Thursday, February 09, 2017

Jerusalem's story - part 1

Jesus weeps over Jerusalem - James Tissot
Jesus weeps over Jerusalem - James Tissot
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 16:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "'Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendour which I had bestowed on you,' says the Lord God." Ezekiel 16:14

In allegory form Ezekiel tells the story of Jerusalem. Born in the land of Canaan of mixed parentage (Amorite and Hittite), she was neglected at birth. No one cut her umbilical cord or washed her skin with salt to keep bacteria from growing. She wasn't swaddled in cloths or nurtured—things parents do for a wanted baby. Instead "'you were thrown out into the open field when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born'" - Ezekiel 16:4.

Then God turned things around. "'And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, "Live!" Yes, I said to you in your blood, "Live!"'" - Ezekiel 16:6. Wow!

God nurtured her until she was mature and beautiful—also innocent and naive. For on seeing her developing beauty, He claimed her as His own, before anyone else could,  and clothed her. Notice the picture of the covering her with His wing (Ezekiel 16:8). We've seen that before—in the story of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 2:12; 3:9).

Again He washed her and anointed her with oil. He dressed her in the most expensive garments and she was adorned with dazzling jewelry. He gave her the best food. Her reputation for beauty was unmatched. She was His queen.

In addition to this allegory being the story of Jerusalem, I see in it the story of what God does for us.

Spiritually we're as helpless and neglected as baby Jerusalem. But God passes by and speaks "Live!" over us too. He nurtures us by human and divine means using our families, friends, the church, His word and prayer.

The decision to give Him our lives could be likened to accepting His proposal of marriage. Then He clothes us with the beautiful dress of righteousness and hides us under His protecting wing.

As we live with Him, feeding on the riches of His word and living by it, He makes us even more beautiful. How could Jerusalem—how could we—ever remove ourselves from such a delightful place? Yet, as we will see tomorrow, Jerusalem did.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for pronouncing "Live" over my life. Help me to appreciate my position in You. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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