AT our mid-week Bible studies in Porkellis, a group of us have been studying 'Ezekiel the Visionary'. It is all about an Old Testament prophet whom God used, over a lengthy period of time, to bring His Word to the people of Israel and Judah. The fascinating thing about Ezekiel is that God spoke to him through visions, causing him to enact the meaning of some of the visions he received, declaring: "This is what the Sovereign Lord says".
The Book of Ezekiel is intriguing. It describes the wickedness of God's people vividly. How they turned away from God and, pleasing themselves, committed terrible atrocities. God declares, through the prophet Ezekiel, the punishment they will receive for such wickedness. Amazingly, what Ezekiel declares in the name of "the Sovereign Lord" comes to pass time and again!
Devastation strikes, as Ezekiel said it would. The two nations experience the horrors of war and its aftermath. Captivity beckons for some; others die by the sword; still others die from starvation; for some cannibalism was a means of survival. Their homeland becomes desolate.
In 2014, the Prime Minister intends for our nation to commemorate the centenary of the Great War, during which an estimated ten million lost their lives in battle. Money will be set aside so that children in all secondary schools will be able to visit the war graves on the continent, enabling them to understand more fully the horrors of war and the sheer numbers of people killed.
On the world scene, one constantly hears of unrest, uprisings and bloodshed, particularly in the Middle East. Syria is being devastated, the country ravaged by war, atrocities abound; surrounding countries are in danger of being drawn into the conflict. The United Nations seem powerless to help.
On Remembrance Day most people will stand in silence, at the appropriate time, to remember those who laid down their lives in their fight fo freedom, for which we are thankful.
However, I wonder how many will give thanks to God for the gift of life in Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for the sins of the world, including yours and mine. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John iii,16). Isn't it time we turned back to Him?