The humble were kept safe

I found a place to plant in that direction.

8:00 a.m. Sunday September 26, 2021. 50F/10C.

A light jacket is best today. The morning air has not yet warmed. The large birds are busy chastising one another. First the crow caws, then the woodpecker repeats rapidly, and finally a multitude of loud birds cry out at once. The handle of the shovel that rests against the cabin wall is quite cold. But the cold is good. It feels earthy, as though all tensions can be released into the wooden handle before being lost into the soil. The shovel, while a bit heavy, is still swung in the air. The few spider webs remaining come down. The sandy soil out by the storm trench is easy to break. A small hole forms quickly. Plant roots are dropped in and another hole is made. In ten minutes, the work is easily complete. The top of a shrubby tree is seen to bend way over and point in the direction of the shovel. Then a squirrel jumps to the next tree, allowing the first one to spring back up. In the cabin a simple sandwich will do for breakfast. Medicinal tea has turned cool. It is bitter but sweet.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter eleven

Heavenly Father, I ask of you to share your wisdom with man. Let a spirit of repentance and revival fall on us. Cause us to understand your word. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

God had just used Ezekiel’s prophetic voice to speak judgment to a group of people, busy scamming the remnant of Jews in Jerusalem. When Ezekiel spoke, a man that he knew dropped dead. It startled Ezekiel.

Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Ezekiel was seeing the situation as opposite of what it was. Ezekiel saw those left behind in Jerusalem as the remnant of God’s people. He saw them as the only ones who would survive. When in fact, the exiled Babylonian Jews were the real remnant. It was the exiles, those captured by Nebuchadnezzar, who would survive.

God explained that the priestly families left in Jerusalem were already greedy and prideful. They were telling each other that the exiles could not worship God in Babylonia. They assumed that the land, the city, and the temple were given to them.

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is this land given in possession.

The wicked said that God was no longer in charge anywhere on earth, because he left them in charge of Jerusalem! Ezekiel’s relatives must have secretly disdained him. However, God took care of all his faithful ones. The wicked were standing in the temple courtyard teaching that God got rid of the unloved exiles, and he then left Jerusalem in the hands of the trendsetters, to do as they pleased. They assumed themselves to be self righteous. They assumed that YHWH left them in charge as gods. They did not sorrow or mourn.

So God opened Ezekiel’s mouth again to speak to the wicked. He would set the record straight.

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Finally God also spoke to the exiles, setting the record straight.

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from among the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

Don’t be disheartened by the wicked, you exiles! They spoke evil and they still do speak evil. God would save a remnant of his people and give them land and life.

The humble repentant were the real remnant.

Life in the hollow, September 26

My son came by last night. He had business in the area and dropped by when he was done. It was a pleasant surprise. We normally pray together when he is here, but we got into conversations about his work and did not pray last night.

We certainly did not mean to leave God out, but that’s what we did. My own heart nailed me over it, later, while I attempted to sleep.

I’ll call him today, make sure he got home safely and ask him to help me remember to pray together next time.

I repent. In the name of Jesus, I repent.

It does not take much to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. It does not take much to be under the guidance and safekeeping of God: a realization of our small humanness, humble repentance, and confession that Jesus is Lord. It is only by his sacrifice that we can be presentable to God. It’s beautiful, humble and simple.

It’s not by self righteousness, lest any of us should boast.

A prophecy delivered

It’s still a sapling, but my loblolly pine did grow an inch or two

10:00 a.m. Saturday September 25, 2021. 73F/23C.

The birds are loud across the road near the eastern ridge. It’s not just the crows! It’s the laughing bird and the gronking bird and the clucking one. The forest is almost as loud as it was last year, almost. Tiny white flowers bloom along the dirt road. The smaller the flower, the healthier the plant. Then one jet plane roars overhead. Tension enters the shoulders and no other sounds are heard. Neither the plane nor it gaseous trail can be seen. The trees still have leaves, none are falling today. A slight breeze reaches the road and the cabin. It can be felt in a consoling brush across the face. The sky is mostly blue. The temperature is perfect. Deep breathing under the sweet gum tree still brings an aroma that is both bitter green and sweet. Hot chocolate cereal waits in the cabin.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter eleven

Abba Father, Cause our small minds to understand your great and profound lessons. When bad things happen, we weep and we go into shock, but we rarely ask, “What is God teaching us with this?” I know it had to be so with at least some of the residents of Jerusalem. Please great Father of all life, don’t let your lessons be lost. I pray in the name of Jesus my savior. Amen.

