The Groan


You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done.

~Ezekiel 24:23, NLT


It is not the absence of sin, but the grieving over it which distinguishes the child of God from the empty professors.

~A.W. Pink

It seems like every time I pick up my IMMERSE reading bible and read in Ezekiel that the LORD speaks to me. The LORD told Ezekiel, “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave.” Sure enough, Ezekiel’s wife passed away the very next day but Ezekiel, in obedience to the LORD’s instruction, did not mourn the passing of his wife publically. He shed no tears at the grave side and refused to be comforted by his neighbors. He was to grieve in private. The Jews first love, their treasure, their idol was the city of Jerusalem and God told Ezekiel, “I am about to destroy their idol and when I do, I don’t want to see them mourning in public. I don’t want to see the show they normally but on during times of grief. {sackcloth, ashes, wailing, etc.} No, I want them to get in a private place and groan over their sins and the evil that they have done.”

God didn’t speak to me about Israel or even America; He spoke to me about me. I looked up the word groan; it is an inarticulate sound in response to pain, pressure, sorrow or despair. I was pinning over the fact that I was not able to communicate effectively what I wanted to convey on Sunday morning. It’s a helpless or perhaps frustrating feeling to understand a truth but not have the ability to communicate it to others. For me, it produces some groaning. But that is not the only thing that causes me to groan; my sin is the main source of my groaning. It will not do a lot of good to publish my sin. I can promise you it is not edifying. God has that option–He can expose me anytime He chooses but I can assure you of one thing–there is no sin without consequences. We will reap what we sow one way or the other.

The Israelites were born into slavery; it was the only life they knew. On the banks of the Red Sea their slave mentality comes out. They are afraid to take risk, they are afraid of confrontation and afraid to make decisions. They tell Moses that they would prefer to go back to Egypt and be slaves as to live in utter dependence on God. You and I were also born slaves. Our default setting is that of a slave. It takes time and the grace of God to get this slave mentality out of our system. I have to be honest, most of the time I feel more like a slave to sin than I do a hyper-Niki, more than a conqueror. I know in Christ I am free, loved, accepted, righteous and victorious but I need to be reminded of my true identity daily. I believe this is why Charles Stanley devotionals are so helpful and encouraging to me. He constantly reminds us of who we are in Christ. We are prone to focus on the Adam in us instead of the Christ.


Joe David attended the Memorial Day SERVICE in Decatur and met Jon Erik’s mom. I’ve been going to the wrong place. LORD willing, I will get it right next year. I got to spend a little time with Gregg and Tracey. Gregg was watching war movies on Turner Classics. I love old war movies but forgot to get June to record them for me. I also visited with Joyce Chaney. Joyce is discouraged and had a bad fall this past week. Gregg and Tracey go to Little Rock next week. They will be there from four days to two weeks.

I have the best looking garden I have had in years. We have squash and the corn is waist high. Tomatoes look good so far. The peas are kind of pitiful but other than that everything looks good. My tiller {Billard} got away from me yesterday and ran half way to the neighbors. Thankfully it turned over and I was able to catch it and cut it off. Billard is 50 years old. Everyone kids me about tearing up stuff but how many people do you know who plow their garden with a 50 year old tiller. I got in about 28 years ago from my uncle Billy and Willard put a new engine on it about 10 years ago so I named it Billard.

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