No matter how many times I read through the Bible I’m always surprised at something. There are days when it seems like I’m straining to hear what God has to say to me in the word and then there are other days, like today, when I feel like I have to be selective in what I present for a single day. While I always try and go through everything that has been brought to my attention, I don’t always share it all with you. Sometimes I do write a lot more and set it aside for some time in the future. I don’t know what sort of day today is going to be.

As I was reading through Ezekiel, I was, once again, impressed with the things God had the prophets do to make His point. Before I go on, I think it’s important that we understand the context of Ezekiel. Unlike Jeremiah, and many other prophets, who prophesied to the people before their captivity, Ezekiel was in captivity with the people when he prophesied to them. Like most of the other prophets, Ezekiel’s message was about the same. “Don’t believe the things that your leaders are telling you. Everything isn’t hunky dory, it’s going to get worse and then better.” Although the people were in exile there were still false prophets who were prophesying an early release and deliverance from the Babylonians.

One of the first things that God had Ezekiel do was to create a mock-up of Jerusalem and lay siege to it (Ezekiel 4:1-4). God then told Ezekiel to lie on his left side for 390 days (each day a representation of the number of years of Israel’s sin) and then switch sides and lie on his right side for 40 days for Judah’s sin. Ezekiel was to prophesy against Jerusalem during all of these days. I’m only touching on some of what God told Ezekiel to do. I encourage you to read through Ezekiel 4-5 and see what God had Ezekiel do. What astonishes me about Ezekiel is how much he heard from God. Indeed, all of the people in the Bible who heard such explicit instructions from the Lord amaze me.

Typically, when I hear from the Lord, He’s not very explicit in what He tells me to do. God’s communication with me is usually akin to that of Moses and the burning bush. I get the sense from God of what He wants me to do and that’s about it. He always reassures me along the way and when I wonder if it was really Him, He tells me, like He told Moses, “‘I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain'” (Exodus 3:12 NIV). In other words, when it’s done, you’ll know it was Me who did it.

King Richard, in Shakespeare’s Richard III, cries out, “A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!” This is what came to mind today when I read this verse from Ezekiel.

They took pride in their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols. They made it into vile images; therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them.

Ezekiel 7:20 (NIV)

While Richard’s statement speaks of those things that are seemingly unimportant at some times having a great value at other times, I think that we might do the same thing with our salvation. A horse is such a little thing in comparison to Richard’s kingdom. However, it’s the very thing that he needed at the time to save his life. Like the people here in Ezekiel who “took pride” in their jewelry and made idols with it. We can do the same thing with the material stuff in our lives if we’re not careful. Jesus asks us, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36 NIV) The condition of our souls and our salvation is anything but trivial and yet, in this world, we seem to strive for material “gain” over anything else.

The last topic I want to look at for today is about Jesus coming back soon. In Revelation He tells the church of Philadelphia:

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Revelation 3:11 (NIV)

As with many messages in the Bible, this one may not have been written to us but is certainly for us. I’m not going to go into how some people might mock the church saying that “soon” is a long time coming, nor am I going to talk about how we in the church, when we find ourselves telling someone that something will happen “soon,” sometimes jokingly clarify that it’s not “Jesus’s soon.” What I do want to look at are the words that define “soon.”

First of all, it’s important to review what word was used in the Greek for “soon.” The word that we have is “tachy” and one of the definitions for this word is “without delay.” One of the definitions that Merriam-Webster has for “soon” is:

  1. : without undue time-lapse: BEFORE LONG

If there’s anything we know about God it’s that He’s patient. We know from the story of Noah that God didn’t immediately wipe out the people and animals of the earth when He looked upon it and “regretted that he had made human beings” (Genesis 6:6 NIV). No, God told Noah of what was to come and instructed him to build an ark (Genesis 6:13-14). We can surmise from reading the text that the Ark took at least 50 years to build. Therefore, God waited patiently for the ark to be built before flooding the earth.

God told Abraham “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:16 NIV). This tells us that God waited for 400 years to judge the people of Canaan. If someone had told the Canaanites, “God’s going to judge you soon” they too, might have mocked what they had been told.

We need to remember that God doesn’t delay in what He’s going to do and what He’s going to do, He does. Therefore, those of us who are saved can continue to walk in His grace, telling the world about Him, and those who are not yet saved need to repent and be saved. Whatever your situation, I leave you with what Jesus said.

“If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

Mark 13:36-37 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.