Miriam will be taking her AP English exam tomorrow. Please be praying for her. I would guess a good part of her class this year has centered on analyzing “themes” in the stories she has read like Romeo and Juliet, the Kite Runner and A Doll’s House. Every story has a theme.
I am beginning to see a very clear theme in Ezekiel. It is the theme of “Obey God no matter what.” Today, in the verse above, this part caught my eye: “I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit.” I can sure “relate” to Ezekiel’s feelings here-being that frustrated, that it is described as a “heat of my spirit.” The thing about this verse is that it is surrounded by other verses like verse 11b that says, “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God’; whether they hear or refuse to hear.” The same idea is repeated in verse 17b; “… whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.” If you were to read on in the chapter, you would see God keeps reminding Ezekiel over and over to do what he is told to do. That is it. The people’s response is not Ezekiel’s responsibility. Ezekiel’s feelings about the situation do not absolve him of his responsibility to obey.
Ugh! Did you read that? Do you see where that leaves us in relation to today’s verse? It means that even when I am in “bitterness in the heat of my spirit” that is absolutely no excuse for not doing what God calls me to do. Our emotional frame of mind does not dismiss our calling from God. I can’t get out of it and neither can you.
Ezekiel looked around at the people to whom he had to give his message and no doubt, felt hopeless, frustrated, and in fact, in verse 15 it says he was “stunned” or overwhelmed. But God still called him to be His messenger, and Ezekiel still had to do that.
Are you frustrated with something, someone or a specific situation right now? You are not alone. Ezekiel felt it. I have felt it. Our frustration is never an excuse for rudeness, disrespect, disobedience or any other sin we may be tempted to commit. We must still be faithful servants to Christ. This will require help, which takes us back to Friday’s devotions, and Acts 1:8 again; the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to be calling out to the Holy Spirit for power and help-especially when the Lord’s hand is “strong” upon us. We need help when God takes us to places or situations where we do not want to go. Only with His help, will we be able to be the obedient and faithful servants we desire to be!