“Separated Yet Not Left…”
BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 13-15
Over and over in the Bible we are taught the idea that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31.8; Joshua 1.5; Hebrews 13.5). Yet we also read in Isaiah 59.1-2, that our “iniquities have made a separation between you and your God”. On the one hand we are taught that God will never leave us, and on the other we are taught that it is possible to be separated from Him. As a Christian, how are we to rationalize these two possible conflicting concepts? In reality, they are not conflicting at all. In fact, they flow together quite nicely; especially when we see what Ezekiel has to say about the subject. In Ezekiel 14, God is appealing to the House of Israel to “… Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the LORD will answer him myself. And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 14:6-8). In this passage, we find how it is possible to be in a situation where God is not near us, but rather separated from us. In the case of the House of Israel, it was because their idolatry had caused them to “separate himself” from God. It is true that God will never leave us nor forsake us, but it is possible for us to separate ourselves from Him. Our sin continues to drive a wedge between us and God, that pushes us farther and farther away from Him. Did you get that? Think of it this way; God is the island and we are in the boat. If the boat is tied to the pier on the island we are safe, but when we untie and push away from the pier, we separate ourselves from the island. The island has not moved, we did. Such is the case with God. He will never leave us. God will always be a stable force in our lives, yet our sins will cause ourselves to be separated from Him. I pray that when we do separate ourselves that we quickly come to our senses and bring ourselves back to Him.