Read Ezekiel 24
Focus on verse 19
I would not call myself a big fan of television series the likes of CSI mostly because in the last decade or so they have become too graphic in the gory details of police detective work. Back in the days of Colombo and Hawaii-5-O, the focus was on the mystery of solving the crime by figuring out the cryptic signs the criminals left behind rather than on using computer generated graphics to reconstruct every morbid detail of the crime in slow motion for the viewers to observe in vivid detail. I guess I’m a little old school in that I’m fine with them skipping over the gory parts to keep the show a little more family friendly.
The part that does fascinate me about this genre of entertainment is the way the hero untangles the cryptic signs that the criminals either intentionally or unintentionally left behind. The best episodes keep one guessing right to the final minutes when it all suddenly comes together and the real villain is revealed.
In today’s reading – God instructs Ezekiel to do some very strange things. He is not to mourn at the death of his wife (v. 16) but is to go about as if nothing has happened. He is also not to speak to anyone until after he hears report of the invasion of Jerusalem from a fugitive (v. 27) after which he is allowed to speak.
Imagine the consternation of the people who came to ask him “what does all this mean for us? Why are you acting this way?” and Ezekiel makes no verbal reply.
The purpose of all this, we eventually discover, is that Ezekiel is a sign – albeit a rather cryptic one – of what is to come and what the reaction will be, in hopes that by this sign the people will realize that God alone is Lord of heaven and earth.
This is perhaps also a fitting reminder for us at such a time as this, when the nation is divided and confused over the coming election and when the future of the economy, and perhaps even of the nation seems to be at stake. I cannot think of a time when it would be more critical for us to remember that God is still in charge. Earthly rulers would like us to think that they control these things, but in the grand scheme of things, empires come and go, they become great and then disappear like a vapor. Only God continues to reign supreme, and the sooner we recognize and acknowledge it the better off we will be. Perhaps if we would acknowledge and heed the clear signs we have already been given by God – the more cryptic signs would not seem so confusing?