Ezekiel 12:21–28, Jeremiah 32:17–23, Matthew 16:1–4
In the Post-Enlightenment or Scientific Age (depending on how you want to define either or both), evidence has been crucial. It’s not as if we are all that different than the Israelites.
Ezekiel’s words come at a time when there have been many Men of God who, by God’s direction, preached repentance and warned of impending doom. Yet, instead of taking such to heart, the people hardened their hearts away from God. They thought that the so-called Men of God must have been delusional because the doom hasn’t come. This is instead of seeing it as God’s (conveyed) mercy, grace, and forbearance. The lack of doom caused them to think that those that were promising peace were more-likely from God than those preaching doom.
Yet, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were almost (plus or minus a few years) contemporaries. Jeremiah comments on God’s past and present (implied expectation of future) signs and wonders. What different perspectives these 2 Men of God have compared to the people! It is definitely a case of seeing God at work in the world, rather closing one’s eyes to it.
It’s not as if Jesus didn’t have the same issues. When it came to physical signs (the weather), the “great” leaders had no problems interpreting the signs. However, when it came to God acting they were blind!
1) While the world can claim ignorance of God working, we cannot. Where are you seeing God working both miraculously and in the mundane?
2) Signs of significance continue to be an issue. What signs do people demand in the world (i.e., corporations, politics, environmental, people, etc.)?
3) Acts of forbearance are often seen as weakness, rather than love and grace. Why do you think that is? With the results of the demise of Jerusalem, and the exile of the Jews, why do you think God acted that way?