God’s Word must be spoken as a Word which calls for response. The prophet is to “warn the wicked man to turn from his ways” (Ezekiel 33:9). He is to declare that “the Sovereign Lord … takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” The prophet is to say, “Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel” (Ezekiel 33:11). If God’s Word is to be received as a Word of salvation, it must be “humbly accepted.” We must “not merely listen to the Word.” We are to “do what it says” (James 1:21-22). Our “house” must be built on the Lord (Psalm 127:1). This is the way of wisdom, the way of building on the Rock, which is God Himself. When the storms of life become very testing, those who have built their lives upon the Lord will not collapse – “They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:5). God’s Word promises blessing to those who respond to its challenge with the obedience of faith.
The Word of God speaks clearly about sin and judgment – “See, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep” (Ezekiel 34:20), “judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful” (James 2:13). God’s Word also gives to us great promises. They are promises of mercy: “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). They are promises of blessing: “There will be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26). If we are to enjoy the Lord’s blessing, we must fear Him and walk in His ways: “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways” (Psalm 128:1).
The Breath of God (the Spirit of God) brings life (Ezekiel 37:9). When “the tongue … is … set on fire by hell” (James 3:6), the words which it breathes out will be “full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). How important it is that we keep on praying, “Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew.” If the Breath of God is not sweeping through our lives, we will be blown here and there by every wind of doctrine, by “restless evil” which goes from one false doctrine to another, never content to settle upon the stability of God’s Word. There is a blessing of the Lord for those who love Him – “The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the Name of the Lord” (Psalm 129:8). This blessing will not be given to those who turn away from the Lord – “May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame” (Psalm 129:5).
God’s Word speaks of His judgment upon sin (Ezekiel 39:23-24). It also speaks of His great salvation from sin (Ezekiel 39:25-29). “Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6). God’s Word speaks of the choice placed before man – obedience or disobedience, blessing or judgment (Proverbs 28:13-14).
Ezekiel 40:1-49; James 5:1-20; Psalm 130:1-8
The prophecy spoken by Ezekiel has its ultimate Source in God Himself – “the hand of the Lord was upon me” (Ezekiel 40:1). He goes on to describe “visions of God” (Ezekiel 40:2). To speak the Word of God faithfully requires patience. There is not always evidence of great blessing. Nevertheless, we must be faithful like “the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord” (James 5:12). Such ministry is to be accompanied by prayer – “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). The prayer and preaching are to be directed towards bringing men and women back to the Lord from whom they have wandered away (James 5:19-20). There is blessing for those who lead others back to the Lord.
Ezekiel emphasizes that the Temple was to be built according to God’s pattern. Our lives are to be lived according to God’s pattern – “Be holy in all you do”, “Love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:15,22). The instructions for the building the Temple were precise. The instructions for our living in obedience to the truth (1 Peter 1:22) are comprehensive. Holiness and love – these are the principles which are to guide us in the whole of life. Psalm 131 speaks of humility and hope. With a humble heart, we are to bow before the Lord. Like “a weaned child” trusts “its mother”, we are to trust our Heavenly Father. Such childlike faith is the essence of hope – trust in “the Word of the Lord” which stands for ever” (1 Peter 1:24).
From my One Year Bible