Friday, October 12, 2012

Ezekiel 33 - Watchman Calls for Turning

LINK: Ezekiel 33

(The original post was 11/14/2009. I left it here to record the obstacles that resulted from trying to write the original post!)

Saturday: I got up very early this morning to complete the Saturday installment of the Bible Book Club, and I gashed my toe. So, I am going to proclaim this a free reading day because I have to go and get stitches (according to my doctor brother-in-law who is staying with us for the weekend). I'll try to do something brief later on in the day because I love this chapter! Finally to the hope of Ezekiel, and I get a gashed toe. Go figure!

Sunday: I just spent the last hour doing a post for Ezekiel 33, and I came back to find it had totally disappeared. I was to the application portion. There seems to be many obstacles to getting this post done! I will start again and try to recreate it.

July 8, 2012: the gashed toe resulted in surgery and recovery that extended many months as my back went totally out because of the surgically placed pin coming out and me not being able to exercise. This led to my back going out so that I was in bed for five weeks. It is 2 1/2 years later, and I am FINALLY back to the same fitness I was on 11/14/09.  

November 18, 2014: Five years and four days later, that injury led to me discovering issues with my back that would have been discovered much later. I had worn orthodics since my days of playing college basketball, and they were doing more harm than good. Because of that injury five years ago, I was eventually led to a physical therapist and osteopath that encouraged me to get ride of them. I am now orthodic free with my back realigned and even running again. The orthodics were doing more to hurt than help me in the long run!

November 19, 2014: The NEXT day, my back blew out! Go figure! :) 

BACKGROUND

Ezekiel was to be the watchman on the wall. A watchman was to warn the people in a walled city of approaching enemies. If he failed in his responsibilities, he would be responsible. Ezekiel was a faithful watchman. He proclaimed judgment from Ezekiel 1-32. Now, he was to proclaim hope for restoration from Ezekiel 33 to the end of the book. 

You will see "turn" mentioned eight times in this chapter. It occurs sixty-two times throughout the book (Jeremiah has 111 occurrences). As I mentioned in a previous post, the Hebrew word, "šûb," is translated "turn" in English. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says, ". . . better than any other verb it combines in itself the two requisites of repentance: to turn from evil and to turn to the good" (p. 909). Sadly, the people heard Ezekiel's words but did not "put them into practice" (33:32).

You might have noticed that much of this chapter repeats what has been said in previous chapters (3:15-27; Ezekiel 5 and 6; 11:14-21; 18:1-32; 20:1-8; and 24:25-27). Nobody could say that they did not hear what the Lord said with this reiteration of many of the truths that Ezekiel has already spoken about!

REFLECTION

Not only are we to be hearers of the Word of God but also doers of it by putting what it says into practice. I want to live the Word of God by applying its truth to the nitty-gritty grind of everyday life. How about you?

APPLICATION

Meditate on James 1:21-27 today and talk to God about being a doer of the Word rather than just a hearer:
Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:21-27)

Here is a handout about applying the Word to your life:


PRAYER

Lord, open our ears to hear Your Word and will for our lives. Then, give us the strength to put it into practice. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.



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