…and turning to the white pages (or, beyond John 3:16)

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280For those of us who have had the privilege to be exposed to the Bible most of our lives, we’ve probably memorized John’s verse that still shows up at football games (John 3:16), and highlighted passages like Paul’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13).  After bravely skimming over Leviticus’ regulations on infectious skin diseases, we may have even ventured into the Old Testament faves like David and Goliath, and Isaiah’s “unto us a Child is born”.

But then there’s Ezekiel…(sigh). 

Zeke and I go way back.  Can I just say here at the start that I’ve never been all that intrinsically interested in end-time prophecy.  Not saying that it’s not important!  If it’s in the Bible, God has His reasons; it’s just that, for me, the topic ranks only slightly above the infectious skin diseases part.

Therefore, up to a certain time in my life, I had never spent much highlighter ink on Ezekiel, and his pages were fairly white with un-use.  So here is just another example, in my life anyway, how God “calls those things that are not as though they were” by communicating to me through otherwise obscure writings. 

Muddling around in the 40’s-chapters, I find an angel still speaking to Ezekiel about the boundaries that are given to the individual tribes of the people of Israel.  Now, I’m admittedly not big on geography even in my own country, much less the ancient Middle East.  But what I find fascinating is that God is very definite about, not only the boundaries themselves, but that the boundaries must be strictly observed and respected.

 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Divide the land in this way for the twelve tribes of Israel:…”

Followed by~~

 “I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

I’m thinking He meant it.

In other OT places, there is evidence that these boundaries were also to be protected, and certain provisions were made for that as well.  Of course, we have our own axiom, “good fences make good neighbors”, but it looks like this can be applied to more than simples land grants.  We can apply it to our use of time, money, even relationships and emotional capacity.  But I think there is something much deeper that needs to be addressed.  Check this out (one of my favorite parts of the whole series, BTW):

There are spiritual boundaries in my life, boundaries also ordained by the Sovereign Lord Himself, that are my responsibility to protect, even to the point of personal sacrifice.  Satan is a liar, and puffs himself up to look pretty scary, but he knows he is, in reality, defeated.  However, he also knows (better than I do, at times) where the loose boards are in my spiritual fence, ways of thinking or responding that I just haven’t gotten around to securely nailing down yet, which makes me less effective (at best), or can put others at risk (at worst).  But the nails to do the job are readily available.

They’re the same ones that held Jesus to the cross.

Ezekiel 47:13,23  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Author: dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic.

10 thoughts on “…and turning to the white pages (or, beyond John 3:16)”

  1. Mine lines from Zeke are somewhat limited also. But he and I sure agree on false prophets. And I like that part about the son not paying for dad’s sins and visa versa. And, thanks to you, from now on I’m going to like what he says about boundaries. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for this Dawn, boundaries are high on my personal agenda right now. The problem I have is knowing where exactly the fence ought to be. I was also struck by the division of the land of Israel that Moses performed and God instructed Him to do it by lots. God determined how the lots were drawn, even though we may think that drawing lots is random, nothing is left to chance with Him and made me think of Psalm 16:5-6 where it so beautifully says:
    “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
    The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
    Yet even though the lots were drawn, the people were afraid and the book of Joshua is filled with encouragement and exhortation to be courageous as they entered the proised land. How slow we are to believe that the battle is His and in Him we have a delightful inheritance indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Getting through Leviticus these weeks hasn’t been easy for me either. So many white pages. But not now. It only took me five years with this particular Bible to get there. {Sheepish, but contented sigh}

    Liked by 1 person

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