God showed Ezekiel some community leaders who were engaging in scam business practices when they suggested the people build houses. The crooked leaders of the community in Jerusalem had been encouraging business deals by using the phrase “the city be the cauldron and we be the flesh”, which was to say “Nobody removes the meat while it is still cooking. Nobody will remove us from Jerusalem.” That phrase angered God greatly.

God used Ezekiel’s voice to let them know that the bodies of their victims would be secure in Jerusalem, but the wicked would be removed.

This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel:

And ye shall know that I am the Lord:

Every time I read, “ye shall know that I am the Lord,” I wonder what good it did to prove a point to a dying person. Unless. Unless our God wanted him to know who passed a verdict against him and who really killed him. Yes, I believe that a just and good God lets men know why, even in their final moments.

for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.

These were men of God on the surface, but under that surface they were very eagerly pursuing other gods… and money. They were using their authority to pass down verdicts using the laws of surrounding nations! Judgment was made for their pocketbooks. It was as if they believed only in a personally convenient god.

Ezekiel continued:

And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died.

Pelatiah was one of the community leaders that Ezekiel knew well.

Again, I wonder if these wicked people actually saw and heard Ezekiel? He was there in Jerusalem in the spirit, of course, but could he have also been there in the flesh? Could God have picked up the man, within a vision, and moved his actual body to a different place? God has done that in stories throughout the Bible. No stories of Ezekiel’s sudden appearance in Jerusalem exist. But then, all possible witnesses perished.

Then I fell down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Ezekiel had a “what have I done!” moment. He prophesied God’s words and God’s intention became real. What would he do if God used him to kill everybody!!! So few Jews were left in his beloved Jerusalem. Ezekiel had such a heart for Jerusalem, even to include the wicked therein.

This I have noticed about each prophet I study: each had a facet of life in God that he loved dearly. Daniel loved the rituals of the temple and the rituals of worship. Ezekiel loved the ceremonies of serving God in the priesthood, in Jerusalem, in the temple. Isaiah loved the temple and stories of God’s presence there. John the revelator loved Jesus.

Those each became prophets by seeking God in the things they each loved about God. Daniel sought God in the writings of prophets and the timing of rituals. Ezekiel sought God by the river Chebar, trying to keep worship alive by using his status in a priestly family. Isaiah sought God by going straight to what he thought was the source, the drama and weightiness of the cloud and the brilliance in the temple. John sought Jesus, whom he knew to still be alive, while in his cell on a prison island.

What does this reveal to God-seekers today? How are we using what each of us love about God, to become prophets of his message to mankind?

Is that saying that we, a generation of nobodies really, next to Isaiah and Ezekiel, could each deliver messages from God? Well. Yes. And we should.

Life in the Hollow, September 25

I wasn’t really understanding why God thought these leaders were so very bad. Oddly, God has “foreseen” my questions and provided examples ahead of time. Yeah. Odd.

I saw a string of events involving various businesses that wanted my order, but were slack in filling the order. I was rushed through a checkout lane and on the way out found that I was automatically charged double for a very expensive item. I was rushed through a payment window while the attendant had to answer the phone. I was rushed through a plant nursery and loaded up with half dead plants at full price. None of the business owners suffered or even cared. They got their money. I and the employees had to notice it and put it right.

And so there I was. “Heavenly Father,” I pleaded, “why has my life been full of obstacles? And while we are talking, why can I not see what you are saying in Ezekiel?”

“Obstacles?” he seemed to ask. I had not broken any bones. The plumbing was not leaking. I have food. All my frustrations had to do with lazy, almost to the point of crooked, but with a good excuse, business owners.

The remnant of people left in Jerusalem would have also had many needs. And in the middle of them were city leaders saying, “There is no cause for worry. You are secure here in Jerusalem. If you want to be ready for anything, let me suggest a good solid house. I’ve got land for sale, some with nice houses, at a good price.” Of course the wicked leaders had land and houses for sale. Thousands of the faithful had been removed to Babylonia. Thousands of homes would be standing empty. Thousands of acres of land would be unattended.

Everybody would be in such a hurry to feel secure in their war-ridden city that they would not notice the wicked taking advantage of the people, stealing their final breaths in the midst of a catastrophe.

Consider our day. Oh Boy! There must be some hellacious money and land grabbing going on behind the pandemic and inflation catastrophes.

What does God say to us today? It’s probably pretty simple: 1. Don’t be evil in business or as a judge. 2. He will judge those who are evil. 3. The rest of us should seek corrections to right the wrongs, even those wrongs with a good excuse.

He moves for and against

My side yard, looking south

10:45 a.m. Friday September 24, 2021. 70F/21C.

