Thursday, May 20, 2021

Sign Acts


Therefore, son of man, prepare your belongings for captivity, and go into captivity by day in their sight. You shall go from your place into captivity to another place in their sight. It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house. By day you shall bring out your belongings in their sight, as though going into captivity; and at evening you shall go in their sight, like those who go into captivity.  Dig through the wall in their sight and carry your belongings out through it.  In their sight you shall ear them on your shoulders and carry them out at twilight; you shall cover your face, so that you cannot see the ground, for I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.” – Ezekiel 12:3-6


While Jeremiah prophesied about Israel going into captivity, Ezekiel was a living sign of what was coming.  In Ezekiel 4 he was told to lie on his left side for 390 days and only on his right side for another 40 days.  During the 390 days he was to only eat 10 ounces of bread a day, and had to cook it over cow dung.  In the passage above, God tells him to enact going into captivity so that everyone can see what it will look like when they are taken into captivity.   

God used Ezekiel’s life as a sign of the punishment to come for an idolatrous nation who had turned their back on Him.  In Ezekiel 12:2 God said “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.  In using Ezekiel’s life He was showing them a visual of what would come. 

Prophets who were given these assignments are now classified as those who performed “Sign Acts”.  There are many of these in the Bible.  Jeremiah was to walk with a yoke and bonds around his neck. Isaiah was told to walk naked and barefoot for three years (Isaiah 20:2).  In my mind, Isaiah had the toughest of assignments!

But reading of Ezekiel’s sign acts, I wondered how many times in our lives God may be doing the same?  Perhaps the homeless family entering a shelter is to cause us to be more grateful for our home.  Or perhaps the handicapped are to demonstrate to us that our health is a gift not everyone is given, and we should respect it.  When officials in high-ranking offices fall into the traps of seduction or addition, perhaps God is showing us that no one is immune to the temptations of sin.  Perhaps those that suffer among us are demonstrating through their lives to us that these are the traps we could fall into, or the things God has spared us from.

In Jeremiah 33:3 God speaks to Jeremiah and says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”  Some of those things may be living around us.

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