Crazy Prophet

August 21 – Today’s Readings – Ezekiel 4-6 and Psalms 51

“Now, son of man, take a clay tablet, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 4:1-3)

Imagine for a moment that God tells you to transport a large chalkboard to the steps of city hall and to draw a picture of your city on it – then He tells you to draw all sorts of destruction coming to the city – maybe bombs falling – big fires – an occupying army – starving people – cannibalism – general mayhem and destruction. The Lord then says to put on a t-shirt that say’s “I Am God” on it and to prop up a large piece of plywood between your face and your “chalkboard of destruction”. Ezekiel’s next instruction from the Lord was even more extreme – just think about doing this in front of city hall – “You are to lie on your side for just over a year eating only extremely small amounts of water and grain that you cook with cow manure! After that you are to take a sword, shave your head and beard with it and burn some of the hair – symbolizing the stench and destruction that will be brought on the city. Some of the hair is to be scattered to the wind and some of it is to be chopped to small bits – again symbolizing the scattering of people and the destruction of the sword.”

I don’t suppose the city fathers the by-law officers and maybe even a federal agency or two would see all of your “prophesying” in a positive light. Neither did it go over too well in Ezekiel’s day. After the initial shock of a “madman” doing stupid things in the center of town wore off, I’m quite certain that Ezekiel suffered a lot of opposition for his antics.

How does God get the attention of people? How does He speak to a people who do not want to hear? I hope you are keenly aware that God can and will use all kinds of roadblocks and “crazy prophets” to get people’s attention. Remember how He got your attention?

Here’s the kicker – we are “proper” and “reasonable” people and do not want to make others uncomfortable with our words or actions. God however has no such concerns especially if it means bringing people to a place of seeing His Kingdom. We should never be surprised when God puts “the squeeze” on people – He can and will sometimes use extreme measures to get through to hardheaded people. We should never attempt to “shield” people from God’s dealings even if they seem extreme. This does not mean, however that every “wacko” who claims to have a message from God is the genuine thing – most of them are just “wacko”.

Questions:

1. Tell about any extreme measures God had to use in your life in order to get your attention.
2. Give another example from Scripture of God’s loving but extreme measures.

Speak!

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