Return to Kebar River – Tel Aviv

archaeologyAnd he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they listen or fail to listen.”   Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the Lord rose from the place where it was standing.  It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days—deeply distressed.   At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.   “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”   The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the Lord was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. – Ezekiel 3:10-23

The emotional detail in this passage is really interesting. There are also some odd and confusing details in Ezekiel’s vision. Ezekiel has been transported by the strange vehicles described previously, which were in some way a manifestation of God’s spirit. Ezekiel is not really going with a joyful heart. He is going with “bitterness and anger”. I get the sense he is saying to God “why me”.

God is sending Ezekiel to a settlement in Babylon along the Kebar (Chebar) River called “Tel Aviv”, which apparently means mound (Tel) of the Spring (Aviv).  As I investigated this name a little further I learned that the term Tel can also have a deeper meaning.  It was used to describe archaeological “mounds” where many layers of settlement have coexisted and co-mingled.  A built-up mound of the remains of a culture or people.

I think it is interesting that the exiles are in a settlement which loosely translates “a pile of remains of the spring”.  This is in fact what this people is at the moment they are disconnected from God, the spring of living water, in a foreign land.  They have all their traditions and rituals piled around them, but many have lost their meaning.  Perhaps this is why Ezekiel finds such a dejected and depressed people and why he is “deeply distressed” to spend a week with them talking about God.  They are not a receptive audience.

God warned Ezekiel of the reception he would receive, but did not let him off his responsibility to warn them about their “evil ways”.  He was to do this “whether they listen or fail to listen”.  God is calling on Ezekiel to tell the exiles they are sinning against God – never an easy conversation.  God makes a deal with Ezekiel, if he faithfully shares the message God is sending him to deliver all will be well with Ezekiel — regardless of how this message is received.

In many ways this is a hard teaching as it seems to be calling on Ezekiel to do something that American culture is very averse to doing – naming and calling out the sin in someone else’s life.  Of course Ezekiel was specifically called to do this in a rather dramatic way, so perhaps that lets us off heading out to the streets with signs and tracts to confront “sinners”.

So what is the take away message here?  I certainly do not think it is as simple as go tell people lost in sin that they will burn in hell. Ezekiel went to live with the people in Tel Aviv for a seven days while he was sharing his message of judgement.  Maybe if we are to hope to share a hard message with people it requires us to become, at least for a season, a part of their community so we can earn the right to have hard conversations about how a person is living their life.  My sense is that Ezekiel will be called up on to do this again in the future so perhaps we will learn more about this complex process.

Prayer: God You sometimes call us to share hard messages with others.  Help us to invest the time getting to know those who you have called on us to share so that Your message can be heard.

Posted in Christian Community, Conflict, Covenant, Ezekiel, Faith, Free Will, Obedience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheels and Rushing Waters

contact-Hokaido-wormhole-device

Wormhole device from the movie “Contact”

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.   When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.   Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.   Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord . When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking. – Ezekiel 1:15-28

I have trans-located across the country over the last several days so I have had several days to pray and chew on this passage. I am not sure I understand it any better than the first time I read it.  This passage continues the description of Ezekiel’s first vision.  This part of the description makes it clear that the four-faced creatures are not the presence of God, but merely accompany God’s presence.

The descriptions here are as perplexing as the beginning of the vision I reflected on July 22nd.  The addition here is what sounds like something mechanical or at least very non-animal like — the rotating wheels that accompany the four-faced creatures.  As I have read and reread this passage I find myself reading it from two very different perspectives: 1) as a scientist trying to put these creatures and objects into a logical context; and 2) as a follower of Christ trying to understand the spiritual symbolism that Ezekiel is describing that defies, and perhaps transcends, natural physical laws.  Unifying these two very different perspectives was part of the motivation for starting this blog.  Perhaps by reflecting on these two very different perspectives and postures separately it will become more clear to what extent they are compatible or complimentary.

