God’s people had been having a bad day at the office – actually, years, weeks, months, days, hours, minutes…You get what I’m saying. The problem? Despite their best efforts, they were unable to keep the laws and decrees that God had given them. What to do?
Well, for the people it was a case that either God had underestimated their ability and set the bar too high or they were doing something wrong because resist as they might, they just kept yielding to temptation – which in this instance was disobedience and failure to God’s law/instruction.
Now, strangely, the solution God brings to the table is a surprise one because it seems the peoples’ failure relates to a lack of God’s presence within them. In other words, their human strength was never going to be enough to refrain from temptation. What they needed was God living within them and this through an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit.
Whichever way for read this passage – that is, as a foretelling of events at Pentecost in which the Holy Spirit falls upon and mobilises the believers OR a temporary infilling ofGod’s Spirit into the people of Ezekiel’s time so they can do God’s work, the point is human strength and ingenuity is not always enough to evade temptation.
Oscar Wilde is famously quoted for saying ‘ I can resist everything but temptation.’ For christians, the same is true, except for one caveat:
‘We can resist everything but temptation (which we are all susceptible to) however, when we wholly rely upon God’s Holy Spirit and his gracious provision to strengthen our otherwise weak resolve, we can experience victory over temptation, albeit one challenge at a time. Hence, why Christian believe that Christ lives within each of us, guiding us towards decision making that will lead us even further into actions to achieve Christ’s glory. And on that positive note, be blessed!