For the past few weeks, in addition to participating in a Bible study about how we hear the voice of God speaking to us, I’ve been reading some of the minor prophets (translation: those teensy books near the end of the Old Testament full of unpronounceable names and funky images that don’t get nearly the attention they deserve for pithy trench-applicable content.)
I once thought prophets were considered major or minor because the former finished Visions and Symbols graduate school with honors and the latter only got their AA degree.
Then for a time I wondered if it had something to do with their batting averages.
Now I know it’s because the majors were simply taller than the minors, as in wee lil’ Knee-High Miah (Nehemiah).
Nah. Just funnin’ ya.
Although in truth, major/minor does have to do with size, but not the size of the prophet or his league – the size of the book. Or the scroll, as once was.
So back to the point. I ran across a verse in Ezekiel that made me LOL. (Ezekiel is the book after Jeremiah and his Lamentations and before arguably one of the most famous prophets, Daniel, the feline whisperer.)
The surprising verse was so … me. I think it may be my new fave scripture.
Background: At this point in time (around 580 B.C.), Ezekiel (and a bunch of other Israelites) had been taken captive from his hometown Jerusalem and whisked clear across the known world to Babylon (modern day Iraq) to live out the remainder of his days trying to point out to his countrymen where they’d gone wrong in turning their backs on Almighty God. But his message was twofold: Ezekiel was simultaneously assuring them of Yahweh’s forgiveness and intention to keep his long-time covenant with their ancestor Abraham in the end.
Ezekiel’s gift was prophecy so his book is full of really cool, far out, and sometimes creepy dreams and visions depicting messages from God.
This is Ezekiel’s description of a daytime vision he had of the Lord appearing to him (while Zeke was in the middle of a meeting, no less):
Now my first reaction – after the resounding LOL – was that whoa, I’ve had that happen in a meeting before too, but the one grabbing hold of my hair wasn’t God, it was my boss. At the time I was happily drifting through Debbie-Neverland somewhere in the Swiss Alps.
The ponytail yank is surely an effective focus-agent. Can I get an amen? For some like me (and apparently Zeke), that’s the only way our Creator can get our attention.
But wait. The rest of that verse is quite revealing of the primary way Papa God speaks to us:
“The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.”
So ole Zeke is sitting there zoning out in a committee meeting when the Holy Spirit grabs him by the hair (got his attention all right), lifted his thoughts up and away from wherever they’d been (I’m assuming his actual body stayed there in the meeting), and plunked his attention down right where God wanted Zeke to be to deal with a specific issue.
Gulp. Gee, now that I think about it, that particular issue’s been raising its ugly head in my life this week too. I’m afraid I’ve been groveling at the feet of the Jealousy Idol myself. Again. Why does it look so much like me? Sigh. I guess it’s no coincidence that I stumbled across this passage, huh?
One might even say it was supernaturally intentional.
Did it really take a dude with a weird vision 2500 years ago to show me what I need to work on in my own life today? Yeppers. It’s the amazing way Papa God speaks to us in His living, breathing, relevant MO.
You know, that’s not minor; it’s major.
And He does it in your life too, doesn’t He? (If you don’t think so, read your Bible more and see if you don’t get your own ponytail jerked around a bit.)
Yikes. The wrath of God is not something I really want to evoke.
So maybe I’ll pay closer attention to the place I’ve been transported by the mysterious transformational work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. I don’t want to stay here, groveling at the feet of the Jealousy Idol in ancient Israel. I want to go back to my happy place in the Swiss Alps where the air is sweet and Papa God’s mercies are new every morning.
And like Ezekiel, I’ll keep an open mind to hear Papa God speaking to me.
I just hope my ponytail stays rooted to my scalp with all that yanking.
Tell me my friend, what have you heard from Papa God lately? Our community of BFFs would love to hear what’s happening with you.