First the scientific point of view.  The four-faced creatures are something outside my experience and outside the realm of most observable science.  The closest thing I can think of would be a genetic mutation or perhaps a robotic device designed to look like a four-faced humanoid creature.  It is interesting that the author seems to go to some effort to make it clear that the descriptions here are the way things appeared.  This implies that the author may intend them to be understood metaphorically or perhaps metaphysically.  More on this to follow.

Each crLarge_Topaz_Gemstoneseature was accompanied by a “wheel”.  Each wheel was identical and sparkled like topaz.  Topaz is a silicate mineral with aluminium and fluorine (Al2SiO4(F,OH)2).  It is typically honey- or amber-colored, but it can be almost any color.  To be honest the the description of the wheels sparkling like tdownloadopaz sounds like the lights on many of the Hollywood depictions of spacecraft.  The form of the wheels was a “wheel intersecting a wheel”.  Two objects immediately came  to my mind when I read this: 1) the worm-hole device in the movie “Contact”; and 2) a gyroscope.

The wheels seem to move with the creatures in one of four directions, perhaps the four directions of the compass or the axes on a gyroscope?  The wheels did not change direction as the creatures moved.  This sounds very much like the way a gyroscope behaves and functions as I understand them.  The rims of the wheels were full of “eyes” perhaps another allusion to lights scattered around the rim?  The description then get more confusing.  The “spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels”.  I have not idea what this means.  It sounds almost as if the wheels were in some sense projecting a virtual presence like an avatar, but I will not pretend to understand this reference from a physical perspective.

Above the creatures and the wheels was a “vault”.  The vault was also “sparkling like crystal” which implies to me lighting of some sort emanating from something larger than the creatures and the wheels.  The creatures had wings that were moving.  The wings made  a sound “like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army”.  This sounds to me very much like the loud sound a propulsion device for a space vessel might make, at least the way Hollywood has depicted them.  In the vault is a what looks like a throne the color of lapis Lazuli.  This is an interesting detail from a geologist’s perspective.  Lapis Lazuli looks to me like a night sky full of stars or perhaps a stormy sky mixed with clouds and sun.  It definitely has an other-worldly appearance.

Above the throne was something that had a figure that looked like a man.  This “man” from his waist up “looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him”.  The light around this “man” was like a rainbow, emanating from no one location and filling the space around him.  Then Ezekiel reveals that this “man” is “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord”.  So it is a manifestation of God on earth, or at least in the vision of Ezekiel.  Ezekiel responds as I think most would — he “fell facedown” and listened.  So that is my take on this vision from a scientific and purely logical perspective.  Now lets me come at it from a metaphorical and spiritual perspective.

So the creatures with four faces would seem to suggest spiritual beings with different natures.  This is consistent with my understanding of God’s complex “nature” that allows Him to be both the Lion and the Lamb at the same time.  The meaning of the intersecting wheels from a spiritual perspective is less clear.  Perhaps these could symbolize planets and the their orbits around the sun?  I do not know.  If one were to go with that idea then the creatures would be a bit like the planetary guardians described by C. S. Lewis in his science fiction story “Out of a Silent Planet”.  In this book the main character, Ransom, is taken to Mars and discovers that a spiritual being called “Oyarsa” is the guardian spirit of Malacandra (the planet Mars).  These guardians would be similar to what many think of as angels.  This is the closest thing I can think of to what is being described here with the creatures and the wheels.

Clearly the creatures and the wheels are subject to something “above” them which is different.  This “Man” resides in a vault and is “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord”.  I take this to mean the God that rules all angels and humans.  This awe-inspiring view of God makes Him seem huge and unapproachable.  I am thankful that God chose to extend His arm so that we could know Him in a different way — a more personal way.  What is amazing to think about is that the same unquenchable fire that Ezekiel sees here became flesh and dwelt among us.  No wonder so many people were drawn to Him and some feared Him.

Phew that was hard — class IV rapids for sure.  I am sure as I continue my float through Ezekiel I will encounter other rapids that will be equally challenging, but all this whitewater helps me to learn about the River.

Prayer: God this vision is both confusing and amazing.  Help us to approach You with the same wonder and awe that Ezekiel experienced.

