EZEKIEL 36:16-20 The word of the Lord came to me: (17)“Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. (18)So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. (19)I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. (20)But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’
Lent begins. A time to pray and listen and follow Jesus to the cross and to victory.
But we begin this journey together as defeated, exiled, slaves in Babylon.
God reminds us how we got here.
We shed blood. We took lives without God’s command.
Our sin proclaims a lie about God: God isn’t good. There are some beyond God’s reach, unchangeable, unreconcilable, worth less than us.
We bowed to idols. Baal, Ashtorah, Molech.
Our idolatry tells another lie about God: God isn’t trustworthy. We need more than God has to offer – when there’s seed in the ground but not a cloud in the sky, when the crib is empty after years of trying, when enemies are at our borders and our swords are too few. God is not enough.
We profaned God’s name. Our living lies wounded God’s reputation and so much so that God limped through the world. And the nations we were to bless by announcing and demonstrating God’s goodness and trustworthiness now disbelieve and distrust our God.
• Am I depending upon anyone or anything other than God for provision or protection?
• What does my life announce to others about the goodness and trustworthiness of God?
God, help us be aware of our sin today. Our attraction to it. The real tragedy of it. Without becoming preoccupied with our sin and ourselves.
Allow us to feel the seriousness of our sin – together we have lied about you.
Today we renounce evil. Tell the truth about Yourself through us. Amen.