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You Think God Is Asking Too Much Of You?


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#1 mji

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 10:22 PM

When tempted to murmur against God, or begrudge him service, consider Ezekiel.

Consider the perseverence of Ezekiel. He was pushed to the limit by the LORD. Four times what the LORD requires of him seems too much. Four times he is brought to the position where he cries out for the LORD for mercy, for understanding...

1. On being told to cook with his own dung...

Eze 4:14 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.

To which the answer is, "Okay, you can use cow dung instead whilst you lie on your side for over a year."

2. On being brought to watch the killing of the Jews in Jerusalem...

Eze 9:8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?

To which the answer is, "All who do not sigh and cry at the abominations committed in Jerusalem will die."

3. On being the prophet who foretells and witnesses the death of Pelatiah, a prince of Judah...

Eze 11:13 And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

To which the answer is, "No, a remnant will return - but the current destruction must run it's course."

4. On being ignored or not understood by the elders of his people...

Eze 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

I.e. "they're not listening and they're not getting the message" - To which the answer seems to be, "That's how it is; carry on speaking and being parables some more."

And yet through these trials Ezekiel perseveres in faithful service to the LORD.

And if those four incidents were not enough...

Eze 24:15-18 Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.  Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.  So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.


When you think you have a raw deal from the LORD, consider Ezekiel.
...be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love...

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#2 Deborah

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 12:36 AM

Geez, that gave me goosebumps :)

Poor Ezekiel :BTDF:

That also made me think of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane -- begging three times for the cup to be removed from him yet the answer was still "no".

How do *we* take a refusal from God? His answers aren't as direct now but if things don't work out the way we want them to, do we still "do as we are commanded"?
"Though we can't always see it at the time, if we look upon events with some perspective, we see things always happen for our best interests. We are always being guided in a way better than we know ourselves.".

"The Bible is like a prisoner of war -- if you torture it long enough you can get it to say anything"

#3 Bronwyn

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Posted 21 July 2004 - 11:46 AM

Is there a thread on understanding Gods charactor, becuase I just can no understand why a loving God would deliberately make someone eat their own dung, andl ie on their side for a year. What was the purpose or reasoning behind this?

All these mayor trials seem unneccesarily nasty, seeing as Ezikiel would've known, like I do, that God has the power to put us in any position or whereever and whateever He wants.

He could've easily provided him with real food, and easily made him well.

Is there anyone else that doesn't understand why this sort of torture is necessary?

(I'm genuinlly asking for answers here...)
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#4 Tam

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 06:50 AM

Thats an interesting question. It might be good to put it in a new thread - might get more responses?

There are also Christ & Jeremiah - although there sufferings were humanly inflicted - Ezekiel seems to have almost been put through a trial of his will-power. And then his wife died.

Likewise is it Haggai that had to take the dodgy wife?

I wonder how many of us would put our hands up to become a living parable?
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams. - Mary Ellen Kelly

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 07:51 AM

Is there a thread on understanding Gods charactor, becuase I just can no understand why a loving God would deliberately make someone eat their own dung, andl ie on their side for a year. What was the purpose or reasoning behind this?

He wasn't made to eat his own dung, he was made to cook with it (dried dung can be burned as a fuel). It was a lesson in uncleaness.

As for the lying on his side, I don't see how that's so much of a problem - I usually lie on my side when I sleep. :popcorn:

All these mayor trials seem unneccesarily nasty, seeing as Ezikiel would've known, like I do, that God has the power to put us in any position or whereever and whateever He wants.

He could've easily provided him with real food, and easily made him well.

Is there anyone else that doesn't understand why this sort of torture is necessary?

(I'm genuinlly asking for answers here...)


You'll find that the prophets before and after the exile were living parables (see Tam's excellent post). Their message was strengthened by the graphic portrayal of the events which they predicted.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#6 Tam

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 08:14 AM

So do you think he only had to lie on his side at night and he could get up and walk around during the day? :popcorn:

What was the bit about the bands for then?
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams. - Mary Ellen Kelly

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 08:25 AM

So do you think he only had to lie on his side at night and he could get up and walk around during the day? :popcorn:

What was the bit about the bands for then?

No, I don't think it was only at night. I'm just saying that lying on your side isn't going to kill you. :coffee:
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#8 Deborah

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 11:29 AM

Not being able to cry over his wife's death would have been tough :popcorn:

Edited by Deborah, 22 July 2004 - 11:30 AM.

"Though we can't always see it at the time, if we look upon events with some perspective, we see things always happen for our best interests. We are always being guided in a way better than we know ourselves.".

"The Bible is like a prisoner of war -- if you torture it long enough you can get it to say anything"

#9 Adanac

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 02:53 PM

I suspect that if Ezekiel wasn't up to the task God wouldn't have chosen him.

I also suspect that Ezekiel would have considered it a privilege to be a prophet of God. But the job comes with hardships and a prophet should know that.
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#10 Guest_Spiff_*

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 08:06 PM

So do you think he only had to lie on his side at night and he could get up and walk around during the day? :popcorn:

What was the bit about the bands for then?

No, I don't think it was only at night. I'm just saying that lying on your side isn't going to kill you. :coffee:

People who are bed-ridden at Olivet have to be turned every four hours to prevent bed-sores. I woould imagine having to lie on his side would've been pretty uncomfortable, and could even have ended up looking like Job, who was "covered with sore boils … and he took him a potsheard to scrape himself withal".

Ouch. :book:

But I agree that it won't kill you … :yep:

Edited by Spiff, 22 July 2004 - 08:13 PM.


#11 Tinkerbell

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 10:21 PM

So do you think he only had to lie on his side at night and he could get up and walk around during the day? :popcorn:

What was the bit about the bands for then?

No, I don't think it was only at night. I'm just saying that lying on your side isn't going to kill you. :coffee:

People who are bed-ridden at Olivet have to be turned every four hours to prevent bed-sores. I woould imagine having to lie on his side would've been pretty uncomfortable, and could even have ended up looking like Job, who was "covered with sore boils … and he took him a potsheard to scrape himself withal".

Ouch. :book:

But I agree that it won't kill you … :yep:

We don't turn people who are bed-ridden every 4 hours!! if we did with the amount of residents there are at Olivet and the time it takes to attend to each one of them we'd be doing little else all day!! What happens is we'll sit them up in the morning, then after lunch we'll sometimes put them on their side for a while. Then later on see how they're doing and if needs be turn them again. A lot of them sit in chairs for most of the day and then we put them on the bed at some point after lunch so that they're not constantly in the same position.

Though you do get some pretty nasty pressure sores from staying in one position for an extended period of time so i should imagine that he'd have had some pretty gruesome pressure sores and it certainly would have been very uncomfortable!!
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#12 Tam

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 11:38 PM

I guess Ezekiel had one of the greatest rewards too - he got a visionary tour of the kingdom.

Adanac - yes! God chooses the people that can handle the job. It doesn't mean its not hard for them - they still suffered but did it for love of him and their brethren and sisters.

In some ways I think it would be harder for Ezekiel & Hosea - the suffering was self-imposed in a way. Its harder to put yourself through something you could get out of if you tried, than to endure something when there's no way of avoiding it.

Edited by Tam, 22 July 2004 - 11:40 PM.

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams. - Mary Ellen Kelly




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