Posted in Angels, Ezekiel, Faith, God's Love for Us, Heaven, Miracles, Obedience, Prophecy, The Nature of God, The Spiritual Realm | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Kebar River

Saddams summer palaceIn my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.   On the fifth of the month—it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin— the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the Lord was on him.   I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. – Ezekiel 1:1-9

This passage marks my entry into the book of Ezekiel.  I took the day yesterday to “eddy out” and learn about the book of Ezekiel and, to be honest, take a break after the book of Lamentations.  Although there were a few hidden wells in Lamentations it felt a bit like attending an awkward funeral for someone you did not know well.  The people seemed genuinely sad, but did not seem to know what they were sad about.

I have never spent much time reading Ezekiel so I am looking forward to floating this stretch of water.  I have look into the history and background of Ezekiel and he was a very interesting character.  He was young, apparently around 30 years old, and he lived with the other exiles in Babylon in a Jewish colony on the banks of the Kebar (Chebar) River.  I did a little research to try to determine where this site was geographically and ironically it may have been in the general region of Saddam Hussein’s summer palace in present day Iraq.

The prophecies of Ezekiel were apparently given to a dejected group of exiles in Babylon living in what was essentially an internment camp.  They seem to be coexisting with the Babylonians, the very people who destroyed their temple and the sacred City of David.  I can understand why the people were sad and feeling abandoned by God.  This is a desperate and depressing place for the people of Israel.

This passage contains Ezekiel’s first vision and prophecy — “the Hand of the Lord was upon him”.  Ezekiel sees visions of God.  It is not clear if these visions are tangible to Ezekiel or more like dreams, but they sound like tangible scenes that God is showing Ezekiel like a newsreel or movie.  Interestingly, the description of the storm reminds me of the scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the mother ship arrive588b52c960c4a299adb9e22ffe9d2b15s, “I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal…”.  I am not sure if Steven Spielberg was channeling this passage but reads like a script for the effect he produced.

The inference is that the arrival of the cloud is in some sense the arrival of God’s presence, or at least some aspect or appearance of His presence.  The four living creatures that arrive in the cloud are decidedly odd.  They have human form, but they have four faces and four wings.  Tezekiel_saw_the_wheeeeel_2_0_by_warlord_of_noodles-d16e3awhey have straight legs and feet like a calf.  They seem to have an almost metallic look as they are described to have “gleamed like burnished bronze”.  This passage is “funny water” to be sure.

I am hoping as I traverse this stretch of water that God will give me insights and help me “choose a line” to traverse the whitewater that I anticipate will be found here in Ezekiel.

Prayer: God give me understanding and insights into the meaning of these messages to Ezekiel and how they relate to those who are following You now.

 

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Buying Water to Drink

DSCN6839Remember, Lord , what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace.   Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners.   We have become fatherless, our mothers are widows.   We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price.   Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest.   We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread.   Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment.   Slaves rule over us, and there is no one to free us from their hands. -Lamentations 5:1-8

This is the last water-related passage in the book of Lamentations.  I confess I approached Lamentations with low expectations about finding “hidden wells“, but once again I have been surprised.  This passage in particular contains some very deep water to be sure.

The passage begins with a pleading of sorts about the situation that the people find themselves in at this point in their history.  The people see themselves as having become “fatherless”.  I thought this was an interesting way to view their predicament.  From their perspective it was God who did the leaving and from God’s perspective is was the people of Israel that did a slow fade away from Him. They moved not Him.

The end result of this estrangement is the the people feel as if they have to “buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price”.  The conclusion the people have reached is that they must fend for themselves.  They are unwilling or unable to depend on God for their “water”.  I think the meaning of the term water here is much more than H2O.  The people are alluding to a conscious decision to depend on themselves to feed their souls and navigate their lives.  They are rejecting the Living Water that God has offered them.

