I’ve taken ages to read this chapter! I’ve had a lot of ideas and projects in my head. Every time I start to read it, my mind flies off somewhere else.
It’s about God’s toughness, it’s about calling out what needs to be called out.
Israelite leaders have assimilated to life in Babylon. Then Ezekiel turns up with his year long art installation about the judgement of Jerusalem. Clearly it can’t be ignored, so they come to him to see what he has to say.
They get no word of Jerusalem or prophesy from the Lord other than the condemnation of their own hypocrisy and idolatry.
I read about Greta Thunberg, the 17 year old climate change activist who lead a protest outside the white house, but when invited to speak to the president refused, because she doesn’t speak to people who don’t accept the science.
That’s where Ezekiel is at here. And if he does prophesy to them, he’ll be complicit in their idolatry.
Then there is a lacerating image of the four judgements God is bringing on Jerusalem: sword, plague, wild beasts and famine.
Noah Daniel and Job would barely get out with their own life from any one of these, let alone save anyone else, let alone all four judgements at once.
Yet when Ezekiel and the others already in Babylon see the new exiles, the ones who do get out, they will understand. They will understand that God’s is in control.
I have a somewhat careering sense all of the plans and projects around. My family faces end of year stress. Years can be a marker of challenges and lack of progress, as much as opportunity. I have a to do list that feels well beyond me.
But things could be a lot, a lot worse and God could still be in control. I need to let the word of the Lord determine what first things will come first.