Imagine you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse and God tells you that she is going to die today. By 6pm, she will definitely die. What will you do?
I would panic. I would cancel everything on my to do list, take leave from work and spend every moment with her. Nothing would be more important than that.
But what if God told me to carry on working and not to mourn for her or be with her at all? Even when I know she would die that night. Does that command from God sound cruel or ridiculous? God wouldn’t do that right?
But it did happen. To Ezekiel. Here is what we read:
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, behold, I am 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 aloud; 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.”
God told Ezekiel that his wife was going to die. But Ezekiel was not to mourn or cry or show any outward sign at all. God was doing this as a symbol to the sinful Israelites.
I don’t know how Ezekiel felt as he struggled with the command. The Bible doesn’t say. What would you have done? Let’s see what happened:
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.
Amazing obedience! Ezekiel did exactly what God told him. No questions asked. No excuses given. He continued his ministry while knowing his wife would be gone at the end of the day. That’s full obedience.
We say we want to obey God. God may not ask of you something so drastic. He could be asking you to go out of your comfort zone. To give up your favourite hobby. To give your time and money to an old folks home. To give up your career for a lifetime of ministry. To give up your child to the mission field.
Can you really obey like Ezekiel? Or will you say this was asking too much from you? If there’s something in our lives that prevents us from obeying God, let’s place it in His hands. We can’t always understand His plans but we can trust Him.