The act of buying water implies that the people do not really trust God to provide their water supply.  As I have chewed on this, and reflected on my experience in countries like Haiti and Ghana where people often buy water, it occurs to me that there are three main reasons people purchases water 1) the supply that they have access to is contaminated; 2) the amount of water available is not sufficient to meet their needs; and 3) They are too far from the source to effectively access water.  If we think of these reasons to purchase water in a metaphorical spiritual sense it reveals some interesting insights into the posture and perspective of the people at this time and place their history.

Water contamination occurs when human or animal waste gets into the water supply.  In  a spiritual sense this is what the people of Israel have allowed to happen to their souls.  They have become contaminated with foreign ideas and perspectives.  To put it rather bluntly, the Living Water provided by God has been mixed with earthly excrement.

The people also seem to feel that the amount of “water” being provided by God is not sufficient.  They feel the need to add traditions and rules to make themselves feel close to God — like barnacles encrusting and anchor.  Their souls are separated from God, their true water source.  What appear to harmless human traditions to bring them closer to God actually have the opposite effect.

The last reason to buy water is that the water supply is too distant to provide the water needed.  This remoteness from the “spring” is because to the people have not “planted themselves” near the One River (God).  Their roots are not accessing the kind of water they need to remain close to God.

Prayer: God You are our water supply.  Help us to draw deeply from the water you provide a trust that what You provide will be sufficient.

Posted in Covenant, Discernment, Following God, God's Love for Us, Lamentations, Obedience, Trusting God | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

From the Depths of the Pit

jeremiah_pitThose who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird.   They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me;   the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish.   I called on your name, Lord , from the depths of the pit.   You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”   You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”   You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life.    Lord , you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause!   You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me.    Lord , you have heard their insults, all their plots against me—   what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.   Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs.   Pay them back what they deserve, Lord , for what their hands have done.   Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them!   Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord. – Lamentations 3:52-66

This passage hearkens back to the book of Jeremiah where Jeremiah is described being placed in a muddy cistern to die by people opposed to his message.  This happens with the approval of the leaders of the day, specifically King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 38:1-13).   Back in Jeremiah I reflected on the similarities between Jeremiah’s “lowering” and Jesus’ coming to earth.  This passage contains some of the same imagery and meaning, but it also seems to add a new layer or two about what our role as followers of these “lowered leaders” should be.

The author of this lament (perhaps Jeremiah) calls out from the “depths of the pit”.  In the book of Jeremiah it seemed like “the pit” was a metaphorical reference to our earthly existence. I am not saying that all of life here on earth is like a muddy pit from a physical perspective, but from a spiritual perspective it is a place where our souls can become mired in mud.

I really like God’s response to the call for help from the “pit”.  He “came near” when the author called, and I can testify that God still does this.  God shows up when we confidently call on His name.  He comes near to us.  So it seems the key is to responding to calamity and adversity here in the “pit” is to call out to God rather than cursing.  God “takes up our case” and redeems the lives of those who trust and call on Him.  What does it look like to call out to God and what does it mean to Redeem someone’s life?

It strikes me that calling out to God is more of a posture than a specific action.  We call out to God with our souls rather than our voices.  God came to redeem us with His very soul in the form of a Man named Jesus.  Our response from “the pit” should be one of continual conversation and commitment even when we feel like we are still stuck in the mud.

Prayer: Thank You God for rescuing our souls that have become mired in mud here on earth.

 

Posted in Covenant, Discernment, Following God, Free Will, God's Love for Us, Lamentations, Love for the Lost, reconciliation, Redemption, The Spiritual Realm | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

No prayer can get through

DSCN6802Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord .   Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say:   “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.   “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity.   You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.   You have made us scum and refuse among the nations.   “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us.   We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.”   Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed.   My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief,   until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees.   What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city. – Lamentations 3:40-51

In this passage the people seem to get the point of all the suffering and stress that God is allowing them to experience – “let us return to the Lord”.  The whole point of God allowing the consequences of their choices is not to punish them, but rather to prepare them for a journey back to Him.  There is a sense here that the people feel cutoff from God and unable to even plead their case.  They feel as if God has not only abandoned them but He is obscured behind a cloud, unable to hear their prayers.

