Read Ezekiel 5

Highlights:

Famine, pestilence, and sword impending; remnant to be spared; third vision of the glory; visions of slaying in Jerusalem.

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain (Ezek. 8:4).

When Ezekiel was studying to become a priest in Jerusalem, he was taken to Babylon as a slave. He had dedicated his life to God and could have become bitter over the fact that he was dragged off to a foreign country, hundreds of miles away from his homeland. But there is where God could prepare him for his prophetic ministry.

God will often call us out of our comfort zone. Many times we will have preconceived notions of what we think God wants us to do. However, His plan for our lives may be totally different. God may be calling you to a foreign mission field or to your hometown. The important thing is to let Him do the calling. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for My Name's sake (Acts 9:15-16).

In a vision, this prophet of God beheld . . . the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy (Ezek. 8:2-3). The idol had been placed in the inner court of the Temple near the north gate.

Immediately after Ezekiel beheld the image of jealousy, the glory of the God of Israel was gone (9:3). Failure to honor God and adhere to His Word always opens the way for something to replace Him and His Word. These substitutes are not always what you expect. Anything that becomes more important than God in your life can fall in this category. It becomes easier to turn our backs to God when we tell ourselves that the things we are doing are legitimate. These substitutes for God and His Word may be drugs, alcohol, or other devices of the devil. However, they may also include normal life activities like work, family activities, and hobbies. Nothing can replace God in our lives. Anything that does becomes sin. As long as people cling to their false gods, the Lord will be as deaf to their cries as are the idols to which they cling. But the child of faith is confident that God can use him for His service even under the most adverse circumstances.

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God (Rom. 6:13).

Thought for Today:

To honor God and His Word is the highest privilege of every Christian.

Christ Portrayed:

By the man clothed in linen (Ezek. 9:2-11) who represents Christ as High Priest, marking His people to be spared from the flaming sword of vengeance. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast (firmly) our profession (confession) (Heb. 4:14; also Rev. 7:2-3).

Word Studies:

5:16 staff, supply; 6:4 images, idols; 7:26 ancients, aged; 8:12 chambers of his imagery, shrine of his own carved idol.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) • Country: Spain (39.6 million) in southwestern Europe • Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan • Limited religious freedom • 85% Roman Catholicism; 1% Islam; .5% Protestant; .5% Jehovah's Witness; 13% Other (Mormon, Jewish, Secular Humanist) • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers with a spirit of thankfulness and praise to the Lord (Ps. 79:13).

Optional Reading: Revelation 7

Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:2-3