The Messes We Make
Thus says the Lord God: Disaster after disaster! Behold, it comes. Ezekiel 7:5
Life is hard enough without us making it harder. We compound our miseries though, by creating our own disasters. In our destructive pursuits, we sacrifice jobs, marriages, friends, self-respect, money, health (mental and physical), and faith. Though we know what is at stake, we still indulge in anger, lust, drugs, gluttony, greed, pride, and selfishness. Then, as destruction rains down, we turn to God, not seeking transformation, but begging for deliverance from the consequences. God, get me out of this!
In jail, for Bible study, I invariably meet inmates with two very different attitudes. The first prays continuously to get out. God, get me out of jail and I swear I’ll change. Then, when his next court hearing doesn’t go his way, his faith is shaken. I thought you said you’d deliver me God! Still focused only on the discomfort of consequences, he hasn’t yet become truly willing to turn from the behavior that caused the disaster in the first place. I know. I’ve been there.
The second attitude is radically different. God, keep me in jail until you change me. I need profound transformation before I leave here because I don’t want to come back. Please use this to change me. I don’t know that this inmate gets out any sooner, but I know that his likelihood of transformation – and not coming back to jail – are much higher.
God, in today’s passage, was adamant that his people know from where their disaster came. They were at fault. Their refusal to follow him resulted in profound misery. If they wanted to avoid their self-inflicted destruction, they needed to turn around and follow God. The Bible is clear that not all trials are consequence for sinful behavior, but today’s passage makes it clear that some are.
When confronted with our self-inflicted disasters, we must always look to God, asking what we should do. Then, we must do it. If we desire to avoid disaster after disaster, we must use our painful consequences to get us to the point where we are willing to do whatever it takes to follow God and turn from our self-made messes.