KEY SCRIPTURE Jeremiah chapters 27-28 & Isaiah 20:1-6
Jeremiah's Yoke & Isaiah's nakedness
What has the Lord burdened you with in your calling?
What if He suddenly asked you to walk naked for the next three years to show your communities and their leaders a specific sign from God?
Or if He asked you to make a wooden cattle yoke and wear it before Australia's Parliament Houses and leaders? Would we see you in the newspapers having followed God's command? Or would you dismiss them through embarrassment?
Our key scriptures show the two major prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah, following God's command both in letter and spirit. Why in spirit? They were on God's side and near to Him. They wanted what He wanted. The essence of the order was in their hearts. Therefore, they could carry out even bizarre and embarrassing instructions after receiving them.
Their obedience was greater than that of angels. They chose the shame and degradation.
Many of us won't even speak to someone about the Lord through the concern of what they might think, yet here we have two prophets obeying the weirdest of responsibilities like robots. These were people God could trust with directives.
God also called Hosea, the prophet, to marry a prostitute and endure her antics and Ezekiel to eat a scroll and lay on his side for 390 days, cooking specific food over a fire of his own manure.
What we might think is difficult in our time bears no resemblance to some biblical callings, which begs some questions for us all. How much do we want the Lord? How earnestly do we desire the mind of Christ? How passionately do we seek to leave all and follow in His footsteps? To lay aside those weights and sins which so easily beset us and run with patience the race set before us? (Heb 12:1)
Our western comforts have stolen much from our spiritual bank accounts, and the Lord gave us those Bible stories to see how distant we are so we can reassess our vision.
We are closer to the last days than yesterday. One day we will awake and know we are in the middle of them. The Lord has asked us to read the signs of the times and prepare ourselves in obedience.
The commitment of these prophets to follow in that same obedience might cause us embarrassment about our own activities and aims. Yet it also guides us to greater eagerness to fulfil the Lord's work.
Psalm 69 prophesied about Christ when it says, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."
The question for us in our current times is, has the zeal for the Lord's house eaten us up? Or are we more concerned about the reproaches—what people think and do to us—than obeying our creator, Saviour and Lord?
Dear Lord, the bible shows many people whose zeal for your will has eaten them up. Please help me follow in those zealous footsteps and prepare me for whatever comes with that.
Photo by Devin Kaselnak