Archive for June 21, 2015

In my devotional time right now I am reading what many people call the major prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. These men ministered to the nations of Israel and Judah at one of the most difficult times in their early history, a time when God’s judgement was coming against them. The nation was headed into exile and Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were called upon to call the nation of Israel to repentance with warnings and proclamations. They were scary times, but there was something else that really stood out to me.

God called upon these men, especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel, to make art and to live out object lessons, physical illustrations of things to come. Check out this short passage from Ezekiel 4.

“Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.

ezekiel-lying4 “Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. 5 I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the people of Israel.

6 “After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the people of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year. 7 Turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and with bared arm prophesy against her. 8 I will tie you up with ropes so that you cannot turn from one side to the other until you have finished the days of your siege.

This a form of art, maybe it could be called performance art, but art nonetheless. God is giving a picture in a place where words alone appear to be failing. God is giving a visual image, to try to get through to the people before their impending judgment. This has been really hitting me lately. I have sensed for quite some time that God is on the move in the arts and I wonder if this is part of that move, to speak to a world that has gone dangerously astray and seems to delight in seeing how much farther we can fall in this “generation that calls evil good.” Could it be that part of our call is to call the nations back to God before it’s to late. Could it be more than just making works of beauty? Could God be calling the artists to call the world back to Him and maybe to call out words of warning of what will happen if we don’t?