God rightfully and jealously desires to know his people and be known by his people. And he will do everything to ensure that occurs.
Ezekiel is the proof of the previous statement. In fact, one of the recurring statements in this Old Testament book, especially the first half, is, “Then you will know that I am the LORD.” It is a statement of result; one of intention. It is a prominent theme no doubt. Clearly all that Ezekiel was divinely called to portray in his life and proclaim with his lips was aimed at God being known by his people and knowing his people.
What’s so striking about this is that Ezekiel is a book largely focused on judgment. It describes not only God’s discipline of Israel, but also his punishment of other nations. And in almost every case, the phrase “then you will know that I am the LORD” is the closing refrain. In other words, God was bringing his people closer through chastisement.
This is at first counter-intuitive. A tad distasteful. But the more we consider it, the sweeter it grows. And while there is much we could say biblically on this topic, let us first be quick to rejoice that God does not leave his children alone. He is thoroughly committed to the relationship, so much so that he is willing to bring hard things into our life that would drive us away from sin and unto him. Is it any wonder God is the perfect Father, loving his children so much that he will not let anything stand in the way of his divine parenting?
This should move us to think deeply about and look closely at our lives today. And while I’ll be the first to contend that suffering is not always a sign something is wrong, I’ll also be quick to remind us that suffering may very well be just that: a sign from God to come back to him. In light of God’s Word, what is the Holy Spirit saying to you today through your situation?
In both the Old and New Testaments, there are examples of sickness, hardship, and difficulty being used, even ordained, by God for the purpose of turning the attention of his people from spiritual idolatry to spiritual monogamy (Deut. 28, I Cor. 11, 1 John 5). So we shouldn’t be surprised when God actively interrupts our life with discipline. Why? Because God rightfully and jealously desires to know his people and be known by his people. And he will do everything to ensure that occurs.
Rejoice today, my brother or sister! In the good and the bad, your Heavenly Father is actively working to draw you closer so that “you will know that I am the LORD.”