Summary: Part 2 of a three part series. Part 1 The Placing of the Prophet, Part 2 The Predicament of the People, Part 3 The Power of Proclaiming the Word.
God Versus The Zombies pt. 2
Last week we began a series of messages on God vs. the zombies from Ezekiel 37 and said that we would divide it into 3 messages:
The Placing of the Prophet
The Predicament of the People
The Power of Proclaiming the Word
Today we will be talking about the Predicament of the People
We mentioned that zombies were walking dead, and that there are a lot of people who are living on the outside but dead on the inside. We talked about how wonderful it is that we serve an awesome God who goes to the graveyards of life and brings the dead back to life!
We talked about how God sometimes puts us in places where we are outnumbered and where we can feel very alone in our Christian walk.
God puts us there for several reasons:
1. First so that we can see God's compassion for hurting people.
2. Second so we can make a connection with their suffering
Php 2:4 do not [merely] look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Php 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
3. Third so we can be a catalyst for change
Ezekiel 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.
The Predicament of the People
The Process of Becoming a Zombie
Illustrated in the life of Jacob
Ge 47:7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
Ge 47:8 And Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How many years have you lived?"
Ge 47:9 So Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning."
Jacob should have been shouting for joy. His dead son is alive!
Lu 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry:
Lu 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Listen to how he describes his life:
Few and unpleasant, and they are pretty much over. He lived another 17 years, gaining property and a larger family.
Jacob had become a very negative person. He was a zombie. A whited selpuchre, full of dead men's bones.
How do people become Zombies in life?
1. Like Jacob they suffer from self inflicted wounds.
Jacob suffered tremendously from self inflicted wounds.
Wounds of lying to his father. The way you treat your parents may come back to haunt you, and it may haunt you when you can do very little about it. They have passed on, but memory remains. Self inflicted wounds are naggers. They will nip at your feet. They will bite at your heels. They will bark at you in the corridors of your mind. They will taunt, and they will hurt. The most hurtful words you will ever hear, are the hurtful words you say to yourself, and sometimes you deserve them.
Wounds of cheating his brother. He cheated him out of his inheritance. He lived in fear of his brother for the next 20 years. He had a wound that nagged him for 20 years.
Wounds of failing to live a proper example before his children. Put away your household idols. Said after Dinah was raped and the men of Shechem killed. Apparently Jacob had allowed his children to have idols!! Perhaps when his sons committed the murder of the men of Shechem, his mind taunted him that it was his own fault because he failed them as a father. Every parent has failed their children in some way. There are no perfect parents, but when they fail because of our shortcomings we suffer from self inflicted wounds.
Self inflicted wounds hurt us in two ways, the direct results, and the law of sowing and reaping.