“The word of the Lord came to me. Son of man, behold. I’m about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke. Yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh, but not allowed. Make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban and put your shoes on your feet. Do not cover your lips nor eat the bread of men. So I spoke to the people in the morning. And at evening, my wife died. And on the next morning, I did As I was commanded.”
– Ezekiel 24:15–18
I cannot imagine how these verses played out in Ezekiel’s mind and heart. He is told by God that in an instant, the light of his eyes, his wife is going to be taken away. And God says, “I don’t want you to mourn at all. Don’t weep, Don’t let your tears run down.” And then it happened. Ezekiel’s wife died just like that. And he says, “On the next morning, I did as I was commanded.”
Now, there’s a lot we can talk about here. This is obviously a specific instance in which God was telling Ezekiel to do something very unique for a purpose. And if you study Ezekiel chapter 24, you’ll see the purpose, yet one other way that Ezekiel is called by God to illustrate something for God’s people. But just pause and realize at this point that is Ezekiel and presumably his wife are trusting God at a deep level.
Ezekiel 24:15–18 Teaches Us to Place Our Faith in Christ
Notice, in the verses I read, it wasn’t Ezekiel looking back to God asking questions, why this? Are you sure about that? He’s not reasoning with God, He’s trusting God, much like think Abraham told by God to take his son, Isaac, to an altar, and Abraham goes, and we see in the book of James. This is faith, to trust God, and his goodness, his wisdom, and his love, his sovereignty, his purposes, to trust that God knows what he is doing better than we do, and we are to do as He commands us with trust in him. No strings attached. Trust in God. And trust that God will provide. That’s the whole picture in Abraham, and surely, it’s the picture here in Ezekiel, that God will give Ezekiel all that he needs to put this command into practice.
So, God, I just pray for that kind of faith in my life, for that kind of faith in the lives of every single person who’s listening right now, that we would trust your word, your commands to us, that we would do whatever you call us to do with faith in you, with trust that you’re wiser than we are, and you are good. You’re perfectly good, and perfectly loving. And you know what is best for us. You know what is best for others around us.
Ezekiel 24:15–18 Shows Us the Good Purposes of the Lord
You are accomplishing good purposes in the world and good purposes in our life, that this world is not the end of the story for all who trust. And you in this story, seems like it would make no sense if this world was the end of the story, but we know it’s not. So, God, I pray for faith in me and all of us who are listening right now, that we would humbly, and willingly, and even gladly can do all that you call us to do.
Oh, God, I think about there may be people listening to this right now who’ve just lost a spouse. Spouse has been taken away, or a child, or a parent, or a friend. God, I just pray fresh measure of faith over them right now. We pray for fresh measure of faith, for a deep trust in you amidst sorrow that you are good, that death is not the end. For all who trust in you, that to live is Christ and a die is gain.
Pray for Faith Amidst Sorrow
God, we praise you for that reality, and we pray for faith amidst the sorrow, and the hurt, and the suffering when we see someone who’s the delight of our eyes taken away from us in this world. God, I pray for that over. People are walking through that right now. And God, we all pray for this kind of faith as we pray for the Kanuri people of Nigeria today. We know they won’t be reached. Half a million people in Nigeria where there’s all kinds of persecution of Christians. They won’t be reached if we’re not willing to do all that you call command us to do.
So, God, we pray for Abraham like Ezekiel, like faith in our lives, to trust in you with all our heart and to do all that you call us to do without question, without hesitation, without reasoning before you. God, help us to do it. We want to obey you with this kind of faith. We want to trust you with every facet of our lives in this world, no matter what may come, knowing that you are wise, you are good, you are loving. That if we can trust you to save us for the next 10 trillion years, surely we can trust you to lead us, and provide for us, and sustain us, and satisfy us while we’re here on this Earth. We pray for Ezekiel like faith in each of our hearts. In Jesus name, Amen.