Sins of Israel enumerated; parable of the dross; sentence upon Judah; parable of the boiling pot.
Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . . the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day (Ezek. 24:1-2).
Ezekiel foretold that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would soon destroy Jerusalem. The siege and capture was pictured as a rusted caldron (large kettle) set over a fire. The caldron represented the nation; pieces of flesh inside represented its people. The fire represented the moral decay of the people. The immorality of God's people was condemned by the destructive fires of the enemy and this world. This happened because they turned from the instruction of the Word of God and God's servants. That is why the kettle was corrupted. Now they would be destroyed by their enemies. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire (Matt. 7:19).
Despite all the optimistic forecasts made by the false prophets who had said that the exiled families would soon be set free, Judah's hour of destruction had finally come. The people recognized too late that Ezekiel's prophecies would be fulfilled. The final sentence of destruction was being carried out upon Judah because they had turned from God and were worshiping idols. We can lie to ourselves and say everything is all right. We can tell ourselves that our relationship with Christ is fine. But the truth boils over in our lives. What shows in your life? The fruits of the Spirit or the works of the flesh? (Gal. 5:19-23).
When a person or material possessions mean more to us than living to please the Lord, that person or thing becomes our idol. What do you worship in your life? Where does the great love of your life lie? It is easy to say God. Do your prayers reflect the answer? Does your study of the Word of God reveal that answer to be true? There can only be one master of your life. It is impossible to serve more than one master. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24). We must live in this world, but we don't have to live like it. Let Christ live and rise up in you.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world (I John 4:17).
Thought for Today:
God always has a way of humbling the proud.
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezek. 22:25-28). Compare these words with those Christ spoke against the scribes and Pharisees. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:13-36).
22:7 set light by father and mother = treated parents with contempt; dealt by oppression with the stranger = treated foreigners with oppression and extortion; vexed the fatherless and the widow = wronged the orphan and the widow; 22:12 gifts = bribes; 23:16 doted upon = lusted for, was infatuated with; 23:20 doted upon their paramours = lusted after their male prostitutes; 24:17 tire = turban.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Mildred Colgan • Government Official: Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (HI) • Country: Swaziland (985,000) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and siSwati • Religious freedom • 67% Protestant; 19% animism, spirit-possession cults, and divination; 11% Roman Catholic; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord amidst trouble and He will deliver you (Ps. 91:15).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:2-3