1 Peter 1:13-2:10
Ezekiel has been a struggle for me. It's hard to read without hearing the voices of the world in the back of my head. It all grates against the desires to be our own person, live our own lives, decide for ourselves who we will be, find ourselves, live happily on our own terms, etc. All this talk of sacrifices and rules sounds like something I could easily make fun of, something maybe April Ludgate would monologue about.
I fear I could be accused of being closed-minded, that while I'm going about this project I'm not being honest enough if I go into it already convinced I need to believe everything the Bible says. That maybe the world would respect reading the Bible in a year more if I was doing it with a blank slate, undecided, "what do I believe?" But I'm not undecided. I am convinced. I am convinced of God, His goodness and love and reality and I am convinced that the Bible is an incredible gift from Him and it is His true Word.
And maybe it seems dishonest to come across parts of the Bible that grate against the world's common sense and to search for a way to explain why this doesn't take away from God's goodness and love and reality. Maybe it does seem dishonest. But also, I think we have to do that. Because if we aren't wrestling with the Word of God. If we aren't wrestling with who God is and who He says we are and what it means to live our lives worshiping and seeking to glorify Him..if we aren't wrestling with that, there are so many more difficult things to wrestle with in this world.
If I stop wrestling with God I have to wrestle with explaining evil, death, creation, conflict, life, pain. If I stop wrestling with God and I stop saying "even though this truth doesn't compute with my human heart I believe it to still be true" I will have to deal with countless other weighty inexplicable real things in this world. And I will not be able to explain it, I will not be able to rest from my exhaustive wrestling match, it will be fruitless and I will never find truth. Wrestling is not an option. We're going to wrestle with something or somethings no matter what.
I want to wrestle with Him, the good, loving, and real God.
So here I am going to say something that maybe sounds like a cop out. If you read Ezekiel and you thought it sounded like a ridiculous God who is too strict and asks too much of Old Testament people and is irrelevant so why would they want to listen to Him and therefore why would you want to listen to Him, this may seem like too simple an answer. And maybe it is too simple an answer, I'm not a theologian so there's actually probably more depth to this than I know. But as I read Ezekiel though it grates on the voices of the world in the back of my head I am still convinced God is good, loving and real because I see throughout all the possible April Ludgate monologues GRACE.
God offers grace. He offers a way back to Him even to us all who will never deserve Him. He offers grace.
And maybe you don't want to believe in a God that is too good for us. But I do. Because He wants me, even though He is too good for me. I have been called to a league so far above my own, an other worldly league. I have been invited by the grace of God.
The good, loving, and real grace of God.
1 Peter 2:9-10
"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."