Ezekiel 8:5-6: Look, Mortal

God the Creator is ontologically not part of the world, nor is the world part of God.
— Diogenes Allen (Philosophy for Understanding Theology)

The betrayed Lover has taken action.  He has dragged his prophet to Jerusalem and will now show Ezekiel just how far the betrayal has gone.  In four scenes, God will reveal how much Israel has done to offend him.

Did Ezekiel know the extent of idolatry his people were embroiled in when he still lived in Jerusalem?  Did he go about his own life faithfully, and turn his head when he heard rumours of corruption?  We don’t know.  We do know is that God is metaphorically holding Ezekiel’s eyeballs open and forcing him to stare at four scenes that show Israel’s wickedness.

“Look, mortal…”

. . .

Most people believe that there is some sort of god.  There are mixed reasons for this.  Some people grasp it intuitively—others just can’t bear to think that death might be final.  Whatever the reason, all cultures have searched for god.

The problem with this search for god is our own finitude.  It’s utterly impossibility for finite beings like us to conceive or apprehend a being that is infinite.  How can a flea apprehend Pleiades?  Even there, the analogy is poor: even constellations are finite.

Placed into this type of situation, humans do what they understand.  They use finite things to represent what they cannot apprehend.  Thus the outrageous statue of jealousy.

. . .

God understands our natural bent toward idolatry.  He knows that we can never grasp him—unless he first chooses to show himself to us.  And that is exactly what God did.  On Mount Sinai to Moses, in the desert to the Israelites, and in the temple to the priests, God showed Israel what he was like.  Unfortunately, it did not satisfy them.

They built a statue to represent God—a monument to nothing more than human futility—and placed it right where the true God lived with his people.  Insanity.  What was the result of this statue?  Like a former lover’s photo on a spouse’s nightstand, it would serve to drive the true God away from his sanctuary (v. 6).

. . .

God knows that we need something tangible to understand spiritual truth. Enter: Jesus.  God made flesh.  The divine mystery incarnate.  True God and true man.  God who was ontologically separate from his creation choosing to step into the scene he made.

The question for us is are we content with the way God chose to show himself in Jesus, or are we running after other ways to feel fulfilled?

. . .

One True God, show us a picture of Jesus as we read about him in your Word.  Satisfy our spiritual hunger with the true bread of heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

< Ezekiel 8:1-4 | Outrageous Jealousy

Ezekiel 8:7-13 | Loathsome Animals >

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