Proverb 23:23 says: “Buy the truth and do not sell it.” There is a cost we have to pay to keep or walk on the truth, or to walk on the path of His Word. As per John 17:17, His Word is truth. Sometimes, it might cost your life itself. It had cost to John the Baptist-his head. John the disciple was exiled to Patmos Island. Many Old Testament prophets paid heavy price with their lives to stick to the truth of His Word. Truth is very costly. You know why? Because Jesus is the Truth and He paid the costly price, every drop of His own precious blood, His own life. It is also possible that we may sell the truth. We can sell it by compromising on His Word or by pleasing others.
Just go through a couple of incidents in the life of Ezekiel, where he paid the price to obey the Word of God. Ezekiel was a priest, a prophet. God also made him a watchman for the house of Israel (Ezek.1:3, 2:5, 3:17). God asked Ezekiel to do some very difficult and strange things as a sign to the house of Israel because of their sins. He asked Ezekiel to portray a picture showing that Jerusalem will be sieged one day. Also, he had to take iron plate to set it like an iron wall between him and the city. At the same time, God asked him to lie on his left side for 390 days; God had laid on him the iniquity of the house of Israel, which he had to bear for 390 days. After completing 390 days, he had to lie on his right side to bear the iniquity of the house of Judah for 40 days. During these days, God had decided what and how much Ezekiel had to eat, i.e. bread of wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt – limited to only twenty shekels a day. 1 shekel weight is about 17 grams. God asked Ezekiel to eat only 340 grams a day. Water was also by measurement, i.e. one sixth of hin for 390+40=430 days to show the house of Israel that one day they will also have to eat and drink by measurement, when God will cut the supply of bread in Jerusalem; they will eat bread and drink water by measure, with anxiety and dread. Ezekiel did all these exactly as God had commanded him to do. Indeed it was difficult to lie on one side for many days, and eat and drink by measure.
Another time, to show a sign to the people of Israel because of their sins, when Ezekiel’s wife died, God asked him that he shall neither mourn or weep, nor shall his tears run down in front of Israel; instead, he was asked to ‘sigh in silence, bind turban on head, put sandals, do not cover his lips and do not eat bread of sorrow.’ (Ezek.24:15-17). And Ezekiel did as he was commanded by God. Isn’t it difficult for Ezekiel not to mourn or cry for his dead wife? But he did it without any compromise, exactly as God had commanded him to do. It had cost him his beloved wife, just to show a sign to Israel.
Ezekiel was faithful to God as a priest, as a prophet and as a watchman over the house of Israel at all costs. This might be the reason, even when he was in captivity by the river of Chebar, the hand of God was upon him. The heaven opened and he saw visions of God. He saw the heavens, four living creatures, Throne, and also Christ in His magnificent glory. In chapter 40, he was still in captivity; hand of the Lord set him high on the mountain of Jerusalem to show him the glorious temple of God. Chain of captivity did not stop God from taking Ezekiel high in spirit on the mountain. Physically, he was restricted by chain and captivity, but God took him and showed him heaven and His glorious temple. Also God asked him, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and FIX YOUR MIND ON EVERYTHING I SHOW YOU; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.”(Ezek.40:4)
Same way, God is also asking us to FOCUS on things which are above, not on our difficult situations, circumstances, pain. God bless you.
~ Anjali Jose
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