Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 269

The scriptures read are Ezekiel 3-4, Psalm 71 and 1 John 1.

Ezekiel 3. The scroll tastes good. But Ezekiel's job telling his people God's prophetic words won't be easy because of their rebelliousness. Then Ezekiel is taken away by the Spirit to a Tel Abib which is a ruins where the flotsam of a flood is deposited. There he observes the human equivalent, fellow Jews caught in the flood that was the Babylonian assault on Judah.

God makes Ezekiel liable for the deaths of those he does not warn. So he is like a watchman on a city wall. If he warns people, then it is on their heads if they don't heed his warning. But if he refrains from warning them, then what happens to them is his fault.

But first God's going to make Ezekiel mute for a while.

Ezekiel 4. The first enacted parable. Using a brick and an iron skillet Ezekiel is to enact in miniature the siege of Jerusalem. He is also to lie first on his left side for 390 days, a day for each year Israel sinned, and on his right for 40 days, a day for each year Judah sinned. He is to live on a crude bread and limited water for the whole time. God does relent when Ezekiel objects to cooking his bread over human dung and lets him use cow dung for fuel instead. This symbolized the poor non-kosher food of the besieged people of Jerusalem, whatever they can scrape together and rationed to boot.

Psalm 71. Though only based on a few verses of the psalm, this is the best musical version I could find.

1 John 1. If not written by the same John who wrote the gospel, this was written by someone in the same school of theology. In this first chapter he uses many of the same words: Life, Light, Word.

We are reminded that we are sinners but also that if we confess our sins, God is gracious enough to forgive us. The first step is to admit your sins. The second is to accept God's forgiveness.

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