Friday, June 24, 2011

Ezekiel 15: You are LORD

"And when I set my face against them, you will know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 15:7

All this trouble, Lord, so they would know? You set signs in the sky, bodies of splendor declaring there is a Sovereign King. You made earth with roaring oceans, waters that circle, sustain, and surround all life. You made mountains to tremble before You Whose hands were their mold. You made ants to march like soldiers at Your command, and daffodils to bloom in winter's chill when all else would rather play dead. They all say You are LORD. You made babes to quiet at their mother's touch, and lovers to sigh at each others'. You made souls cry out for someone to serve and hearts to yearn with unkept longing. Our very beings say You are LORD. All of creation knows it. Your mighty works proclaim in overwhelming sound, inundating glory, drowning out even stubbornest deafness: You are LORD!
So I would think.
And yet You act with justice, mercifully, -- You are good -- now even tenderly, gently, Mighty God, that we might know that You are LORD. What is man that You are mindful of him? O LORD, tear away our self-inflicted blindness! We are like children playing with knives, screaming at the top of our lungs, insisting, "We cannot hear You. We did not hear, so You said nothing." And yet Your whispers are overpowering: "Be still; know that I Am. Give Me your burdens. Peace, little one. I love you." The child screams louder and hearts become hard. How can You love that, Lord? Yet what is Yours, You make lovely. Your love astounds me. I hope they listen and know You are LORD.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ezekiel 36: God's Glory, the Greatest Good

"It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name... Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes." Ezekiel 36:22-23
(Emphasis added)
It is not for our sake, O people of God, that He has redeemed us for Himself. It is not for our glory or even for the intrinsic worth of humanity. But the Sovereign LORD has redeemed us for His name's sake. that He might show Himself holy through us before all nations. And if God is so holy and mighty, all I can say is, who am I that the Lord of all creation would choose to show His holiness through me, even in the sight of all the earth? This is a wondrous thing. It is all for His glory, and this is what alone satisfies a world-weary heart. This is our purpose, even God's ultimate glory.
I think with His greatness being ontologically prior to our worth and purpose (existence, basically), it shows wonderful tender kindness on God's part to create us with the high purpose of showing His worth. Put this way, He greatly exalted man at his creation by giving us the highest purpose He could. So creating us to live for Him and consumed by wonder at His splendor was, to begin with, a supremely loving act. Because He is prior to all things, sustains all things, and is infinitely, absolutely, consummately worthy of all good.
Thank You, God, for making me for You.