Do you have an appetite for God’s Word? I mean, literally? Do you eat it for breakfast, lunch, or supper? Do you digest it so that it becomes an integral part of sinew and bone?
In our crazy story for today, Ezekiel did. He took a message of God, tore it up, put it in his mouth, chewed it, and swallowed it. The Word of God became one with his body.
I know. It sounds a bit extreme to me, too. Did Ezekiel misunderstand God? Did he take literally what God meant metaphorically?
You may remember Ezekiel as the prophet to the Jews that Nebuchadnezzar exiled to Babylon. He wasn't your ordinary preacher. His sermons were different. He dramatized them. They were more like object lessons. Unfortunately, the exiled people needed the unusual to wake them up from their lethargy and what’s-the-use negativism.
Ezekiel must have needed it, too, because Ezekiel’s call from God came with this most unusual step of obedience. e with this most unusual step of obedience.
It started with a terrifying vision with unusual creatures with wings and calf-legs on a human body. Then multi-direction wheels with eyes appeared. Remember the old spiritual Ezekiel Saw a Wheel? Well, he really did. Ezekiel needed to be reminded that in the middle of their chaos, God had multi-directional vision. He missed nothing! Still doesn’t!
After all of that, God told Ezekiel: “Do not be afraid.”
I think I would have said something like: Sure, God. These heavenly creatures are nothing new to you! Why scare me with them?
But it wasn’t a scare tactic. It was God's reveal to Ezekiel. God pulled back the curtain between heaven and earth and let Ezekiel see God’s glory.
One thing I’ve noticed in the Bible, when someone has a bigger-than-this-life view of God’s glory, they never forget it!
So when a hand comes out of nowhere and reaches out to Ezekiel with a scroll of God’s Word and tells Ezekiel to “eat this,” what’s a glory-smacked guy to do but follow the directions?
Then, God detailed his call to Ezekiel. His job description was simple: Go to the people you know very well and tell them I sent you. Don’t be surprised when they don’t listen because they haven’t listened to me, either.
Now there’s a call anyone would jump at the chance to accept. Mission impossible from the beginning!
But when God’s very Word is in you, digested, and not going anywhere, what else can you do, but obey!
And there’s our most important lesson from this crazy story.
The good news is that we don’t have to literally eat the pages of our Bible, but we do need to digest them.
We need to take in God’s messages, lessons, the do’s, and the don’ts in such a way that they are one with everything we are and say. We need to read God’s Word and read it again. We need to connect the dots the way God connected them. We need to live them. do them, rest in them, be them.
And when we do, the idea of digesting the Word of God becomes more than a crazy story. It is the meal we can’t live without.