A crow caws repeatedly, somewhere midway up the trees. With a slight breeze entering the hollow, all the branches sway just a little. The air is cool and deep breathing is easy. The site of a future pond is inspected. Previous owners stacked rocks around the edge of an area. While they might have used it for growing or burning, it seems quite well suited for a pond. Mountain streams empty into the area. With a little digging and a placing a liner, it could contain about 600 gallons of rain water. The crow watches the area intently as if she hopes to see food scraps appear there. A fat brown cat inspects the area and finally sits atop a flat rock. She can see all around from that perch. It will be a fine location. But for now, a big chair, a Bible and a sweet cup of lemon-spiced tea await in the cabin. Digging will begin as soon as a rain softens the ground.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter eleven

Abba Father, we love you. We seek your wisdom as we read your word. Let us see your story. Give us courage to share our stories of your mercy. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

In this portion of Ezekiel’s second vision, God had instructed him to prophesy against certain wicked leaders in Jerusalem. The phrase used by the wicked was “the city be the cauldron and we be the flesh”. It appears to have meant “we are secure in Jerusalem”. They used this phrase to trick people into a false sense of security. Ezekiel, filled with God’s Spirit, told the wicked the following:

Ye have feared the sword, and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord God.

And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you.

Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

God knew the hearts and minds of even the wicked men. He knew that they feared dying in an attack. He warned them that he would have them removed from the city and sentenced to death. Indeed the Babylonians captured the royals and leaders and did just that.

This they would know for certain: that it was the self-existent eternal God of Israel who moved against them.

Life in the hollow, September 24

If ever I have felt strong spiritual oppression, it is now. If ever I have felt the strong presence of God’s Spirit, it is now. The two are equally powerful today. But only one is good.

Only our God is good.

As we pray over our plans, he shows the way. As we confess and repent, he grants mercy. The more beautiful the dance with God, the greater the beauty. But it all had to begin with personal remorse and a declaration that Jesus is his only begotten son.

Only our God saves.

With our obedience, his Spirit indwells. We take a few steps to do his will and his Spirit steadies our pace. The more sure our footsteps, the more graceful the dance. Our God’s Spirit indwells to the exclusion of all others.

It all began with humble repentance, prayer and listening. This peace, this joy, is the self-existent eternal God of Israel who moves on behalf of his people.

A sure thing

moss near a dry run stream

Because the book of Ezekiel has become so exciting to me, I wrote again late last yesterday on chapter eleven. I feel very rushed. I feel the work of reading the Bible is urgent. And I do not know why.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter eleven

Abba Father, I write for you and I write for those who wish to read. I ask humbly that you fill us with your wisdom and understanding of your word. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

At the beginning of chapter eleven, God showed Ezekiel men preaching at the front of the temple. The men said people had a sure place in Jerusalem, just as meat had a sure place in the pot. The men were preaching against the prophecies of the type that Ezekiel was delivering for God!

Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.

And the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.

God’s Spirit would fill Ezekiel as he spoke in opposition to the wicked leaders left behind in Jerusalem. His words were something like, “Stand upright and speak against them human.” Whether the leaders saw and heard Ezekiel or simply saw the results of his prophecies, is unknown. But when the breath of YHWH fell into Ezekiel, he would speak God’s words.

What is this little nugget that begins “for I know the things that come into your mind”? Does God know the things that are in the minds of men? He IS our creator, and that IS possible for him.

(A part of me reacts with, “uh-oh”. Perhaps I should be a lot more grateful about our salvation than I am.)

Another translation says, “I know what you are planning and what you are saying.” I think both translations are correct. The original text reads much like this: “I know the elevation of your breath.”

It must mean that man cannot hide anything from his creator. God continued:

Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain.

God saw the victims of the wicked, both in the city and outside of it. There is a hint in the words used that murder was common outside of Jerusalem, in the countryside of Judah, but crime was flooding into the city.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the cauldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it.

Because the blood of the victims had cried out, God said that the murder victims and the sacrificial victims had a sure place in Jerusalem, just as meat had a sure place in the pot. However, the wicked would be pulled out of the city.

When Nebuchadnezzar broke through the city walls, many of the leaders in Jerusalem were pulled from the city by Babylonian troops. They were killed or taken captive outside the city walls.

The only sure thing man can predict is that nothing of man’s plans is sure.

Repent, pray, and listen

Sunlight!

12:45 p.m. Thursday September 23, 2021. 72F/22C.

