The Lord’s Loving Ways Set An Example For Us to Follow
Ezekiel 2:8- 3:4; Matthew 18:1-14
The the book of Ezekiel in chapters 2:8-all the way to chapter 3:4, After the Lord had pointed out to the prophet the difficulties of the call laid upon him, He prepared him for the performance of his office, by inspiring him with the divine word which he is to announce. This roll was inscribed on both sides with lamentations, sighing, and woe. The meaning is not, that upon the roll was inscribed a multitude of mournful expressions of every kind, but that there was written upon it all that the prophet was to announce, and what we now read in his book. These contents were of a mournful nature, for they related to the destruction of the kingdom, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. That Ezekiel may look over the contents, the roll is spread out before his eyes, and then handed to him to be eaten, with the words, “Go and speak to the children of Israel.” He was to announce to the children of Israel what he had received into himself, or as it is termed in Ezekiel 3:4, “My words.” The words in Ezekiel 3:3 were spoken by God while handing to the prophet the roll to be eaten. He is not merely to eat as in take it into his mouth, but he is to fill his body and belly in such a way that he is to receive into his innermost being the word of God presented to him, to change it, as it were, into sap and blood. While eating it, it was sweet in his mouth. The sweet taste must not be explained away into a sweet “after-taste,” and made to bear this reference, that the destruction of Jerusalem would be followed by a more glorious restoration. The roll, inscribed with lamentation, sorrow, and woe, tasted to him sweetly, because its contents was God’s word, which sufficed for the joy and gladness of his heart (Jeremiah 15:16); for it is “infinitely sweet and lovely to be the organ and spokesman of the Omnipotent,” and even the most painful of divine truths possess to a spiritually-minded man a joyful and quickening side (Hengstenberg on Revelation 10:9). To this it is added, that the divine penal judgments reveal not only the holiness and righteousness of God, but also prepare the way for the revelation of salvation, and minister to the saving of the soul.
In Matthew 18:1-14, the Lord teaches us to to be part of His ministry. He teaches us to be be humble like children in such a way that we receive His Word live it the way children do as their parents tell them to do, without any question or doubt. The Lord also stressed out that each and everyone of us are important to Him. If one of us loses his faith in Him, He becomes concerned, and will go after that person to try to bring him back. He doesn’t leave anybody behind. The Lord also tells us to not let the things of this world and things that are sensed by our 5 senses, cause us to sin. He further states that we will normally have trials, and it’s okay for we will triumph over them and something good will come from them. However, we have to be careful not to be the the ones causing other people’s trials, especially the weak ones- the ones who are lost and sinning.
Those who have an infinite value in the eyes of God are those who seem to matter the least in this world, the insignificant ones. The Pharisees at that time marginalized and severely judged the sinners in Jesus’ time. Jesus’ behavior is different. He loves us even before we even ask for forgiveness. Not only that, He goes out in search of us sinners like a shepherd looking for for his lost sheep.
Let us pray for the grace to become what God has called us to be, His loving children and good shepherds, leading others closer to His loving heart.