Psalm 42: 1 As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?
Ezekiel 3:16 Now at the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me. 18 If I say to the wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but you do not warn him — you don’t speak out to warn him about his wicked way in order to save his life — that wicked person will die for his iniquity. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. 19 But if you warn a wicked person and he does not turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life. 20 Now if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, and I put a stumbling block in front of him, he will die. If you did not warn him, he will die because of his sin and the righteous acts he did will not be remembered. Yet I will hold you responsible for his blood. 21 But if you warn the righteous person that he should not sin, and he does not sin, he will indeed live because he listened to your warning, and you will have saved your life.”
22 Then the hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, “Get up, go out to the plain, and I will speak with you there.” 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. The LORD’s glory was present there, like the glory I had seen by the Chebar Canal, and I fell facedown. 24 The Spirit entered me and set me on my feet. He spoke with me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so you cannot go out among them. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, and you will be mute and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord GOD says.’ Let the one who listens, listen, and let the one who refuses, refuse — for they are a rebellious house.
This morning early, I started to read Psalm 42 and in particular the verses 1 and 2 spoke to me as David expresses his longing and his thirsting (like the deer) for the presence of the living God. It spoke to my spirit so strongly as it reflects the deep, deep longing of my (our) heart for in His presence, to hear His voice and to just listen, listen and listen. When someone emailed me the verse from Ezekiel 3:22, it felt as a clear answer from God to just get up, and to go out to the plain, where He promised me to speak!
“So I got up and went” was the simple and only right decision Ezekiel could make! And… “the Lord’s glory was present there“…
Aren’t we all longing for His glory, His presence in one way to appear? Especially like this deer, thirsting after the fresh streams of water, the pure, plain water that is not polluted by the adding of ‘flavours’! Not just another taste, a change of menu, but a thirst that comes through a long period of absence.
As much as the promising answer to Ezekiel was: “Get up, go…”, the result of it wasn’t that ‘glorious’, because he was told to be separated, bound by ropes, and God promised him that his tongue would stick to the roof of his mouth!
Well, my main conclusion in these verses is, that the longing of those two prominent man in the Bible had nothing to do with a ‘bless me’ attitude, but a strong understanding of the responsibility of their calling! The ‘whatever it will cost’ awareness when His glory, His presence enters and God finds us a willing instrument to make it all about His Glory and His Honour!
When David writes: My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long people say to me, “Where is your God? ” He makes clear that he is worried about the fact that they, the people, are questioning his God!
Again it sets all we are thirsting for, because of absence, in the perspective of a deep longing to see His Kingdom come and His will be done!
By the way, “The plain” where Ezekiel was send to, was a valley, not a mountaintop!