The hover fly is once again inspecting the porch. A fat brown cat seems undisturbed by its presence or its loud buzz. She sleeps atop a scattered collection of brown and yellow leaves. Deep blue skies can be seen above the trees. The leaves are mostly green, but yellow leaves dangle off some of the branches. There is an aroma of sweet and bitter green. Of note, earlier today, the familiar “gronk, gronk, gronk” of a whippoorwill could be heard north of the cabin. He called out just as dawn arrived. Perhaps he was driven there by the yapping coyotes that have hunted the dry creek bed all night for the few days. The hard rains this week did little to fill up the creek or keep the squash watered. There is water in the cabin. It will help.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter eleven

Abba Father, I humbly beseech thee to cover our sins of the past and provide for our futures. Send a spirit of repentance over the lands. Grant us wisdom to understand your word. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

This was Ezekiel’s second vision of God. After being yanked out of a meeting, Ezekiel went on a tour of idolatry in Jerusalem over the ages. One man out of the idolaters was Jaazaniah, who was known to Ezekiel. At this point in the story, the separation of good leaders from evil leaders is becoming apparent. The good leaders went into exile. The evil leaders were those left in Jerusalem.

Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord’s house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.

Jaazaniah was likely the son of a scribe who was close to good king Josiah. Pelatiah was also a son of a good family. Their names meant “YHWH hears” and “YHWH delivers”, which is very ironic. YHWH heard their sins and delivered the people from these two wicked leaders. Interesting that two men with those names, were shown to Ezekiel.

These two wicked leaders were addressing the congregation of God’s people while standing directly in front of the temple. They were preaching. God told Ezekiel that they were really weaving idolatry into the fabric of life in Jerusalem and also giving bad advice to the people.

Then he said unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city:

Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the cauldron, and we be the flesh.

They were saying something like this: You might have heard that Nebuchadnezzar will take more captives? That’s a conspiracy theory. There are no armies at the gates. We are under Egypt’s protection now. We are as snug as a bug in a rug. We are as meat in the kettle. Nobody will even want to remove us! Make plans for your futures. Get married, have children, build homes. We are the ones left in Jerusalem. We are the safe ones.

They were encouraging the people to trust man instead of God. They may have even thrown in the words, “thus saith the Lord”. In doing so, they would easily draw God’s wrath.

For a hundred and fifty years, God had been warning them. That length of time achieved a few things that I can easily see: First, those whose hearts wandered from God would let down their guard and sin openly, thinking God’s prophets had failed in their warnings. Second, nobody could tell God, “I’m not guilty because I did not know”. They knew. Third, those who listened to God would be well prepared.

It is a message for us today. It is not yet too late to get prepared. It’s not too late to look over the old prophecies of the Bible and see which ones have not yet been fulfilled.

And, honestly, I heartily recommend reading over the old prophecies without the help of a preacher, and with the help of prayer and God’s wonderful Spirit.

It is not yet too late to declare Jesus as Lord and trust his Holy Spirit to guide us in how much and what we need to do.

In short, those men of Ezekiel’s day, those who were about to be destroyed, were the ones who did hear God’s warnings but openly decided against them.

Life in the hollow, September 23

My last job before retirement was as a non-professional in a hospital laboratory. It was well before covid. I got to meet all kinds of interesting people and learn medical facts that I never knew existed.

Take the AIDS epidemic. I did not know but there was actually a large percentage of our patients who were both homosexual and had AIDS. Sexual preference was simply not a question I asked people. One of the older doctors knew about it and told me.

His informative speech was prompted by my trust in CDC public health guidelines. “The AIDS epidemic,” he said sternly, “was the fault of the CDC”.

And he told me more, “We trusted them. They would have wiped out our entire homosexual population, if we had allowed them to continue.”

He changed from just a work associate to a teacher that day. I hope he isn’t totally retired from medicine. We could sure use his voice and his experience today.

I caught covid twice during the first six months of 2020. I was tempted to call doctors I trusted, but I did not. I took quercetin, a little zinc and an even smaller dose of vitamin D and I waited it out. If I was going to die, I was happy to die at home by myself. And the advice that I followed came from repenting, praying and listening to God’s Holy Spirit respond.

We have tools to fight illness. Well-respected Jaazaniah may have stood in the midst of the congregation, reassuring them. The CDC may stand in the midst of our hospitals reassuring our medical professionals. And they just might have alternate reasons for their recommendations. Our heavenly Father made us and knows what to do.

Repent, pray and listen. We have a whole Bible full of warnings that God will destroy those who devise wicked plans and create mischief. Our enemy is always at the city gates.

Repent, pray and listen. It’s the only way to know what’s truth.

Witnessing God

9:00 a.m. Wednesday September 22, 2021. 61F/16C.

