“Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”Isaiah 38:17
I suspect that all of us have at times doubted God’s care for us. We may have even wondered if He exists. We reason that if He only made Himself real to us, these difficult periods would be bearable.
Not necessarily. After time with the Spirit of the Lord, Ezekiel felt bitter and angry and said that the Lord’s hand was heavy on him (3:14). It did not ease his mind at all. These are difficult phrases to interpret. Perhaps Ezekiel was convicted of his own sin. Maybe he was grieved by the sins of Israel, or frustrated with God for having called him to an extremely hard task. In fact, all of these might be true. Whatever the reason, though, time with God left Ezekiel feeling beat up.
Ezekiel’s sin and Israel’s sin were real, and Ezekiel’s mission would be hard. Isn’t it better to know that? Ministry is not usually breezy and lighthearted. Sins are not to be shrugged off. Jesus Himself wasn’t happy on the cross, but He died for us there out of deep love for us. The bigger our sins look, the better Christ’s atonement is.
Lord, forgive me when what I want is comfort, but what I need is conviction of sin and zeal for Your kingdom. Amen