This has to be a very hopeless place for these people.  There is nothing like feeling like your only hope is lost.  We have the benefit of knowing that the in the end God wins, and all those who choose to follow Him will find Him. The depth of their despair is somewhat amazing…”You have made us scum and refuse among the nations.”  Now I confess I have never felt like scum or refuse, but if cannot feel good.  It seems they had a profound sense of their own worthlessness.

The people of Israel and Judah definitely had trouble remembering where, or from Whom, they should derive their sense of self-worth.  They are not alone in this.  One of the most profound aspects of following Christ for me is the sense of worth that Jesus has for me.  No matter how much garbage and “scum” I bring to the table through my actions and choices.  God believes in us even when we do not believe in ourselves.  There is a great peace and stillness in this simple truth.

The last part of the passage provides some hope the people will at some point “get it” — “My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees.”  There is a sense that God will show up at some future time, which in fact He will in a very dramatic and unexpected way.  The scandalous and reassuring message of the Gospel is that God sees us even when we feel like He has hidden Himself behind a cloud.  Not only does He see us but He has come to rescue us in the form of Person named Jesus.  We have but to accept His presence and He is there with us.

Prayer: God thank You for seeing us and coming to be with even when we feel as if You are hidden behind clouds.

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Headwaters

DSCN6782The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago. He has overthrown you without pity, he has let the enemy gloat over you, he has exalted the horn of your foes.   The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. You walls of Daughter Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest.   Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.   “Look, Lord , and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord? – Lamentations 2:17-20

This passage is full of raw emotion and heartache.  The people are bearing their souls to God in this lament — “the hearts of the people cry out to the Lord”.  “Daughter Zion” is allowing their “tears to flow like a river”.  What does it mean for tears to flow like the flow in a river?  Rivers flow differently depending on their geographic location and the climate that dominates their watershed, i.e. their source of water.  So this metaphor would seem to be saying that the ability of the people to express their heartfelt emotions through tears depends on their location and water source.

In a spiritual sense God wants our “water source” to be HimDSCN6789 and only Him.  Our very souls should be connected to the spring of living water that is God.  He should be the headwaters of our souls.  Interestingly, I recently visited the headwaters of the Missouri River in Montana.  This very historic location was the goal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition back in 1805 as they traversed North America in search of a “northwest passage” to the orient.  Instead of finding a passage to the orient they found instead that the “headwaters” were in fact the merging of three great rivers converging to become one and that the path west was barred by mountains.  They did not find the easy water route to the Pacific Ocean they were seeking.

The people of “Daughter Zion” are also struggling to find their spiritual “headwaters”.  They have been on an “expedition” of sorts to find these spiritual headwaters pretty much since they left the garden of Eden where “A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.”  Their searching and seeking has led them into the desert, across the red sea, and now into bondage and exile.  They must be feeling a bit like Lewis and Clark when they arrive at the “headwaters” and found only what appeared to them to be impassible mountains blocking the path to their destination.  The “passage” or path forward was much more difficult than they had envisioned.  I think the people of Israel are realizing this too.

The people of “Daughter Zion” must have felt like they had come upon “impassible mountains” as their leaders, people, and priests were killed and captured; their temples were sacked; and their God seemed to be looking on and allowing it to happen.  The “headwaters” they were seeking was not the headwaters they found.  The “headwaters” they actually stumbled upon was actually a God who loved them but looked very different than they anticipated, or perhaps desired.  The God they found wants to direct their hearts and souls like a river so that ultimately they can merge with Him.  Along the path to Him their are mountains rather than an easy passage.

Some thousands of years later the people of this region, and many like myself who would follow, encountered another “headwaters” — the merging of three great rivers into a man named Jesus.  Jesus was, is, and will be the confluence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit into the One River that is to be the water source for all.  Even though a huge gap in time, as we experience it, exists between these two events I think they are actually intimately linked. The same “Lion” that seems to be allowing the tearing apart of “Daughter Zion” in this passage will become the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.

Prayer: God you are the only Headwaters that matters and the true source of our souls.  Help us to seek out You as our water source.

 

 

 

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