Ezekiel 5 & 6
Ezekiel 5:8 – Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations.
For homeowners in the Southwest, October is usually the month that winter lawn seed is spread. Since we don’t have snow to cover up our yards, we either let the grass die and go brown for a few months, or we make sure that the grass stays green by dedicating an afternoon to lawn care.
So just a few weeks ago, my brother and dad mowed the lawn three times to get the grass cut down as low as possible. That way, when they spread the lawn seed and fertilizer, the seed would have a better chance of taking root and growing into a luscious green carpet. If the lawn wasn’t cut down low, the winter lawn wouldn’t come up.
This reminds me a bit of the pruning that Jesus talks about in John 15. In order for the vine to grow healthy and produce fruit, it has to be cut back.
We read in Ezekiel chapter 5 God instructing the prophet to shave off all of his hair and his beard and to divide it into thirds. One third is to be burned, one third to be cut up, and one third to be tossed into the wind. A small amount was to be reserved and later that portion was to be divided with part of it to be burned and the remaining hairs kept.
These instructions are full of symbolism. The hair represents the Israelites. And because of their disobedience, God has to punish the nation. There would be a small remnant of people who would survive, symbolized by the tiny portion of hair not destroyed.
If God was to have a people unto His own, He needed to get rid of all the evil. He cannot coexist with unholiness. God had to do some major pruning of His people in order that good fruit (spiritually minded people) could grow and thrive.
I’ve experienced a season of pruning a few times in my life, maybe you have too. When God decides that it is time for you to grow, there is usually something in our lives that has to be cut back first. This is hard. But it is necessary in order to become who God has designed us to be.
I realize that we still have a good two months of 2021 left, and traditionally, self reflection takes place towards the end of the calendar year. But now is as good a time as any to examine different areas of your life to see if there is anything that God is telling you to get rid of or to cut back on.
We have read what God plans for those who are disobedient. Let’s experience God not through His wrath, but through His blessings.