Home > Miscellaneous > Lament and Mourning Are Delicious

Lament and Mourning Are Delicious

Num num num num num. Yummy for my tummy. This is so good. Like… honey. Want some? Well, you better have a heads up as to what I’m devouring first.

Then I looked and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.

And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezekiel 2:9-3:3)

Yeah, I live in a strange, strange world. I’m not even talking about the eating scrolls part, which is kind of weird, but the fact that the scroll which was full of words of lament and mourning and woe to be prophesied to the Israelites tasted so delicious. That doesn’t seem normal. It’s way different than what I would expect. I would anticipate that sorrowful words would taste bitter and dry and would be hard to swallow. But these tasted so sweet and good, like honey. Considering their content, the sweetness is ridiculous. Here’s an appetizer.

“Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says; I myself am against you, Jerusalem, and I will inflict punishment on you in the sight of the nations. Because of all your detestable idols, I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again. Therefore I your midst fathers will eat their children, and children will eat their fathers. I will do to you what I have never do again. Therefore in your midst fathers will eat their children and children will eat their fathers. I will inflict punishment on you and I will scatter all your survivors to the wind (Ezekiel 5:8-10).

How’s that taste? This YHWH character does things a little different. When he speaks words of love and blessing and joy, they are sweet like honey. When he speaks words of lament and mourning and woe they are sweet like honey, because God’s words are always good. This God is Love. When He removes his hand of blessing and protection and allows hell to come upon Israel it might be out of a just and fierce anger, but it is not out of His hate. YHWH’s ultimate pursuit is one of love. He later says that His actions would drive Israel to realize how much they had grieved his heart, that he will be with them in exile, and promises a redemptive return to the Land of the Promise.

There’s a good, long term purpose in the sorrow and terror of the moment. The message of wrath is sweet as honey. The epic discipline of YHWH is good and loving. Argh.

I’m sort of uncomfortable with this ladies and gents. Sometimes. Not always, but sometimes. I don’t always conceive of God’s goodness and love as including His wrath, discipline, and our lament. But if God loves me and us and the Israelites and sees it fit to speak prophetic words of upcoming wrath, then I have to believe that it’s for the best. And I do, often, but not always. May my God help me see all of His actions as full of love and may I praise Him for all He allows and causes in my life, knowing that in His heart is a desire for my best and that I might turn my face toward Him and keep it there.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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