I have been going through the major prophets. I am currently on Ezekiel. This is probably only the second time I’ve read through this book. Honestly, I don’t enjoy reading the old testament. First, it’s uncomfortable. God is very angry in a lot of the OT, and there is a lot of punishment; death. Secondly, its history and it is harder for me to apply history that already happened than to apply teachings of a letter.
The second point came to my mind in reading Ezekiel today. What can I get out of this? How can I apply all of this punishment and death to life under the new covenant? One phrase came to mind: “and they will know that I am the Lord.”
A lot of this punishment was brought on by simply ignoring God. False prophets were a major concern, too. Many people would hear Ezekiel’s message and then turn and listen to someone else call Ezekiel a liar and say that as far as God is concerned, “Its all good.”
It wasn’t all good, though, and people were going to die because of it.
A couple of things came to me out of this. One being that people were becoming tainted and evil and it was rooted out of pride. Some of the kingdoms that God brings to their knees thought they had achieved their powerful position because of their wisdom. It reminded me of Walter White from Breaking Bad. A dying and poor Walter wants to take care of his family which is a good desire, however that desire is warped mainly by one thing: pride. So, he becomes a drug dealer. Over the course, Walter becomes addicted to the power that his pride gives him. It wreaks havoc on his family not to mention gets him in near death situations. However Walter White is building a pretty hefty earthly kingdom in it all. The series hasn’t ended so, we don’t know what happens in the end, but things don’t look good.
Through it all, though, God says that His anger will subside. There will come a day when God will be done punishing and His people will be saved. And they will know that He is the Lord.
So what do we do with this? Part of the purification process is that all of the impurities are shed. Living under the new covenant makes it challenging to apply these passages, however if we see that God’s purpose for the Jews in the punishment was to bring great things to a later generation (eventually Christ), then we can look at our own lives and see where Christ has chipped away at the extra bits. It always hurts, and its never fun. However, when all is said and done, in the end we will know that He is the Lord.