It is cool and clear in the hollow. The air is filled, not with wood smoke, but with an odor of burnt chemicals. It passes quickly and does not seem to be associated with the cabin. Upon closer inspection, the sky is not quite blue and seems to have several places where very thin, nearly invisible, cloudy lines intersect each other. About an hour or more ago, the turkeys were cackling energetically as they flew down from their perches in the trees. Large and small birds joined with enthusiastic calls. Now the forest is mostly silent. An occasional song bird with a five toned call makes his announcement. A late-to-bed coyote lets out a few yaps and a howl. His pack spent the night hunting along the dry creek bed. There is a newly blooming flower along the road. Its tiny blooms seem white or green. Another helicopter flies over. It is loud and slow moving and causes concern. In the cabin is warm sweet tea. In the cabin, a fat brown cat sleeps curled up in the corner of a soft chair. In the cabin is a good place to end a short journey.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter ten

Abba Father, I humbly beseech thee to provide for our needs. The times ahead seem dark to man, but you see ahead. Provide for our needs, comfort us. Grant us the privilege of understanding your word. Through my position in the person of Yehoshua Jesus, I pray. Amen.

In chapter ten, Ezekiel was once more given opportunity to view God’s wonderful throne-vehicle. He also witnessed some of the ceremony that heavenly beings performed while they served God.

Recall how in chapter one, Ezekiel remembered the day that he would have become a priest. Unfortunately, Ezekiel was not able to be present at the temple for his first ceremony as a priest. He was taken into exile in Babylonia instead. In captivity, he was a part of an even greater ceremony of God!

Ezekiel confirmed that he had seen again the same living throne-vehicle that he saw by the river of Chebar and described some of the ceremony:

This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.

When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.

The glory of the living God stood at the threshold of the temple while his living throne-vehicle and a scribe dressed in linen ceremoniously retrieved embers from a fire within the throne. After that, the cherubim lifted their wings and touched wings to hover in the air. Each wheel also lifted up next to his cherub. The cherubim moved according to the will of God. The wheels moved according to the will of the cherubim.

The ceremony continued:

Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.

And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and everyone stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.

God returned to his gemstone seat, which rested on the crystal clear firmament, which rested above the winged cherubim, who had the wheels next to them. Ezekiel went on to again verify that this was the same living throne-vehicle that he saw near the river Chebar.

This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.

Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.

And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.

Ezekiel was the witness to these amazing things. He would later tell his story with as much detail as he could. Approximately 2,600 years later, we can still read his testimony.

Life in the Hollow, September 22

The Lord spoke to me this morning at 08:45 a.m.

“It has begun.”

I saw in my imagination, much movement and war planes leaving the ground for the sky.

Additional prayer concerns, September 22
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Residents of the state of California
  • Christian generals in military agencies
  • Residents of Australia, NSW

Refreshment comes from repentance

Rain.

8:30 a.m. Tuesday September 21, 2021. 74F/23C.

Rain. Precious little rain falls on the hollow in the summer months. When rain does come to the hollow, the honey locust tree lifts its evenly spaced branches as if to catch each drop. Each leaf faces the sky and is washed before the water drips down to the next lower branch. Rain and lightning brought an aroma to the air at about 3 a.m. For at least a full minute it brought a fragrance like electrically charged dust in through the screen windows. And now the scent of the air is sweet and easy to deeply inhale. A single crow caws loudly. A songbird chirps out its joy. A new squash blossom catches a thimble-full of water in its orange basin. God has forgiven us and his peace rests here.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter ten

Heavenly Father, I ask that you present your plan of redemption to all mankind as we go through troubling times. Strengthen your evangelists. Set your holy angels around the evangelists to increase their number. Cause us to understand you through reading of your word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

In chapter ten, Ezekiel saw once again, the fantastic throne-vehicle of God. He tried to describe every detail of the four wheels and the four cherubim.

And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.

That description adds a detail that Ezekiel omitted in chapter one – both the cherubim and the wheels were full of eyes. They had eyes on the trunk of their bodies and eyes on all limbs. How very odd and wonderful!

As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.

It sounds as if each wheel was similar to a work animal. They were well trained and knew exactly what to do. They each had a name and the name was “wheel”. What other name would a work animal need, if it knew his trainer’s voice?

And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

That was the same cherubim that Ezekiel saw in chapter one, the one he saw by the river of Chebar. HOWEVER, Ezekiel gave us some information about early man’s beliefs regarding cherubim. In chapter one, he noted four faces on the cherubim: north, south, east, west, each direction had a face. The four faces were: ox, man, lion, eagle. In this verse, Ezekiel says: cherub, man, lion, eagle.

They believed that a cherub face was the face of an ox!

These unusual living creatures that piloted the throne-vehicle, were lifted up and Ezekiel noted that they moved in the same manner as they did by the river Chebar.

