When I read Ezekiel 4:12-15, I see God laying out some very clear orders. I see Ezekiel protesting. I see God listening to Ezekiel and making an on-the-spot change in plans. Ezekiel wrote down what he experienced, and the experience shows us what Ezekiel believed to be the truth. So, what is the truth that was revealed to Ezekiel? Let’s go further into Ezekiel’s story and look at Ezekiel’s Truth! What is Ezekiel’s Truth?
12 Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.” 13 The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.” 4 Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.” 15 “Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement.”
Ezekiel’s truth #1: Ezekiel believed that he had a genuine give-and-take relationship where he was able to voice his opposition to a point in God’s plan and be heard. Like Moses before him, It was a prayer of protest based on relationship.
Ezekiel’s truth #2: His actions demonstrated that he truly believed that God was capable of changing his plan/mind. Given the grave situation, I sincerely doubt that he would have had the nerve to speak to God and say “No” if he didn’t believe there was any hope of change. If he didn’t have any hope that God would change His mind about this item, then He didn’t understand God, and he would have been an idiot to interrupt God and dare to raise such a protest. Ezekiel understood God in a way that many of us today refuse to see…God is not interested in constantly maintaining a sovereign master-puppet alignment. He wants a Groom-Bride relationship where both have a voice.
Ezekiel’s truth #3: God did not rebuke any of this! God did not correct Ezekiel for protesting. God did not rebuke Ezekiel’s plea to delete this order. God invites relationship.
Ezekiel’s truth #4: God saw faith in Ezekiel’s prayer of protest. Faith is vital in relationship (Galatians 5:6). Faith pleases God, and it moves mountains! The biggest mountain is the mind/plan of God and it was about to make a slight shift…but still a shift.
Ezekiel’s truth #5: God showed some mercy and compassion towards Ezekiel in the midst of prophetic judgment. Scripture tells us that “mercy triumphs over judgment.” Because of relationship, we can appeal to God for mercy in the midst of judgment.
Ezekiel’s truth #6 He plainly witnessed God changing his plan on-the-spot…period. There are no Hebrew words saying “relent”, “repent”, “change”, “regret” for theologians to argue about its meaning in this passage. God just acted and changed His mind for Ezekiel’s sake. BOOM!
Ezekiel’s truth #7 God let him write it down. God would let the world see how a prayer based in relationship can bring change. The “mountain” is capable of being spoken to and moved, even over a matter as base as dung.
This should give us great hope and encouragement to pray; that is, to really pray believing for change! God has given us a voice. We are not just a bunch of pre-programmed robots that are engaging in a self-help exercise where prayer only changes us. God has designed us as free-willed agents, and this passage in Ezekiel gives us real hope that we are not pawns in a totally comprehensive, pre-ordained cosmic game. Because of God’s great compassion and desire to truly relate with the risk of actually engaging with us, we have hope that real change can take place both within and without. So, pray without ceasing, and don’t let classic theology discourage you. In relationship with Him, you can live, move, and have real being!
Be watching for more posts concerning Omniscience and Agape…If God has all foreknowledge about everyone, then why does He say to some, “I never knew you”? What part of them did He never know? What is God trying to tell us? What does He want you to know?
- Does God Change His Mind? Ezekiel’s Story (defrostingwindows.wordpress.com)
- Does God Change His Mind? What’s Absolute, What’s General? (defrostingwindows.wordpress.com)