).
Anyone not quite convinced of the appropriateness and validity of drama and illustration in communicating God’s Word needs only to be pointed to these chapters. The message remains the same throughout the first half of the book. It matters that the nations get a right view of God. The nation of Judah had constantly condoned and often promoted injustice, immorality and syncretistic worship, while representing themselves as the people of Yahweh. This could make it look as if God didn’t care about injustice and didn’t care who or what people worshipped. This was far from the truth! God would not tolerate such behavior, and his name was to be held up before the nations, therefore Judah had been defeated and exiled. In fact, worse was yet to come and Jerusalem itself would fall. Eventually, when the Judeans realized and accepted what was going on, Ezekiel would be able–so that the nations would understand that the Exile had not been a result of God’s powerlessness–to proclaim that the exiles would return and Judah would be rebuilt. But as yet that realization had not come.
We may think that some of the illustrations given here are weird, but what is exciting about these passages is to see how God takes everyone seriously. Some people respond best to the kind of prophetic poetry we see in Isaiah or the logical debates we see in Amos or the emotional convictions conveyed by Jeremiah–but others need pictorial presentations or dramas to help them grasp the truth. Of course, these particular dramas are God-initiated, and we do need to make sure that any illustration really does convey the intended message–but be ready to rejoice in the fact that God uses drama to help people understand his message!
Reflect on the vision that God has given your church for maturity and mission, and think about different and perhaps dramatic ways in which that vision might be represented.
God, You are full of creativity and vision. Help me to relay the story of Your redemption in a way that will engage and connect with those around me. Thank You, Lord.
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