God’s throne is a living thing. The world God created for man is alive too. In fact everything about God is alive and new and fresh.

There is none like our God.

Life in the hollow, September 21

I finally learned about squash blossoms today. I had been searching for differences in petals to determine which blossom would become fruit. I was looking for their reproductive organs in the wrong place! It’s at the base of the petals, not in the number of petals on the bloom. I should have been searching for a small swelling that would become the fruit. From now on, I’ll pick a male blossom and use it like a brush to pollinate a female blossom. Since blossoms are edible, I’ll use the plucked flower in tomorrow’s breakfast, otherwise it will fall to the ground by nightfall. Yum!

For the last two years, squash just grew and produced. This year, the bees are dead, so I have to do some of the bee’s work. I’m hoping to get a bee hive before next year. I’ll feed them sugar water if no wildflowers come up, but I want a garden that produces!

When I moved here, the forest was so alive. It is still alive, but not as lively. That is sad.

(Readers! Help me make the weather warrior planes stop! Repent before God so that the forest will not die! God is allowing this to happen. If we repent, he will heal the land. (2 Chronicles 7))

The Bible surprises me. It is more alive than I ever realized. I used to fall asleep if I read more than ten verses. I still sleep easily when I read the Bible, but now that I understand it better, I crave its stories enough to battle the sleep.

These Bible stories are accurate. I do not fully understand a spiritual realm but I do believe that one exists. The spiritual entities and the three dimensional entities sometimes exist side by side. Pretty fascinating, eh?

Anyway.

Our God is alive and his word is always fresh and new – no matter how many times we hear it!

There is none like our God

leaves like a mint. trumpet shaped flowers.

1:00 p.m. Monday September 20, 2021. 85F/29C.

The air is hotter than the thermometer reads. Full sunshine bears down on shoulders at the dirt road. Dust stirs underfoot. One gloved hand reaches for the end of a raspberry bramble and shakes the woody stem. Some small fuzzy bug falls to the ground. Three leaves are pulled from the stem. Raspberry brambles produced few fruits this year, but the leaves are still fruity and sweet. Something interesting and colorful is spotted in the brush. A single stem of a late blooming flower is plucked from the earth. The stem is about a foot tall. It will be photographed and identified this afternoon. The trumpet shaped purple flowers have no fragrance. Only the scent of dust on the road is present. The plant has no bugs. As it is considered, a large patch of mountain mint is sighted near the road. A single sprig is picked for tea and the rest is left for a later day. There in the bright sunlight flies begin to buzz about. They provide a reason for a hasty retreat to the cabin.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter ten

Abba Father, grant us your peace. Grant us your wisdom, your courage and your peace. As we enter an era of bitterness and attack and hate, give us wisdom from your word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Ezekiel saw the glory of God during a vision that took him to the temple in Jerusalem. And once more, he also saw the fascinating throne-vehicle of God.

The throne, or the seat of the throne, was as a gemstone, likely a sapphire. That rested upon a firmament. Now, I have no definite description of a firmament except to say that it is a loose boundaried, disc-shaped area that is likely the same color and density as clear crystal, and is somehow noticeable by observers. Under the hood, or under the firmament was the fire altar engine, four living cherub struts and four living wheels of the throne-vehicle.

Fantastic.

And there appeared in the cherubims the form of a man’s hand under their wings.

Each cherub had four wings. Under each wing was a hand.

And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.

Ezekiel expressed excitement as he saw one more time the cherubim and their wheels. Four wheels were at the side of four cherubim. One wheel and one cherub made one unit. So it was for each wheel and cherub. It looked like the wheel was made of a gem, perhaps a golden brown gem.

And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel.

All the wheels looked alike. I have tried often to visualize this wheel within a wheel, but have come up with little. It was not a small wheel (a spoke hub) within a large wheel. It was not two wheels. The best I can envision would be something like a gyroscope, only made of gemstone:

(borrowed from nsk.com)

Ezekiel continued his narrative:

When they went, they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went, but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went.

The wheels went here and there in their own fourth of the vehicle’s system. They did not revolve, but stood in their place. Where ever the cherub looked, the wheel went. They did not revolve but they walked – or hovered or – simply went.

Ezekiel cannot have been the first man to see the cherubim that surround God’s throne. After all, king Solomon had ordered two cherubim to be made for the temple. The two he had made were gold plated and their wings touched, just as Ezekiel saw golden colored cherubim that piloted the throne-vehicle while their wings touched. The similarities could not be a coincidence.

Like Ezekiel, I find the throne-vehicle of God to be fascinating. If we look into this very unusual character who created mankind, whose fingerprint is all through the Bible and is on every living thing, we can easily get fascinated.

