Strength to Shed Blood

Today's devotion from Ezekiel 22. As you begin to read the interaction recorded in chapter 22, you will notice that God asks Ezekiel if he will pass judgment. Assuming a negative reply, we read on to see that God decrees what the prophet is to explain to them as the reasoning for judgment. We read that God identifies Jerusalem as a city that sheds blood. Sure, there is idolatry, but it is the concept of shedding blood that is leading to their coming calamity.

Verse 6 seems to begin a section that further defines what is meant by shedding blood as God states, "Look, every prince of Israel whiten you has used his strength to shed blood." (Ezekiel 22:6, CSB) This statement coupled with the verses that follow are powerful and illuminating.

You see, we might be tempted simply to think of Jerusalem's shedding of blood as violence. Maybe we liken it to the all too common violence in Chicago, but on a corrupt institutional level? Yet, the explanation that flows doesn't necessarily indicate that as much as an institutional acceptance of injustice within interpersonal relationships.

Read it again. He is speaking of more than the worst cases of violence. Disrespect in the home, prejudice against the immigrant, the oppression of orphans and widows, these are the topics God addresses even before pointing to religious disobedience. I know this is only one selection, but it could give the strong impression that it is not possible to have a right relationship with God when those interpersonal relationships are so wrong.

Those who have power (princes of Israel) are expected to use their means to assist others, not disenfranchise them.

You and I may not be princes, but it is in our power, by the grace of God, to help others, even if only in small ways. As you contemplate this, take the time to ask God to give you a nudge when there is someone who you can help, not just for their sakes, but for your own. It is a great way to use the resources entrusted to you by God in a way that will bring Him glory.