Obedience

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 Obedience is a major element in the bible. Prophets like other people are supposed to be obedient. Not all prophets in the bible are obedient. This is makes it difficulty to follow   Gods directives. Some of the prophets are obedient. For example, Ezekiel proves to be obedient in following Gods directives. In addition, Ezekiel is able to pay attention to details when following Gods directives. Most of the prophets do not have such   characters. This in turn influences how the prophets follow Gods directives. Being obedient and paying attention makes Ezekiel unique. Obedience refers to quality of being obedient. The term obedience describes the act of   carrying out commands and being activated.


Obedience is different from complicacy which is behavior that is influenced by other people. Obedience also differs from conformity. Conformity is the behavior intended to match that of the majority in the   society. Most people in the society find it difficulty to carry out commands. This makes it difficulty for them to achieve the objects set. In addition, many prophets in the bible are not able to obey. Ezekiel has unique characters from other prophets. For example, Ezekiel is obedient and pays attention to details. The characters make it easy for Ezekiel to carry out God’s orders. This paper analyzes Ezekiels obedience and meticulous attention to details when following Gods orders.


Discussion

 Generally, obedience   refers to the act of carrying out commands and following rules. In   Christianity, obedience   to  Gold  refers   to  guiding   and  submitting   our  conduct   to  the Lords  standards ,  but  not  lour  own  stands. The human obedience   should   be   revealed   to the will of Gold. People   can obey if they   understand   what God is communicating to them (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). Most prophets in the bible find it hard to follow Gods directives. This is because they are not obedient and they do not pay attention to what is said.


Lack of obedience results to divided attention as one does not know whether to carry out the directives or not. For instance, Joshua finds it difficulty to choose to serve the gods of his ancestors or the gods of the Amorites. In Joshua 24:15, God asks Joshua to select who to serve. Joshua  is  allowed to choose to serve  the god of  his ancestress or the gods  of  the Amorites  if  he  finds serving  the Lord undesirable(Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). Obedience and attention play a key role in Ezekiels life.


The book of Ezekiel is a book named after Ezekiel. The book analyzes the visions, prophecies that were proclaimed by Ezekiel   during the first stages of the Babylonian exile (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002).In the book, Ezekiel asks people of Judah not to resist the Babylonian power, but to submit to captivity in obedience to God. In addition, Ezekiel encourages the people of Judah and gives them hope (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). For instance, Ezekiel told the people of  Judah  that the Lord has not abandoned  them .He  further  told  them that  they would  be  relieved from  captivity by God and  will be  ruled  by Messiah.


Ezekiel believed in obedience. He argued that the problems Gods people face   result from disobedience (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). Hence, he encouraged   people to obey the Lord so as to overcome the challenges. He claimed that through obedience the exiled would be reversed (Malcolm, 2010). So, the Israelis had to return to Gold so as to overcome the challenges. Other prophets like Jeremiah did not believe in obedience and they did not agree with Ezekiels idea (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). They argued that the exiles should become part of the Babylonian   culture.


They also argued that the people should pray to King Nebuchadnezzar II, who had defeated them. Further, the prophets argued that people should not listen to other prophets as they were telling lies. Ezekiel agreed with Jeremiah, but   argued that the Jews should keep their religion and culture instead of being absorbed into Babylonian culture (Malcolm, 2010).Though most people see Ezekiel not being obedient, Ezekiel is obedient and always   follows God’s directives. For example, most Christians argue that God demands perfect   obedience to his law so as to be saved and considered upright. They argue that Ezekiel   teaches the opposite.


This is because Ezekiel emphasizes on the need to confess and   repent (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). In  the  book  of Ezekiel, Ezekiel  emphasized  that   the  sins   of  the   fathers   would  not  be   visited   on  to  the   children   and  every  lone   will  be   judged   according   to  his  or  herd   righteousness. In Ezekiel 18:21:22, Ezekioel argues that the wicked should turn from    all the sins they have committed and keep Gods word (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002).


They should do what is lawful and right. Ezekiel finds it easy to follow the Gods word because he pays attention to what God says as shown in the verse above. Ezekiel does not encourage disobedience by telling people to repent, but he encourages people to obey Gods word. God requires   perfect obedience and that is why he encourages people to repent (Wright, 2001).In addition, Ezekiel is  obedient  as  he  supports  punishment of  people who do not  follow Gods  word (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005).Ezekiel shows how God  forgives  people who  repent  their sins.


Ezekiel argues that repentance saves the sinners from death. This is because God forgives those who sin and repent. Hence, Ezekiel obedience enables him to follows Gods word. In  the  book, Ezekiel  is   concerned  with  the  high  rate  of  idolatry   in  the   country(Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005). Ezekiel   equates the idolatry   to sin   of fornication. In addition, Ezekiel identifies   other   sins   like moral   and sexual   corruption and the   defilement   of the Sabbath day. Other sins include   the oppression of the weak in the society   and bribery. Ezekiel encourages people to repent so as to prevent them from   death (Podhoretz , 2002).


Moreover, God used Ezekiels obedience to fulfill his promises. There are three signs   that result from Ezekiels obedience (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). The first sign is the sign of captivity of Jerusalem. During this time Ezekiel was commanded by God to carry out all his belongings in his   house. in Ezekiel 12 :1-6  God  asked  Ezekiel  to  take  his  belonging and live the house among  the  midst  of the rebellious house (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005).God used Ezekiel to help people understand his word.


This is evidenced in verse three. In verse three God instructed Ezekiel to prepare his baggage for exile and also instructed he to go into exile during the day so as to enable them understands. Ezekiel did not resist and he   did as he had been commanded (Machinist, 2003). In Ezekiel 12:7, Ezekiel was asked to dig through the wall of his house   as a sign of the future captivity of the citizens who were remaining together with their   king Zedeikah. Ezekiel did not refuse as it is illustrated by the quotation below I did so, as I had been commanded. By day I brought out my baggage like the baggage of an exile.


Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands; I went out in the dark andthe baggage on my shoulder in their sight in this case Ezekiels obedience   symbolized   how the   prince of   Jerusalem   would leave   Jerusalem (Pierce, Chujck &Sytsedma, Rebecca, 2005).Further, Ezekiels obedience is evidenced in Ezekiel 24:16-18.Ikn Ezekiel 24:16-18, God   takes away Ezekiels wife and asks him not to lament and shed tears. God wanted to test Ezekiels obedience by taking away his wife (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). In this case, God instructed Ezekiel not to mourn when his wife dikes. carried


Ezekiel did not fail to obey the instructions given. He did not mourn. God used Ezekiels obedience to deliver the captives in Israel. For example, Ezekiel’s obedience signified that the captives would loose things that were precious to them and mourn (Machinist, 2003). This would in turn help the captives understand who God is. The main reason God used cruel treatment to Ezekiel is to allow Ezekiel to act as a sign for Gods people. Ezekiel is supposed to refrain from mourning and this would in turn help the people refrain from mourning the destruction of the temple (Heschel, 2001).


Ezekiel’s obedience was also revealed in the sign of siege of Jerusalem. In Ezekiel 4 and 5, Ezekiel was supposed to construct a model of siege of Jerusalem. He would lie on his   left side for 390 days to signify the iniquity of Israel (Syswerda, 2006). In addition, Ezekiel would lie on   his right side for 40 days to signify the inequity of Judah. Moreover, Ezekiel was required to eat food that was defiled by being cooked over animal waste. At first, Ezekiel did not agree to eat the defiled food.


Ezekiel argued that eating the defiled food will violate   his commitment to purity. Then God asked   him to bake   the   bread   over a cow manure, but not   human waste (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). God used Ezekiel’s   obedience to signify the defiled food which Israelis would be forced to eat. Ezekiel paid attention to all the instructions given and did what was required. Ezekiel walked down God’s road alone. Ezekiel was not influenced by any one to make the decisions, but he obeyed what God said (Heschel, 2001).


In Ezekiel  2:3-5, the lord send  Ezekiel to the  people of  Israel  and to  nations  of  rebels   and  people who rebelled against  him to preach his word. This is because the people of Israel had transgressed against the Lord and they were stubborn. The Lord sends Ezekiel   to say to them that he is the lord God. Additionally, God asks Ezekiel to obey so as to allow the prophecy to happen (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). In Ezekiel 37:1, God asked Ezekiel to prophesy to the breast and also prophesy to the son of man.


Also, he was asked to prophesy to the breath. Ezekiel did not hesitate, but he prophesied   immediately and breath came into them and they lived and stood. This is shown by the   following quotation (Heschel, 2001).Also He said to me, Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army(Gowan 1998).


Lastly, the Ezekiel obedience and attention to Gods word allowed him to see the temple (The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002). Ezekiel was able to see the detailed description of the temple. He  was also  able to  see  the  architectural plan  and  the  dimension  of the  temped. In addition, Ezekiel saw the building materials and holly days. Moreover, Ezekiel  saw the  rooms  for priests, ritual practices  and  division of  the  land of  the  Israel  tribe(The Bible Exposition Commentary & Warren, 2002).


Obedience is important as it helps human beings overcome challenges. People should be obedient to the Lord just like Ezekiel obeyed the lord. James Morrison in his article the importance of obedience analyzes the importance of Ezekiel obedience and obedience of other people in overcoming the challenges. Hence, Ezekiel finds it easy to obey Gods standard because he knows what the Lord is communicating to him (Blenkinsopp, 1996).


Conclusion

In conclusion, Ezekiels has unique characters from other prophets. The characters help in following Gods directives. For example, Ezekiel obeys and pays attention to Gods commands. God has used Ezekiel to fulfill his promises to the people. For example, the Lord has used Ezekiel to teach the importance of obedience and repentance. God encourages perfect obedience. In addition, God has used Ezekiel to fulfill his prophesies to his people .For example, God uses Ezekiel to deliver his people from captivity by construction the model of the siege of Jerusalem and  also  eating  defiled food .Ezekiel  obeys God orders. Obedience is an important concept as illustrated by Ezekiel. Obedience helps people follow Gods directives and repentance. In  the modern  society, people are  expected to  be  obedient  so  as  to  see Gods  miracles. For example, Ezekiel saw Gods miracles through obedience and paying attention   to Gods command. Thus, the book Ezekiel teaches the importance of obedience and attention in understanding Gods commands and bringing people near God.

Reference

Blenkinsopp, J. A History of Prophecy in Israel. Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

Gowan, D. Theology of the Prophetic Books: The Death and Resurrection of Israel. Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.

Heschel. The Prophets. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001.

Machinist, P. Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East. Society of Biblical Literature, 2003

Malcolm,Wesley,J.Humble Obedience Leverages Your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: A Compliment to Your Daily Bible Study.AuthorHouse, 2010

The Bible Exposition Commentary,.& Warren W..The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament: The Prophets, Volume 3.David C. Cook, 2002

Pierce,Chujck.D.,&Sytsedma,Rebecca,W.God’s Now Time for Your Life: Enter Into Your Prophetic Destiny.Gospel Light, 2005

Podhoretz, N. The Prophets: Who They Were, What They Are. Free Press, 2002

Wright, C. The Message of Ezekiel: A New Heart and a New Spirit. Intervarsity Press, 2001

Syswerda,Jean .E.The Women’s Devotional Guide to the Bible: A One-Year Plan for Studying, Praying, and Responding to God’s Word.Thomas Nelson Inc, 2006

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