I randomly picked a CD from my audio-Bible earlier this week and came up with Ezekiel, a book I actually favor – at least the parts I can understand. While driving with the audio going, I only pick up a passage here or there before my mind follows something said off onto a tangent. Sometimes I get deep thoughts from what I hear, like any good Christian ought to do, but sometimes, I have to admit, the Bible just cracks me up. (Is that sacrilegious?)
Like this passage from the 4th chapter, for example:
[Then God said, . . . ] ‘The water you drink shall be the sixth part of a hin by measure; you shall drink it from time to time.
You shall eat it as a barley cake, having baked it in their sight over human dung.
Thus will the sons of Israel eat their bread unclean among the nations where I will banish them.’
But I said, ‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I have never been defiled; for from my youth until now I have never eaten what died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has any unclean meat ever entered my mouth.’
Then He said to me, ‘See, I will give you cow’s dung in place of human dung over which you will prepare your bread.’ (Eze. 4:11-15, NASB)
Come on! That’s priceless!
Did you catch that “Ah, Lord GOD!” response from Ezekiel? I’m not sure what the ALL CAPS version of GOD is supposed to indicate in that context, but I’m confident it gives some insight into what Ezekiel was feeling at the moment.
“Oh! Come on, GOD! Are you serious?! Human dung? You’ve got to be kidding! That’s just nasty, not to mention the fact that YOU have forbidden such things! Isn’t there some other way to deliver this message of yours?” (That’s my little paraphrase from sincere empathy with my friend Ezekiel.)
Human dung? I can’t even imagine the logistics of such things. When I first heard that, in the old KJV, it seemed to say that the stuff was supposed to be mixed into the ingredients of the cake. Thank GOD, the NASB cleared that up for me. But still!
Does human dung burn? How long do you have to dry it? Can you just get a bundle of such “logs” from the convenience store?
You have to admit, it sure was nice of GOD to let Ezekiel off the hook with that cow dung option. I mean, that’s the gracious GOD we serve. He gives us direction, we whine, he lets us off the hook, but not entirely. Thank GOD for his loving mercy.
Ezekiel’s reaction to that is not recorded, probably because GOD had enough of the sniveling and duct-taped his mouth shut. I can see that happening for me.
Just goes to show that answering the call to GOD’s service can be dirty business. We assume too much when we look forward to hearing from GOD about his calling for our lives. It’s seldom a pretty picture.
If we’re not careful, (translation: if we’re not avoiding GOD’s beckon call), we’re likely to step in something, or cook over something, and still find ourselves smack-dab in the middle of GOD’s path.
Ah, Lord GOD! Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.