“Behold, the day! Behold, it comes! Your doom has come; the rod has blossomed; pride has budded. Violence has grown up into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, nor their abundance, nor their wealth; neither shall there be preeminence among them. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. His beautiful ornament they used for pride, and they made their abominable images and their detestable things of it. Therefore I make it an unclean thing to them.” Ezekiel 7:10-11, 19-20
I recently discovered something dear to me was broken. I initially felt sick–an irreplaceable decades-old treasure from someone I loved was in pieces. I didn’t even want to look. But as I thought on the ‘travesty’ with an eternal perspective, the freedom started to come, peace took over as I opened my hands. It is only a thing! I will not take this with me! What has given delight in its beauty has served its purpose, and I can rest in that.
God’s strong judgment on Israel through His prophet Ezekiel hits hard on the all-consuming greed and accumulation of man. Amassed wealth of silver and gold, the abundance of things, beautiful adornments, had become their idol– their sustenance and pleasure and identity and cause for boasting without which they were not satisfied. “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:2-5) Misplaced affection had taken over as first love, and a jealous God will have nothing to do with that. Is there any thing I am valuing more than I should?
Good Father, First Love, I am rich only in You. Keep all You entrust to me in proper perspective. Remind me, and keep me reminding myself, these are just things, vehicles for the working out of Your plans for me and for the glory of You. (Revelation 2:4; 3:17; Ephesians 2:10)