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A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

All Contents ©2004-2007 Stuart Dauermann - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ezekiel's Hard Word We All Need to Heed

Masterfully, setting up the treatment on the restoration of Israel, the prophet Ezekiel speaks of the country of Edom, relatives of the Jews and old enemies, who had rejoiced over and abetted the desolations of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians.

“Because you harbored an ancient hatred and handed the people of Israel over to the sword in their time of calamity, the time of their punishment, [you yourselves will be judged/punished]” (Ezekiel 35:5).

This is quite an instructive indictment, not only for Edom, but for me, and for any of us. Even when people in our own lives deserve judgment, when they do the wrong thing or manifest wrong attitudes, it is not therefore right for us to “harbor an ancient hatred”—to bear grudges. Yet this is something I find it exceedingly difficult to deal with because not harboring a grudge leaves me feeling exposed and imperiled. I imagine I am not alone in this dilemma.

I have spiritual work to do—to come to the point where I am so confident of God’s presence with me, in me, around me in the midst of my vulnerability, that I am soothed—that I feel I will be alright. I think all of us need to do that work, to relinquish our own "ancient hatreds," knowing that God will deal with our enemies, and, if we fail to deal with our own stuff and our grudges, will have to deal with us as well.