Comes the Word of Yahweh in Parables
Prophecy for Today
Comes the Word of Yahweh to Elimelech
Thus comes the Word of Yahweh to Elimelech1, saying, “Ben-Adam2, open your eyes and tell me what you see.”
So Elimelech opens his eyes to look, and behold, he sees a beautiful temple, adorned with colored glass of great splendor, with marble and velvet and rich tapestries and musical instruments of every kind to make melodies and harmonies of praise and majesty. He looks around and sees the temple surroundings with chambers of every kind to fill every need of the people. And Elimelech answers Yahweh, saying, “I see the temple of your glorious kingdom, ornate and filled with beauty to inspire all and to teach the nation your statutes and ordinances, and to fill the people with joy and laughter and feasting!”
Then comes to Elimelech the Word of Yahweh, saying, “Look again, seer, and tell me what you see. Open your eyes and look.”
So Elimelech looks again, raising his head to see the glorious temple as before, in all of its majesty and beauty. And he looks, and, behold, he sees the hearts of the people seduced by the grandeur and majesty of the structure. And the thing they had built for the beauty and honor and praise and majesty of Yahweh becomes vile in his sight, for he sees that the people have traded the beauty and majesty of God for the trappings of a building made with human hands. They sing songs of praise to God, while their eyes see only the comforts of their senses. The temple built to serve the kingdom and reign of Yahweh has become a kingdom unto itself. Elimelech looks, and he sees priests and scribes who take the place built for God’s honor and glory and steal the praise and honor of Yahweh for themselves.
And Elimelech cries out to Yahweh, saying, “Can it be that this people turns their hearts away from honoring Yahweh and being instruments of praise in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, serving justice to the widow and the orphan, and preaching grace and repentance to all who are in need? Can it be that this temple built for the glory of Yahweh of the ages has become the object of their worship and their praise? Can it be that their hearts are turned away from serving Yahweh and Yahweh’s rule in their lives?”
And comes the Word of Yahweh to Elimelech, saying, “Indeed, this people has become blind in their thinking, and their senses are dull. They confuse the structures and institutions built by the hands of mortals with the God they were built to serve. They think to serve me, but they are become slaves to their buildings and temples and organizations. They follow mortals with sweet tongues and smooth speech who tell them what they want to hear. They exchange the glory of immortal God for stones and bricks, carpets and tapestries, glass and singing. Much making merry dulls their minds and their senses are clouded. They no longer hear my voice, for they are too busy with the sounds of their own voices.”
“How long, O Lord?” answers Elimelech. “How long will they remain in their stupor and slavery to the structures they build for your praise?”
Comes the Word of Yahweh to answer the cry of Elimelech, saying, “Raise your eye, Ben-Adam! Open your eyes and look, for even now they leave the temple to human accomplishments in search of something more!”
And Elimelech opens his eyes to look, and, behold, he sees many that pass by and see that the purpose of the builders is thwarted. Many walk in seeking Yahweh and leave still searching. They wander aimlessly, looking for Yahweh, saying, “I think I will find Yahweh in the temple, but that is not the temple to Yahweh—it is a temple in honor of men who claim what they do not have.”
And Elimelech bows his head in shame and cries.
Thus is the Word of Yahweh come to Elimelech, the seer.
1 Elimelech: "My God Reigns"
2 Ben Adam: "Son of Man"
—©Copyright 2005 Christopher B. Harbin