3:00 p.m. Thursday October 21, 2021. 72F/22C.
The day is warm and sunny. Only a few thin clouds drift across the western mountain. The honey locust trees are waving their branches as if some unseen person was using them to fan the property where the cabin sits. One large bird clucks repeatedly off to the north. No other bird answers. A fat brown cat sleeps snugly in a nest of fallen leaves. The air is cool and sweet. A few bugs buzz around the porch. The sights and sounds will be enjoyed until winter blasts her cold breath over all.
The book of Ezekiel, chapter fifteen
Abba Father, I humbly ask that you carefully strengthen us in heart, in spirit, in body and in our knowledge of your word. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Ezekiel told of another time that the Lord spoke to him.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?
God asked Ezekiel a rhetorical question. What is the wood of a vine in comparison to trees? Or even in comparison to branches?
Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? Or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?
Can a craftsman use the wood of the vine to make hard goods? Can a man make a peg out of it to hang his things on?
Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work?
When the wood of a vine is cast into fire, the ends catch fire first. Then the middle glows. Can the wood of the vine be used for any work then? No, only hardward is sought after, even for charcoal.
Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less shall it be meet yet for any work, when the fire hath devoured it and it is burned?
God’s questions to Ezekiel remind me of a similar analogy given to Isaiah over a century earlier. In Isaiah 5:7, God explains who the vine is:
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
Anyone who knew the prophecy of Isaiah, already knew that the men of Judah were the vine.
God was repeatedly telling Ezekiel that he was about to destroy Judah and Jerusalem. He looked for the people to pass judgment on the wicked and instead, they oppressed the victims. He looked for the people to live righteously, but their victims cried out for justice.
Life in the hollow, Thursday
While constructing the plastic bubble of a greenhouse yesterday, I needed to cut a metal tube. Apparently, my son has my pipe cutter. So, I used a hacksaw on the pipe.
I had suddenly gotten clumsy and was fussing at myself in unnecessary ways. In fact, something just felt like a spiritual attack.
As soon as that hacksaw slipped and blood began to flow from my thumb, I knew I shouldn’t have held my hand so close. BUT something interesting happened right after that.
I stopped and said out loud, “I repent. In the name of Jesus, I repent. Whatever I’ve done to insult you Lord God, show me and allow me to correct my error. I repent.”
The cut stopped bleeding within a couple of seconds. I went in and washed the wound in peroxide. Oddly, most of the wound closed up in front of my eyes. I stuck a bandage on it for the rest of the day anyway. Today, I don’t even remember which hand the cut was on.
God desires repentance from his people. This is the second time I’ve seen this sort of healing. The first time was a wound from a burn. I repented and saw healing in front of my eyes.
God is moving in amazing ways. I don’t know for sure if we are in the last days or simply a foreshadow of them. But as such odd things happen, I become more confident that God desires to see a remnant of his people repent of our wicked ways, be healed, and be saved from his wrath.