Our responsibility and judgment as watchmen (Ezek. 33:8-17). What is self accountability (33:20)? The Good Shepherd (34:11-20). The Covenant of Peace (34:25-31). Don't slander Israel (chap. 35)! Although God disciplines us, He's our hope (36:9,22-30).
God addressed Ezekiel as a watchman unto the house of Israel; and said to Him: Therefore thou shalt hear the Word at My mouth, and warn them from Me (Ezek. 33:7). The Israelites who remained in Jerusalem, as well as the captives in Babylon, disregarded Ezekiel's warnings that God would destroy Jerusalem if they refused to repent of their sinful ways. But, the Jews in Babylon complained that the death of their kindred in Jerusalem and the destruction of their homeland were inconsistent with the promise of God's Covenant.
Then the Lord said: Thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal (right): but. . . . When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity (sin), he shall . . . die. . . . But if the wicked turn from his wickedness . . . he shall live (33:17-19).
When the inevitable judgment had taken place as foretold by Ezekiel, the Lord told him to say: Ye . . . lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? . . . ye work abomination (do detestable sins). . . . As I live, surely they . . . shall fall by the sword, and . . . die of the pestilence. For I will lay the land most desolate. . . . Then shall they know that I am the Lord (33:25-29). This was all fulfilled as prophesied by Ezekiel on the day of his wife's death (24:18,25-26). And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity . . . one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten (33:21).
Ezekiel proclaimed that holy living was the Israelites' responsibility in their Covenant relationship with God. This was rejected by those unwilling to forsake their sins. Times have not changed; living a godly life is equally unpopular today with many "professing Christians" who love what the world can offer for the gratification of the earthly nature (I John 2:15-17).
Like the Israelites, many people today talk about the love of God while ignoring His command to act righteously. As ye have yielded your members (body parts) servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity (sins leading to more sins); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (sanctification). . . . for the end of those things (sin) is death (Rom. 6:19,21).
Thought for Today:
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is (Mark 13:33).
As the Shepherd (Ezek. 34:23). Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep (John 10:14).
34:14 a fat =the best; 34:27 delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them =freed them from slavery; 36:3 an infamy of =slandered, ridiculed by.
Pray for Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY) and Rep. James Oberstar (MN) • Country: Bahamas (284,000) in the northern portion of the West Indies • Major languages: English and some Creole • Religious freedom • 72% Protestant; 26% Roman Catholic; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him (Ps. 37:7).
Optional Reading: Revelation 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 1:29