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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB November 24

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Nov 24
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

 

Ezekiel

Chapter 47 appears to be at least on one level a literal prophecy about the physical land in the MK as we even have proper names of locations. If you read the text in NAS, the elements of it can definitely be applied to a spiritual level, too. Check out some of the spiritual applications:

47:7-12 (NAS) Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other. This reminds me of Revelation 22 where the trees are pictured growing on the banks of the River of Life in the new city Jerusalem. Perhaps in the MK, it will be a mini version if this, I don't know. Here is Rev. 22:1-2, which is almost a parallel account of EZ:

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Notice that this is the NEW JERUSALEM. EZ seems to be speaking of the earth before the New Jerusalem (at the end of the Judgment Age), but he could certainly be prophesying of this later age instead.

47:8 Then he said to me, "These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. It is important to note in prophecy that the word "sea" can be a multitude of people. Hence this could be speaking of making the people renewed, just as Revelation indicates.

47:9 "It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes." Remember that fish can be individual people, as when Jesus told His disciples that He was going to make them into fishers of men. This pictures the river of life purifying and gaining momentum as it leaves the sanctuary and flows out to all people!

47:10 "And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many." I believe this speaks on two levels, the second of the great harvest that the "fishermen" will enjoy at this point, when the waters of life are in abundance. This goes hand in hand with the three harvests of mankind that we have studied!

47:12 "By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing." Again, this is a direct reference to the same trees in Revelation 22, producing a crop every month for the healing of the nations.

47:22 (NAS) You shall divide it by lot for an inheritance among yourselves and among the aliens who stay in your midst, who bring forth sons in your midst. And they shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel; they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. Again, we see that God shows His intention all along of including the aliens (think E.T. :-) and the foreigners into His plan of inheritance (chosen) as well as announcing it to the Israelites. You would think they would have been prepared by the times of the NT for this announcement that caused so much anger and jealousy!

48:9-12 (NAS selected) "The allotment that you shall set apart to the LORD shall be 25,000 cubits in length and 10,000 in width. The holy allotment shall be for these, namely for the priests... and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in its midst. It shall be for the priests who are sanctified of the sons of Zadok (think, order of Melchizedek or New Covenant), who have kept My charge, who did not go astray when the sons of Israel went astray as the Levites went astray. It shall be an allotment to them from the allotment of the land, a most holy place, by the border of the Levites. I almost missed this amazing passage the first time through. Do you see the implications? The most holy place around the sanctuary is for the priests in the order of Zadok-the overcomers who are priests to the Lord! What a revered privilege to be an overcomer. We must all strive for this.

1 Peter

2:11 (NAS) Beloved, urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. We've been trying to figure the relationship between the soul and the flesh since the sins of the flesh are often spoken about. They seem to work together to lead us into sin (as we see in this verse) but I believe the Bible teaches that they each must die a separate death. The body dies when we leave our state of mortality (the first death), and the soul can die either here (by our own choosing) or later in the second death. In mortality, the body and soul appear to be inseparable, but in the Judgment Age, they will be separable when the soul is put to death but the body cannot be put to death (raised immortal).

1:13, 17 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. ...Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.  We saw in Jeremiah that God instructed the Israelites to submit even to exile. And we learned that Jesus even submitted Himself to the leaders and authorities of the land. He did not set Himself against the government, even though it wasn't probably any better in His day than ours. He complied in peace. We could all learn something from this. If we believe God that He is sovereign and that He is the one who puts rulers into authority, it should be easier.

Proverbs

28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Seems like good advice!