Ezekiel - Chapter 21

Ezekiel 21:10-13 - This passage is a little confusing to me. Is the sentence in parentheses in verse 10 directed toward Ezekiel? That doesn't seem to make sense, but if not, then who? And what of verse 12, "Strike therefore upon your thigh." Is He calling Ezekiel to cut himself?

Ezekiel 21:19-23 - If I understand this right, God is directing Ezekiel to help direct the King of Babylon to Jerusalem, to help him come to attack. Interesting here is that the King of Babylon will be using all sorts of magic to try to get answers (what does it mean to 'look at the liver' I wonder?) and God is playing into it, influencing those results for His purposes. The King is not consulting of God, yet Gos is still answering him through the divinations and other pagan practices. Of course, this is not God validating their use, rather He's using the Kings sinful way to advance God's righteous purpose in judgement.

I tend to think that God isn't at work in the world, but here is God working, influencing the course of history through, not in spite of, one man's ungodly actions. In what ways, I wonder, is He doing the same today? If I watched carefully, with eyes fro God's working, what would I be able to see?

You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the Lord have spoken."

There are several statements like this in this chapter, many actually through Ezekiel. Reading through it (especially if I have gaps in my reading like the last one), it's easy to forget that this is a book of God's anger about sin, his intense fury. What I mean is that each on is still shocking. The depth and intensity of his anger over their sin does not fail to surprise me. I want to think of God as happy, positive, merciful, but he is also holy, righteous and just. God is patient, but only to a point. Sometimes I am slow in repentance, returning to His ways over my own. How long will He wait? How far do I want to push Him? Better question - How shallow is my love and respect for His holiness that I would want to wait?

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