Truly, there is none like our God.

Life in the hollow, September 20

The jet planes are back. They seem to be guiding rain clouds. Please don’t ask me how they do that, but they are leading the clouds. There has been constant weather modification since January of this year. As a child I was taught that cloud seeding was for the good of all people. As an adult this stuff looks more like weather warfare.

I watch the jet planes create clouds, seed those clouds and lead them off across the country. In a couple days the newscasters will use words like “climate change” and “carbon emissions” to talk about weather disasters somewhere to the northeast of the hollow.

Yep, climate change really is man made. It’s just not made by my antique pick up truck or someone else’s wood burning stove. It is purposeful weather modification.

And I cannot tell if it is all-out war against humanity, or simply murder of a few dozen people. Both are evil.

We need to be careful what we believe. It was the apostle Paul who saw this desire in the hearts of mankind when he told the Galatians:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

They may be up there in the sky targeting populations, but someday their sins will come to fruition in their own lives.

But that’s not my real hope.

Even the people who put the pilots into the skies, can be saved. They only need to repent and accept life in Jesus.

God is more than a fascination, he is holy and he is life. Even in war, he is holy and he is life.

Unusual spirituality

Me and the cat are staying out of the grass. Wow chiggers.

1:15 p.m. Sunday September 19, 2021. 79F/26C.

Every bit of sky that shows through the trees is gray. There is an animal in the shrubby trees west of the cabin. It is barking or chirping, or at least making a good deal of a ruckus. Two crows got the message and left the area. They did not go far. Rain falls that is somewhere between a mist and actual raindrops. It wets the lawn chair. A fat brown cat sleeps in the mist, mostly unconcerned. The air under the trees is sweet. Deep breathing is very easy. The atmosphere seems active today. Something about it produces a constant shushing sound, like the resonance heard in a seashell. The sound of the forest is that of leaves being jostled by each small wind and life of every type and size.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter ten

Abba Father, I humbly beseech thee to move on our nations. Expose corruption and grant your people relief. Oh, Mighty God, be savior to your people again. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.

Chapter ten tells of the second time Ezekiel was permitted to see the throne-vehicle of God. The gemstone seat was atop of a firmament, powered by sparkling cherubim. The throne-vehicle was moved to the courtyard that surrounded the temple. A scribe dressed in linen was asked to get a fistful of burning embers from under the firmament. He was about to do that.

And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.

Whoa! The cherubim’s wings were able to be heard, not just that they made a great noise (and they did), but could be discerned, in the same manner that God’s voice could be discerned. They were at least as audible as God’s voice.

Wings that speak? There are things in the spiritual realm that we just do not have words to describe.

And it came to pass, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubims; then he went in, and stood beside the wheels.

That’s amazing. The man in linen seemed to have a great respect for proper behavior in the presence of God and in the presence of the cherubim. He did not help himself to the coals of the fire. Instead, he presented himself to the cherubim. It all has the feeling of a very important ceremony.

Another rabbit trail: We use the word cherub to describe one of these heavenly entities, and we use the word cherubim to describe more than one entity. KJV English is different to be sure. In the 1600’s they added an “s” to the plural form of some words, calling several of these heavenly entities – cherubims.

And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubims unto the fire that was between the cherubims, and took thereof, and put it into the hands of him that was clothed with linen: who took it, and went out.

The scribe in linen departed into the city with the live coals. We will not see him in chapter ten again. So far, we have seen that he was faithful to do all he was told.

In faithfulness, the scribe was a picture of Jesus, the word of God. He went out and spiritually scattered embers in the city. He did God’s will. In the three dimensional world, Nebuchadnezzar did God’s will. His army burned everything in the city.

God’s prophetic word is an unusual thing. No matter how prophecy is presented, it proves true each and every time.

Those leaves are stacking up!

Life in the hollow, September 19

For everything I learn about God’s realm, I come up with ten questions.

I have a question, still unanswered after searching the Hebrew text and prayer: did the scribe get burned? Was that really a live coal or was it just a spiritual symbol of a live coal? Did the cherub get burned? If they did get burned, was it considered part of the job? A scribe would have needed at least one hand to write! The cherub had four hands, but not so for the scribe.

If there was no wincing and no searing of skin, could the burning embers have been electrically charged minerals and not at all burning coals? No tongs were used. The cherub simply reached in and handed off the embers to the scribe.

Was it just a spiritual ceremony, acting out Jerusalem’s fall? Were the embers real, or charged with piezoelectricity that later ignited? What is that wonderful throne-vehicle anyway?

