Mountains and Men

And now, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. – Ezekiel 36:1

God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.

He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Master God, only you know that.”

He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!'”

– Ezekiel 37:1-4

God instructs his man of the hour, Ezekiel to prophesy to the mountains. Go speak to the mountains. I find that odd. I can imagine Ezekiel out talking to the mountains. Speaking softly, maybe getting fired up and yelling. Using hand motions. To the mountains. What would that look like? What if someone came by. “What up Zeek?” Zeek: “Um, just talkin’ to the mountains about God.”

Did it make Ezekiel feel like a crazy? What is the purpose of speaking to a mountain. They don’t respond or move or say “thanks” or anything. Just a mountain. But Ezekiel did it. God said to do it and he did.

Cooler than mountains have to be dead bones. Ezekiel’s next assignment was prophesying over some dead bones. Same as the mountains, except that the bones came to life. Check out the whole story, it’s pretty incredible.

But why the assignment of the mountains and then the bones? Why not just get straight to the good stuff?

God says that if we are faithful in the small things, he will trust us with the big things. I think that God knew that if Ezekiel would talk to mounds of dirt, he would do anything. God seems to be a great rewarder of faith and risk and dangerous obedience. He trusted Ezekiel with the small things, now it was showtime.

I always want to fast forward. Let’s get to the big stuff. The stuff where great things happen. The flashy stuff. The stuff that good stories are made of. Let’s just get to that and not worry about the small stuff. Small stuff seems so, well, small.

The thing is, we are formed in the small stuff. We are tested and stretched and wrung out. It is there that we first step into risk, failure, learning, and perseverance. It is where we learn to trust. Maybe it is where our base is set for other experiences.

God, I really desire to do the big stuff, the stuff where you are close and undeniable. The kind of stuff I will tell my grand kids. I’ll tell them how you came through in a big way. How you brought bones to life. But, if all you want me to do is speak to some mountains, I’ll do it. Whatever small thing you ask, I will do. And I will do it not in hopes that the big stuff is coming. I will do it simply because you ask. That will be enough. Mountains or men. No mater which one. You ask, I will do. Period.

[tags]life journal, devotions, obedience, church, God, Jesus, Ezekiel[/tags]

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