Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests, and to the people of the land. – Jeremiah 1:18
2 Thessalonians 3:3-5
3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
4 We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command.
5 May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.
Scientists are unraveling the mystery of a bug with the rather ominous name of the diabolical ironclad beetle (Phloeodes diabolicus). This variety of ironclad beetle has one of the toughest natural exoskeletons scientists have ever seen. The insect’s armor is so durable that it is almost uncrushable in most cases. It can survive being stomped on or even getting run over by a car.
The Air Force is funding research to develop stronger, tougher, more durable materials. An extreme close-up of the beetle reveals a jigsaw puzzle-like seam where two exoskeletal plates meet on its back. As such, it can bear 39,000 times its own body’s weight without being crushed. To put this in perspective, it is comparable to a 150-pound person surviving the seemingly crushing weight of over 7 million pounds.
Scientists have already created a man-made imitation using fiber-reinforced plastics. They are stronger and more rigid than other aerospace materials currently in use (cbsnews.com/news/ October 21, 2020).
Reflect for a moment. This marvelous and intelligently designed extraordinary structure was conceived in the Father’s mind.
If He can make exceedingly pressure-resistant bugs, can He strengthen the children of the King to endure the seemingly crushing vicissitudes of life?
1 Corinthians 2:3-5
3 I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling.
4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.
5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
REFLECT & PRAY
“When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible man and crushes him” (Alan Redpath).
Father more and more, the dark days in which we live resemble those of the days of Noah. Draw me close to You and make me strong, resistant to being crushed.
Times are tough. However, as children of the King, we do not have to let a bad situation define who we are. The Father can make His children more resilient than the times in which we live.
People are defiantly rebellious against the Father and His truth. This is not unusual, and it has occurred many times in human history. The first historical record of large numbers of people hardening their hearts against the Father was in the days of Noah.
Genesis 6:5 The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.
It is no coincidence that the Lord Jesus Christ observed that as it was in the days of Noah, so it would be when He returned to set up His kingdom.
26 And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
27 they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Sadly, people stubbornly choose to harden their hearts. How tragic this is true even of children of the King.
11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.
12 They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
When stubborn people refuse to listen and harden their hearts like flint, the Father counters. He sought out a man whom he would harden even more than the obstinate, rebellious nation of Israel. Ezekiel was such a man. Ezekiel would be able to resist and stand up against them. The Hebrew name Ezekiel means hardened by God.
Father assures Ezekiel that he will be fully equipped to meet and overcome the obstinate people of Israel. He strengthens Ezekiel and makes him harder than flint. He will have the physical, spiritual, and emotional resources required to meet the challenge of his assignment. It is already a done deal.
Ezekiel 3:9 I have made your forehead harder than flint – like diamond! So don’t be
afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels.
The Father strengthened Ezekiel and made him tough, resilient, willing, and able to take on all opposition. He hardened the forehead of Ezekiel so that it was he would be as hard as the hardest rock. The Hebrew word translated as flint or diamond is tsor. Tsor refers to a hard pebble or flint, perhaps obsidian.
The word picture of a forehead expresses determination or defiance. Ezekiel’s determination would not buckle when he confronts the rebellious house of Israel. Pause for a moment and visualize him challenging the opposition. Can you picture this God-prepared, hard, resistant profit standing up and saying, “Give me your best shot?” And then following up with, “Is that all you got?”
Ezekiel has all of the divine protection required to complete his assignment. He is tough-minded and laser-focused yet tenderhearted toward the Father.
Ezekiel’s assignment is to confront the rebellious nation of Israel. He has been appointed as a watchman.
Ezekiel 3:17 Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately.
Repentance and transformation are by no means guaranteed. The only certainty is that Father’s Words will be heard. In many ways, it is a thankless job.
Ezekiel 2:5 Whether they listen or refuse to listen – for remember, they are rebels – at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it” (George Orwell).
© Dr. H 2023