The things God shows us about himself are so unusual. God is holy and true, but wow. Is he ever fascinating!

Here we are

9:00 a.m. Thursday September 16, 2021. 75F/24C.

Large drops of rain water fall from the branches of trees. They can be heard to plop to the ground loudly. The leaves make a softer crisper sound upon striking the ground. The air is fresh and sweet. An old Bible is laid gently on the porch rail. Its pages have become fragile and brown over the years. Pages are slowly and carefully turned, causing an aroma of dust and old paper to rise from them. A psalm is spoken to the gray sky and to the trees. Large birds squawk to the west of the cabin. Mostly the crows caw, but some other birds fill in moments of silence. All is still and watered.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter ten

Our heavenly Father, I humbly beseech thee to open the meanings in this book, your holy scriptures. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Ezekiel’s vision of chapters eight, nine, ten and eleven moved rapidly. Ezekiel sat listening to exiled elders of the Jewish community, when unexpectedly, the brilliance of the Lord appeared. A hand came out of the brilliance and grasped the prophet by his hair and took him on a tour of idolatry in Jerusalem. After Ezekiel witnessed idolatry and was told of the bloodshed that went out with the idolaters, God showed Ezekiel six heavenly beings. Five of the beings were warriors and one was a scribe dressed in linen. Everything God asked the heavenly beings to do, they did. Only the scribe dressed in linen returned to God to report the completion of duties.

The activities of the six heavenly beings were a spiritual representation of the actual siege against Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia.

Ezekiel’s tour ended at the temple.

Rabbit trail: Because of Ezekiel’s account, I am assuming that the ark of the covenant had been removed for safe keeping years earlier by a “good” king – Josiah. Only God knows where Josiah hid the box. It might be under the floor where the temple was. It might be in Ethiopia. It might be in Babylonia. It might have been stolen by an Egyptian. The most logical place to me, would be that a cavern was dug under the floor of the temple. The box was placed several feet under its usual spot. The floor was filled in to appear as a usual floor. This would ensure that God’s mercy seat remained in the temple and that the box would never be stolen by an enemy.

However it happened, it appears that there were only two cherubim in the temple’s inner room. The two fifteen feet tall, gold plated cherubim that king Solomon placed, would be there in Ezekiel’s day.

When Ezekiel was taken into the temple, he saw God’s gemstone seat above the heads of the gold plated cherubim. From there God instructed the scribe dressed in linen.

And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.

These were his instructions: He was to get a fistful of burning embers. He was to cast them about the city. This would, in Jerusalem, cause fires to break out in various places.

God was speaking as though his throne-vehicle was there! There were no embers under the two statues in the temple! Ezekiel had not yet reported seeing God’s unusual vehicle.

So next, Ezekiel, with his love of detail, described how God’s glory and his wonderful throne-vehicle appeared.

Ezekiel knew the cherubim in the temple to be made of olive wood and gold, but in his vision, they moved. They stepped aside so that the heavenly scribe could easily pass.

Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court.

The two cherubim stepped aside. The heavenly scribe went in. Then the cloud of God’s presence moved from the temple to the courtyard. Whether the scribe was still within the cloud when it went outside, I cannot say, but it does appear to have been so.

When the cloud filled the inner court, there was a transition. The very first time Ezekiel saw God’s throne-vehicle, it emerged from within a whirlwind in the sky. In this vision, the throne-vehicle would appear when the cloud of God’s presence moved back toward the temple.

Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.

As God and the cloud of his presence retreated back to the temple, cherubim appeared in the courtyard. He moved to hover above the temple threshold. The cloud moved back into the temple. God’s presence at the threshold filled the courtyard with dazzling light.

It seems that all this coming to life and moving about had to occur so that the throne-vehicle of God could be set in the courtyard, so that the heavenly scribe could access embers that burned in the middle of the four living creatures.

It was done that way so that Ezekiel could witness it.

Ezekiel needed to witness it so that the exiled Jews would hear about it.

The exiled Jews remembered it by writing it down…

…for every generation.

And here we are, reading what they wrote. We who read this book are a part of God’s extraordinary plan.

Life in the Hollow, September 16

Today.

I’m fasting today. Fasting and praying can be very refreshing. That seems peculiar to say.

There are about a thousand chigger bites on my arms and legs and several other places. I’d like to complain that it is a day of discomfort – but, oddly, it isn’t. It’s an otherwise lovely day. There is cool air and sunshine. There is little discomfort and much to pray over.

I seem to have been given an observer’s perspective of our world. There is so much to pray over and little time to do it.

Here we are.

Repent. Pray. Be blessed. God has appointed us to this. Pray while there is still time to do so. In Jesus’ name.

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