Ezekiel 24:18
“So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded.”

It is very common for tragedy to become an excuse to misbehave. We complain, doubt, or even sin, believing we are justified in doing so because of the difficulties we are enduring. Perhaps it would do us good to examine the actions of Ezekiel, when he faced the greatest trial of his life.

Ezekiel was no stranger to hardship. Years before the events of chapter twenty-four, he was taken captive by Babylonian forces and led as a prisoner of war from his home to a distant land. Living in what amounted to a refugee camp, Ezekiel became a prophet to a group of people who refused to listen to his message. God told him the only way he would be successful was to be more stubborn for the cause of God, than the people were for their sins. During his years of ministry, he experienced ridicule, sleeplessness, rejection, and hunger, but the trial he was about to face was more difficult than all of this things combined. Ezekiel’s wife would die suddenly.

We know how hard this was for him, because after all the years of marriage, she is described as, “The desire of your eyes.” What a beautiful picture of the relationship between the prophet and his bride. It is likely they had walked hand-in-hand through whatever life threw at them, until suddenly, almost without warning, she was taken from him. Rather than blaming God or even stumbling in his walk, we read,

“So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded.”

In the midst of the most difficult time in life, Ezekiel chose to remain obedient to the Lord. I think this is possible because of the years he spent faithfully sowing into his relationship with God. As a result, he had something to draw from when his world collapsed.

We cannot avoid the difficulties of life. The longer we live, the more likely we are to be struck by them. We can, however, control how we respond to them. We can either allow hardship to bring us to the Lord, or to put a wedge in our relationship with Him.

Choose to allow the difficulties to bring you closer into the presence of God and see His faithfulness.

Pastor Jim


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