Down and Dirty

God's Nature

Ezekiel 4:12 “Eat the food as you would a loaf of barley bread; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel”

This is a very strange account in Ezekiel, where God instructs Ezekiel to bake his bread using human poo for fuel. Now this does seem a bit mean on God’s part, like he is having an off day or something, because he is basically requesting Ezekiel to eat defiled food. But note Ezekiel’s response…

Ezekiel 4:14 “Then I said, “Not so, Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth.”

Bizarrely it appears that Ezekiel’s standards were higher than God’s! God requested him to do something, but Ezekiel refused because it was unclean and defiling. It shows us that God is more concerned about reaching a lost people than maintaining a standard of perfect holiness. It shows that God prioritizes his Kingdom purpose before the cleanliness of our life.

I’m not saying that holiness has no worth…far from it…we should all be attaining to live holy and pleasing lives. But the fact is that God would rather you be imperfect and engaged in his Kingdom purpose than to be perfectly holy and disengaged from the world.

Ezekiel 4:15 “Very well,” he said, “I will let you bake your bread over cow dung instead of human excrement”

The fact is that Jesus came to get his hands dirty, and we should have the same attitude. Jesus came to serve, not to be served. Jesus washed his disciples feet, not smooth western feet that are in socks and shoes all day, but middle-eastern feet that were open to the dirt and the dust, which had likely trodden in excrement at some point! The call to get to our hands dirty is not an excuse to sin. But if our ‘perfect living’ stops us from reaching  a hurting world then we have missed the picture.

Jesus came to get down and dirty.


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