Choosing Life in a Warming World

When God called Ezekiel to be a prophet, he was not promised success. He wasn’t given an assignment to grow a church or asked to count numbers. God bluntly tells him people are likely to ignore his words.

“O mortal, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me. They and their forefathers have been in revolt against me to this very day, and this generation to which I am sending you is stubborn and obstinate.” Getting people to listen and respond doesn’t seem like the point of Ezekiel’s call. God simply wants him to tell the truth, painful as it might be to hear . . . To speak truth when denial is easier to live with. God continues by saying, “You are to say to them, ‘These are the words of the Lord God,’ and they will know that they have a prophet among them, whether they listen or whether in their rebelliousness they refuse to listen.” Ezekiel 2:3-5 REB

Ezekiel’s world is in trouble. He along with Jerusalem’s royalty, and prominent citizens, have been exiled to Babylon in the year 597 B.C.E. Ezekiel’s task was to speak the truth, when other prophets and priests were giving false assurance.  He was to speak to the denial, false hopes and dreams of an early return to Israel, warning Jerusalem’s war stance was  not leading to a return.  Rather, it would end in the nation’s destruction. Not until 582 B.C.E., when the city of Jerusalem was utterly destroyed, did they believe his words.

Today’s  climate prophets face similar “stubborn and obstinate” people. While we experience the onslaught of climate change, with heat ravaging the land, fires consuming our Western States and floods in places which have never had severe floods before, God weeps for our foolish choices, and our stubborn, obstinate hearts. God weeps for the pain of losses as the world we were given to live in and care for erupts from our bad choices, our resistance to solutions and our unwillingness to heal the planet.

We were warned . . . frequently warned. Warned to change direction . . . we were warned of the danger.   We were warned that heat would be hotter, deluges more frequent, and storms would be more severe. God sent us prophets who spoke truth to us, but wall street profits were more important than the prophetic word.

In a different era and time, Moses called the people of Israel to make a decision, before they entered the land of promise. As I read the words of his challenge, they speak of today’s crisis and time. Moses said, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19

Today, we still have a choice to make. Will we continue the destruction of the planet, or will we make decisions as nations,  and work together to begin the process of healing the earth? Will we choose life, so we and our descendants may live?

2 thoughts on “Choosing Life in a Warming World

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