Friday, May 27, 2016

every word: how blunt truth turned an S.O.B. into a son of God

The Word for today:
Ezekiel 16
Shelley wondered the other day whether we should warn some of our young, impressionable readers about some very graphic anatomical descriptions which we will encounter in Ezekiel.
I replied with the standard line: "Nothing they haven't heard on the school bus already."
We don't need to warn people about God's Word, when God's Word is the warning the people need! We have to expose our young readers to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (1).  No less an authority than Jesus Christ said so.
The graphic anatomy encountered in Ezekiel is nothing compared to the scathing denunciations we hear:
Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite (Ezekiel 16:3).
I've never been called a son of an Amorite or Hittite, but on numerous occasions I've been called a son of something else. Same difference.
Should such language be in the Bible? I refer you to that well-known authority, Jesus Christ, who once informed the people that their father wasn't God at all but the murdering and lying Satan:
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
I think I'd rather be called a son of an Amorite than a son of that.
Your Bible has some harsh things to say, things that you'll never hear in church, among the 'proper' people there. Because many a smiling preacher, more concerned for his popularity than the truth, hasn't got the backbone to look sin in the eye and call it exactly what it is.
The greatest indictment of the biblical false prophet is this oft-repeated line:
They will say, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace (2).
I grew up with the secular "Peace, peace" crowd. They had no explanation for the world as I knew it to be. They told me I was OK, and that they were OK. But we were not OK.
After dumping the "Peace, peace" crowd, I spent some time with the religious "Lord, Lord" crowd. They were as clueless and insipid as their secular counterparts. They didn't know Jesus, 'cause he didn't know them:
"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you.' " 
(Matthew 7:22-23)
I never met anybody who truly knew what was going on in my heart and in this world until I read the book of Matthew. I remember my eyes growing wide with wonder, shock and awe as I read this point-blank assessment of me and my vaunted generation:
From within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. (Mark 7:21-22)
"O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I bear with you?" (Matthew 17:17)
I--son of an Amorite, son of Satan, and (so I've been told) son of your dog Lulu--had finally met someone who knew. Not only that, but he cared enough to speak harsh words of truth.
We live by his every word. Never withhold even one of them. Even if the bus driver objects.
(1) Matthew 4:4; (2) Jeremiah 6:14; Ezekiel 13:10

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