Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stand On Your Feet

Hullo all.
So, I was reading Ezekiel yestreday and today. What was shown to me is absolutely amazing.

Ezekiel was, of course, an Old Testament prophet. He went to Babylon, during the reign of king Jehoiachin of Judah. Most of Ezekiel chapter one is a vision that Ezekiel has of the LORD. I won't give you the whole thing, because it's almost an entire chapter. But let me give you pieces of it. (I encourage you to read the whole thing, too. It'd only take a few minutes.) The verses I'm going to use are all over the passage.

"As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal....And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness...Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went.... As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning....Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them....And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around....Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. 23And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings....And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around."

At the sight of all this, Ezekiel, probably terrified and awestruck, falls flat on his face. After all, he's looking right at God! God, surrounded by angels of a frightening sort, with shining stuff and eyes and fire all over the place. Given that no one is allowed to behold the face of God, I think anybody in their right mind would fall on their face.
Here's the awesome part. Check out, chew on, and ponder what YHWH says to Ezekiel, the lowly man amongst these heavenly creatures.
"Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you."
Holy Schamoly! Stand on his feet? He's in the presence of Jehovah, for crying out loud! Why did God tell him to stand up?

Honestly, I don't know. No idea why He'd tell Ezekiel to get up. But it's a type of sort. (In case you haven't been through my history class, a type is "A person or thing (as in the Old Testament) believed to foreshadow another (as in the New Testament.)" Think about it.
We're a pack of ungrateful, rebelious, independent, finite traitors. Beholding God, we should do more than fall on our faces. You know what He would be justified in doing? Tossing us into hell, eternal death and seperation from him. But what does He say to us instead? "Stand on your feet. I love you. I love you so much that I died for you. See the scars on my hands, my side? I took that for you. I drank the entire cup or wrath that you'd stored up for youself." What a gracious, loving King!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ever after

Yestreday, a Metro train or two crashed. I know that, as of last night, 6 people were known to be dead. It's absolutely tragic. But, at the same time, I think it serves as a good wake-up call for us. Ever think about how short life is? You look back on your sixth grade class, and it feels almost like yestreday. (Those who are out of high school can probably relate more to how brief the years really are.) New Years rolls around time and time again, and you realise that last New Years wasn't really too long ago.
Here's the question: what if you don't live until you're 70?
Possible? Sure. Probable? Not really sure I can say. In Psalm 90, Moses asks God to "teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (vs. 12) In Luke 12, Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool (you know, the "Eat, drink, be merry" fellow.) I'd encourage you to read through both of those if you need a refresher. (Josh Harris did a message a while back on Luke 12. covlife.org)
Essentially, we shouldn't put off important things until later. Why? Well, to be quite frank, we don't know if we're going to be alive tomorrow. That means anything important: God, your Bible, your parents, your siblings, talking about important things with your friends. That is not to say that one can never relax, but one should not put off what is necessary for what will not last beyond the moment.

Straight and to the point, I hope. This might be my record for shortest post... :-)
Oh, please pray for those hurt in the Metro accident, and the families of those who have died.