a toy cityIf you are reading along with us, you have listened to Jeremiah plea with his fellow Israelites to turn from their sin and back to God in repentance to ward off an impending invasion.  In glaring detail, the prophet warns of calamity and destruction on the horizon – all to no avail.  Babylon/Chaldeans invade Judah – Jerusalem is sacked and destroyed.  Jeremiah writes 5 poems of lament while sitting in the ashes of the smoldering ruins.

Sin caused this.

Now we enter Ezekiel, one of the strangest guys in the Old Testament.  Part of the group of Israelites sent in chains to Babylon (2 Kings 24:11-16), Ezekiel is further proof that God loves His people and is grieving over what has happened.  Despite constant warnings and prophetic visions, God’s people have ignored Him and brought destruction upon themselves.

God is determined to not let that happen again.  So He sends Ezekiel to explain why they are in exile and how to prevent it next time.  Ezekiel is writing mainly to the Jews in Babylon during about 23 years – from around 593 B.C. to 571 B.C.

As you begin reading – brace yourself.  Things get weird pretty quickly.  In fact, right out of the gate Ezekiel is hanging out at one of the major rivers about 200 miles north of Babylon, when he sees a vision from the Lord.  This vision sets off series of events typically only found on those late night TV shows.

The vision has a bunch of strange creatures in it.

A voice speaks out of a throne.

Ezekiel eats a huge scroll.

(Then things get really weird).

God tells Ezekiel to build a small replica of the city of Jerusalem.

Then pretend to attack this city model.

He is told to lay siege to this toy city.

Do you know what that looks like?

There are 5 basic steps to besieging a city:

1.      You build a fort against the city walls that serve as watch towers.  You can intimidate the citizens as you surround them.  (So Ezekiel does this…)

2.      Next you create a mount of earth, branches, and stones up against the city walls so that you can fight up and over them into the city.  (So Ezekiel does this…)

3.      Then you set up camp against the city – surrounding it so no one escapes.  (So Ezekiel does this…)

4.      Then you start battering against the city walls to find a weak point and eventually break in through a hole. (So Ezekiel does this…)

5.      Last you set up a shield to protect your army from archers defending the city walls.  (So Ezekiel does this…)

 

What do you think this looked like to the average person walking by?

Oh look – there is crazy Zeke playing with his toy city again.  What is wrong with that guy?

 

He does this for 390 days… then 40 more, all while cooking his food in cow dung.

(I bet he is really glad God changed His mind on the first fuel choice!).

All of this makes me wonder… how far is God willing to go to help me understand how deadly my sin is?

            Earthquake?

            Have a prophet look silly?

            Kill His own Son?

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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