Sunday, April 27, 2008

How Big is our God?

My husband was asked to read the first chapter of Ezekiel this morning, as preparation for our Pastor to begin his sermon. The vision Ezekiel has is of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
As I stood there, listening to the description, I realized that I cannot begin to comprehend God. He is above all. He is utterly magnificent.

Does my vision of God shape my life? Do I live for Him? Do I instruct my children to focus on the One who sits on that glorious throne, with a rainbow of grace surrounding it?

God is the Lord of Time and Eternity. One day, every single knee, whether willingly or unwillingly, will bow, and every single tongue will declare that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

God is the Creator of all things. Every heartbeat, every breath I take is only because of His mercy. Do I use them for His glory? Do I arrange my days to serve Him? Is He at the forefront of my mind and plans for the days and weeks and months ahead? Or am I simply relegating Him to the back corner, and putting my self on the throne? Are MY plans, MY dreams, MY desires and MY goals what I focus on?

When I read the first chapter of Ezekiel, I know that I must


God is the Potter, and we are the clay. He has every right to do as He wills with His own creatures. Some He will raise up, and some He will put down -- all for His good pleasure, and all because of His sovereign will. He chooses our course, and we must learn to humble ourselves before Him, surrendering to His will. Whether we are up, or whether we are down, we must live for God!

Am I ready to live for God, radically, moment-by moment?

Ezekiel was.

At the time of Ezekiel, there was great political upheaval. Judah was in the middle between Egypt (Pharaoh Neco) and Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar). In 609 good King Josiah was killed at Meggido, and by 605 BC Neco's armies were destroyed by Babylon at the Battle of Carchemish. King Jehoiachim was playing politics instead of turning to the living God. He kept switching allegiance from Egypt to Babylon, which didn't go over very well.

Daniel was taken in the first wave, in 605. In 597, Ezekiel was carted off to exile, along with 10,000 others. By 586, Nebuchadnezzar in his fury destroyed the temple.

The children of Israel cried out, "What's going on? Where is God? Why did He allow this destruction? Doesn't He care about us? Isn't He in control?"

That's why God gave Ezekiel the vision of WHO HE WAS. And when Ezekiel saw it, he fell on his face:

Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
2:1 ¶ And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. 4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. 5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

Ezekiel was certainly a prophet - he saw the vision and took the message to the people. He was also a priest, the son of a priest. His name means "I will strengthen", and he was strengthened by God to do His bidding and minister to the people.

He had a tough message. Daniel, like Hosea, was tender. Ezekiel, like Amos, was tough. God uses all sorts of people for His purposes. Don't compare ministries or personalities, but be thankful when you see God's provision in the talents of His people!

So God sent Ezekiel with a the message that judgment begins at home. They were dabbling in sin, going after idols, listening to false prophets, using false measures, pursuing gain, ignoring the needy, and trusting in super-powers rather than in the Living God. God used Babylon to discipline His people, to purify them and bring them back to a relationship with Him.

The book of Ezekiel is all about

the PLAN of GOD - to discipline Judah;
the PURPOSE of GOD - to restore Judah; and
the PROMISE of GOD - that His people would return to the land.

It wasn't an easy task, to take this message to the people. They were confused and felt abandoned, and Ezekiel knew it. That's why God gave him a glimpse of His power and glory, along with a reminder of His unfathomable grace. The rainbow encircling the throne was a powerful reminder that God always keeps His promises. Even if the enemy has come in and carted you away to a foreign land. Even if you have lost your home, your family, your land, your temple, your very country...God never fails. He will judge the sin of His people, and it is never easy. He also will restore His people back to a full relationship with Himself. One day, we will be in the Land - the best land - the heavenly land, where God dwells in the midst of His people.

We had a foretaste of heaven today as we gazed upon Jesus. He is the One with the plan to make a way for the elect from every tribe and tongue to be gathered as a People of God. He is the One with the purpose to redeem us from a life of sin, under the power of Satan and the sentence of death. He is the One who promised never to let one of His chosen ones go, and HE has the power to carry out His plan, His purpose, and to keep His promise.

It's all about YOU, King Jesus, and the glory of Your name.

My God is so BIG,
So strong and so mighty,
There's nothing my God cannot do!

The mountains are His,
The valleys are His,
The stars are His handiwork too!

My God is so BIG,
So strong and so mighty,
There's nothing my God cannot do!

Oh, God, Help me to live as one who really GETS that I am very small, and You are very BIG. Let me keep the vision of Your power and Your glory at the forefront of my mind. Remind me that Your eye is always upon me, and that You ordain every little thing that happens to me for my ultimate good, and for your glory.

In the name of Christ, my Saviour and Lord, I pray. Amen.


Kim from Canada said...

Love the post and it was only recently that I read and appreciated the book of Ezekiel.

But now that song is going to be in my head all night - prety good words to fall asleep with though!

Janet said...

Yes, they are good words to fall asleep to! I needed my own reminder about that this very evening, as I found myself worrying about how much the well we just put in will cost. God is so much bigger than my little worries!

I will try to finish the post on Ezekiel tomorrow, as it will bless me, and you, too, I am sure!

Good-night, Kim from Canada!