Friday, February 01, 2008

Ezekiel and other Ponderings

In reading the book of Ezekiel the last month or so, I have been enlightened and bewildered at the same time. This book in the Bible is one of the more neglected books by me(I will admit I tend to hang out more in the New Testament) but it is one of the more interesting books and it reveals so much of God's character. Maybe I was just not in a place to see these things before, but for some reason this time when going through it so much has made me stop and pause for a minute.
One thing that surprised me this time while reading it was that having too much , overubundace can be a sin and was the greatest sin of Sodom and Gomorah, see Ezekiel 16:49. This was a surprise to me because even though I have read that before I never really realized that what I think God was saying here is that thier overabundance is what led them to do all those awful sins we hear about and what we know S&G to stand for ie; sexual immorality, greed, idol worship but these were just the outcome of having too much stuff that took away thier need for God and not keeping it simple. It also says that they didn't help the poor and needy. Did you know that is a sin in God's eyes?
Also another thing that got me thinking was how many times in chapter 20 God says that He spares His people for His name's sake. NOT because they deserve it, not because He is not angry with them, not because they are obedient but because they carry His name and if He were to smite them His name wouldn't look all that good. It makes me wonder how many times He has come to my rescue and shaped up my life, helped me out of the pit I have dug myself into for His name sake. Because He knows others have heard me call myself a Christ follower and He needs them to know what that really is supposed to look like.

So then after some of these scriptures my head gets thinking about current issues like what is going on in our world right now and how many people who are Christian are targeting only the so called "big issues" or "moral issues" with this upcoming presidential race when all the while neglecting some very important things, things that God would call sin also, like taking care of poverty here in America, healthcare for those in desperate need of it, education for the children that ARE here. I am not saying that where a canidate stands on abortion or gay marriage isn't important it's just that after reading this portion of scripture it makes me wonder if maybe we haven't swung to the far extreme of what we would deem "Big sin" and all the while we are missing some other really Big sins and we don't even realize it because we have too much and have forgotten what it is like to go hungry for a while.


Jen in Budapest said...

Great stuff Noel. I love your thoughts and musings. I think there's nothing like God's truth to anchor us and to help navigate through the many voices out there in the world today. Even well intentioned friends and family, even presidential hopefuls.....with an anchor like the word, we have something to keep us on course and remind us what's most important. I don't know if the candidates themselves can fulfill our purpose in bringing these things about....At some level it's about personal responsiblity which really bites me sometimes. I want to do more when it comes to poverty globally, human trafficking, which is the newest form of slavery and is world-wide, and other such issues.....God help and God lead.

TPluckyT said...

Interesting post Noel! Generated some random thoughts . . .

On one hand, sin is sin and focusing on certain sins as "important" while discarding concern for other sins can be very frustrating or downright hypocritical.

On the other hand, I think it is perfectly appropriate (and wise) for people to vote their conscience.

Romans 13 says that there is no authority except what has been established by God. Paul said to submit (and "respect" by the way) those in authority over us no matter who they are. He said our focus is to be on how we live our own lives and how we love others, not what authority is doing. Romans 13 is a very interesting chapter to read and ponder in regard to our own participation in the political process.

But as often as I am tempted to check out of the whole voting process, I also understand democracy is a precious gift that should be guarded, as long as protecting that democracy doesn't interfere with the "love" mission we are all to be about. So I pray and I vote and leave the rest up to God.

To echo Jen . . . God help and God lead.

noel said...

jen- yes, i am so thankful for the anchor God's word provides and also how alive it is to reveal new things.

tim- i agree with you totally my whole "big sins" was more for dramatic effect than anything else. i don't believe there are greater ones. i just love how God is such a good equalizer to us all when we start feeling like we are doing a pretty good job we soon see how far from the mark we are.

vote, that's what i hope most people will do. however they vote i just pray that they do. thanks for the scripture i will go check that out. thanks for your 2cents always welcomed.

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