OT: Ezekiel 3:16-6:14
Whew! Ezekiel has to do all kinds of horrible things today! He has to lie on his left side for 390 days and on his right side for 40, to make a crazy metaphor involving God's wrath and Jerusalem (4:4-6). And apparently, he will be tied with ropes during this time (8), and yet, he is still supposed to cook his food to eat (9-17). And I see what he is supposed to eat, but does he have a year's supply of it laying in arm's reach? And where is he going to get all the cow excrement? So many questions. Regardless, though, I would not want to be Ezekiel.
Afterward, he has to shave his head and use the three portions of his hair in another metaphor, designed to demonstrate the grim fate of his people.
The rest of today's reading contains prophecies foretelling similar doom, but it was the elaborate metaphors in chapter 4 that got me.
NT: Heb. 4:1-16
There was a lot of talk today about entering God's rest, which was especially compelling to me right now b/c I'm rocking a killer migraine and am dying to go to sleep. But I have got to focus long enough to do this.
I thought verse 2 was interesting: "For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." I appreciate the acknowledgment that everything about the gospel is not totally obvious and logical. There definitely has to be an element of faith involved for it to be of any value. I'm sure that many atheists and agnostics can read the Bible and not find it especially compelling (perhaps Erika can attest to this:)). Like the Hebrew writer states, people here the gospel all the time, and it means nothing to them without combining it with faith.
My favorite verse of this section was verse 12: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even tot dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." I have found this to be so true. The Bible has been more convicting to me than any sermon I've ever heard or book I've ever read. Sermons and books are only convicting to the point that they highlight or emphasize parts of the Bible that I've either unconsciously overlooked or consciously ignored.
Psalm 104: 24-35
A continuation of yesterday's psalm. It continues the theme of praising God by referencing His creation.
Seems to be a metaphor of some kind.