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Monday, December 3, 2012

Look at Me; Listen to Me

When our children were little, I remember turning their little faces to me to make sure they were paying attention. “Look at Mommy. Now, listen. Mommy wants you to . . . .” Then, I was sure they heard what I was telling them.

God asked Ezekiel to look at Him and listen to Him: And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof (Ezekiel 44:5a).

When my kids looked at me, they saw a mother who cared for them. When they listened, they heard my instructions.

When Ezekiel looked at God, he saw His glory! (Ezekiel 44:4) Can you imagine? Ezekiel saw God’s glory and he fell on his face. The Lord then asked him to listen to God’s message, which he did. He got an assignment. Unlike any trivial assignment I gave my children, Ezekiel was to tell the Israelites that they should have obeyed God’s commands. It was important to God—and to them.

God gives us these very same instructions today, and in the same way, through the prophet Ezekiel. We can read the Bible, learn from Israel’s disobedience, and decide to do better ourselves.

I think sometimes we take God’s warnings and instructions more as “suggestions” than rules for living. We hear God talking, but we’re not really listening. We see it’s God speaking, but we aren’t conscious of His glory.

Today, we really do have it easier than the Israelites did. Since Jesus died on the cross for sin, we don’t have to obey all the ceremonial laws. We don’t have to offer lambs and goats and wait for atonement. Jesus did it for us!

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:12-14, 28).

In appreciation for what Jesus did for us, we should look at Him and listen to Him. We would be wise to love His commandments and heed His warnings. They are all for our good!

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