And when I passed by you, and saw you weltering in your blood, I said to you in your blood, “Live….” Ezekiel 16:6
If this is the Word of God the prophet was to feed on until his stomach was full, we feel that ours might positively turn. Yet, fascinated with crime-themed shows, we bravely turn on the TV. The camera wastes no time luring the viewer to a ghastly crime scene where “weltering in blood” is graphically displayed. Watch for the grisly close-ups when the medical examiner documents the evidence that made for the victim’s bloodbath.
If such “weltering in blood” is not our recreational cup of tea, we can picture a happy pig weltering in the mud. Unhappily for us, when the lexicon is on a roll it refuses to wallow in sanitized pleasantries. Unsparingly, it mentions “to be deeply or completely involved – to welter in sin.” Might this be the Word of God any sinner needs to “wallow” in until he craves – or exults in – the cleansing bloodbath of Christ’s atonement? A committed Christian is expected to be a disciplined Bible student, while a consecrated one might be an outright delighted partaker of God’s Word. Would the former “dig” Proverbs 3:5 and the latter “dig out” 3:8? No doubt, every true Christian longs to trust in the Lord with all his heart and to grasp to some degree of faith that “it will be healing to [his] flesh and refreshment to [his] bones.” Trust the one who happily wallows in word origins to narrow this down medically and linguistically to, “It will be healing to your navel.” (Part 1 of 2)
Comment: The ancient Greeks stared at their belly buttons to meditate, but today we’d link navel-gazing with self-obsession. Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon in 597 and prophesied there for 22 years, both before and after the fall of Jerusalem in 587. At the very hour when the temple was destroyed, his beloved wife dropped dead and her prophet husband was forbidden to express his grief. God knew the Jews would be devastated at the news from home, but wasn’t fooled by their loud wailing. Through Ezekiel’s writing He signaled His “obsession” over their sin that had brought on His judgements. His compassionate God made the widower eat His Word for His own spiritual comfort food, but Israel was forced to CHEW on it to the point of genuine repentance validated by actions. It would prove to be a tough gig! Ezekiel was primed, so to speak, by breathtaking visions of God’s glory that are referenced in the Book of Revelation. Chapter 2 tells of his call and commission with the caveat, “But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.” Read chapter 33 and judge for yourself: “But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens… speak to one another saying, ‘Come now, and hear what the message is from the LORD.’ And they come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people, and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain.” To perfect the gross insult, “…you are to them as a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice…” (33:30-32).