Read Ezekiel 33
Focus on verse 11
A while ago Direct TV ran was running an advertisement, which began with a man sitting on a couch waiting. The voice-over then described how if you have cable you have to wait for the cable guy to show up to install your cable – when you wait you get bored – when you get bored you look out the window – when you look out the window you see things you shouldn’t see – when you see things you shouldn’t see you need to vanish – when you need to vanish you fake your own death – when you fake you own death you dye your eyebrows and attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil – don’t attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil – get rid of cable and get Direct TV.
As ridiculous as that commercial made it appear, it would seem that the nature of humanity is prone to ignore even those warnings that are legitimate. Not long ago I heard the testimony of a mother on the evening news who had lost one of her children to an accidental fall off a cliff in a park. The young gal had been in her teens, and had ignored a warning sign and crossed into a roped off area closer to the edge of the cliff presumably to get a better view. When her body washed up on the beach nearby several days later it was assumed that she had somehow slipped and fallen to her death. If she had heeded the sign she may still be alive today.
In today’s reading Ezekiel is told by God that he has been appointed as a watchman to warn Israel of coming judgment. He is to be careful to inform the people of God’s motive for this warning.
Say to them, As I live declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live, turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die O house of Israel? (v. 11)
Why do we so often choose to die rather than live? Why do we ignore the signs? Why do we insist on pursuing our own ways rather than to submit to God? It seems so senseless. God’s desire is for our good. He longs to bless and prosper us, and often does so in spite of our disobedience! He also makes every provision for us to be able to walk in obedience if we would only choose to allow Him to empower us to do so.
I suspect the sticking point for most people is submission. To walk with God requires us to lay aside our own desires. The greatest deception of the enemy is that if we give full control over to God – we will risk missing out on the fullest experiences of life, when the truth is that it is not until we give full control over to God that we begin to experience life to the fullest. Jesus said, “the thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they (you and I) may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Why choose death when we can have life? Why choose darkness when we can have light? Why be like that when we don’t have to?