How did our marriage ever manage to survive the angst of that ugly learning experience, a situation that was traumatic for both the teacher (aka, my husband), and for the student (aka, me). So what was the daunting task facing this newly-married young couple? As part of a cost-reducing, budget-enhancing plan, my husband thought it would be beneficial to purchase a car with manual, stick-shift transmission; they were cheaper to purchase, easier on the budget. ‘I can teach you, honey, nothing to it.’ Well, that theory was shot through fairly quickly, as my sweet hubby found himself burdened with a sobbing wife whose lead foot just couldn’t get the hang of it. That slow release of the clutch was difficult for me to master, finding that perfect engagement point, letting up on that pedal slowly enough to shift the gear, but not stall the car. Gradually, not a quick, jerking motion, so as not to by noticed or felt. I do EVERYTHING quickly, ‘gradually‘ was definitely NOT in my repertoire. But due wholly to my husband’s patience, I ultimately mastered that gradual-release process, without destroying the car or dissolving our marriage.
When something occurs gradually, it does tend to go unnoticed, smoothly. But not all ‘gradually‘ is good, as we will see in today’s lesson from Ezekiel. The veil is pulled back on a moment in Israel’s history when God’s people were in a constant state of rebellion against and resistance to His Word and His messengers. As a result of this rampant disobedience, an unseen, gradual process was occurring in Jerusalem, the ‘glory‘ was departing. When the temple was completed years prior, “the glory of the LORD had filled the house” dwelling in the Holy of Holies, where the “cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark.” But in Ezekiel’s account, we read that “the glory of the LORD was gone up from the cherub,” gone up from that sacred Mercy Seat, only to find in the next chapter that the glory of the Lord now “stood over the threshold of the house.” Not long after, we tragically read that His glory was removed from the Temple entirely and “stood upon the mountain which is on the east of the city,” before disappearing completely. From the Holy of Holies, to the threshold of the Temple, to the Mount of Olives, and then His sweet presence was gone, gradually.
In the final book of God’s revelation, we first find Jesus standing “in the midst of the seven candlesticks (churches),” but within a few short verses, He is gradually outed, left standing outside, knocking at the door, pleading for someone to “hear my voice, and open the door.” We all have busy lives, jammed schedules, and burdensome time commitments, but in that blur of activity, don’t allow the presence and glory of God to slip gradually out of your day, your week, or your life. Keep Him as the central focus, your mind stayed on Him, and beware of that gradual process that allows His glory to fade.
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Lord, help me always to be aware when I am letting things slip, gradually. Keep my focus on You and Your glory, even during the busiest moments of my day. Help my mind to be stayed on You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1723-6513bc03bcb83' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1723&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1723-6513bc03bcb83' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1723-6513bc03bcb83' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>