Wednesday, April 09, 2014

That sweetness again...

So, the reading of Ezekiel is not really progressing all that much.   What I know is that Israel is stubborn and obstinate and not really interested in the Word of the Lord.  Rebellious.  With eyes to see, but do not ... ears to hear, but do not.  Man enmeshed in their flesh, in original sin.  Even knowing this was the case, God still sent Ezekiel to teach them, to warn them, to give them a future and a hope.  After.  After the consequences of their obdurate disobedience came to bear.  After the only way that the Law could be fulfilled came to fruition.

My only real thought is that the imagery of the appearance of a man standing on a chariot driven by four cherubim, flames downward from his loins, light above them, is probably why the imagery of a man riding a donkey into Jerusalem did not quite fit with the idea folk had about the Son of God, the Messiah, the King.

I shall keep reading, though.

My homework for my next catechesis lesson is to read Matthew 3, 4, 16, and 18.  Now, I mixed things up and started with chapter 2, wondering what in the world chapter 2 had to do with repentance.  Then, I checked my assignment again and started reading chapter 3.  Am I weird that I find it ... interesting ... that John the Baptist's food was locusts and honey??

Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth. ~Ezekiel 3:1-3

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! ~Psalm 119:103

O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! ~Psalm 34:8

I did a quick search on the word "honey" in the Bible and came up with 60 references.  Curious, of all of those references, only three come in the New Testament:  one each in Mathew and Mark regarding John the Baptist's food and the other in Revelation, regarding the little book that John was given to eat.  A book that was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his belly.

Were I a poet, I would, at this point, setting myself down to compose an ode to honey.

God sustains His people with honey and with manna, the bread that tasted like honey.  The Word of the Lord is as honey on the tongue.  And many times over, that Word is to be consumed.  Like I said. Curious.

You might think, having had many a sermon on Revelation and all those years of reading evangelical fiction on end times, I might have an inkling of the book.  But it is as foreign to me as is Ezekiel.  Interesting that in both books a written Word from the Lord is given to the prophet to consume.

I really have but two thoughts about Revelation, other than this new-found curiosity about chapter 10 and the little book that tasted like honey:

  • I know a praise song that is straight from Revelation 5. I have taught it here and there and love, love, loved it when I got whole churches to sing it.  It is a song much like the Litany in which the end of the first line overlaps with the beginning to the response line.  Plus, it is a beautiful melody.  Simple.  SIGH.  Would that it were someone would sing it with me still.
  • The most curious part of Revelation, prior to this newfound knowledge about chapter 10, is the fact that it holds a bit that is the reverse of a bit that is in Matthew.  I think of those passages as two sides of the same coin.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. ~Matthew 7:7-8

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. ~Revelation 3:20

With the whole nonsense (which I understand now that it is nonsense) about how Jesus cannot come into your heart unless you invite Him in by praying the Jesus prayer, by asking Him to be your personal savior, I find it curious that Jesus is the one who both knocks and is waiting for the knock.  In one place the opening of the door is passive and the other it is active.  Yet is not the end result, the work if you will, Jesus in both passages?  Jesus gives and Jesus feeds.

I have not a clue what is the pure doctrine regarding either passage. I have just always found it curious that switching of roles with regard to knocking.  And, frankly, the whole hearing of Jesus' voice being the impetus to open the door smacks of receiving the faith to believe that opening the door will result in good things.

To put it bluntly, you cannot "choose" God until He has revealed Himself to you first through the Living Word.  That point was always overlooked in the praise songs and bible studies and Sunday School lessons, and sermons about Revelation 3:20 ... a popular passage in the evangelical world.

I wonder ... are there any differences in Hebrew and/or Greek in all those instances of honey???

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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