September 2
Read Ezekiel 5 - 9
In Today's Reading:
Famine, pestilence, and sword; remnant to be spared; vision of the glory of God; vision of slaying in Jerusalem
Fourteen years after Nebuchadnezzar's initial conquest of the kingdom of Judah, life in Jerusalem seemed to have returned to normal. Consequently, the people would not believe Ezekiel, who was in Babylon, when he prophesied concerning Jerusalem: Your altars shall be desolate. . . . the cities shall be laid waste (Ezekiel 6:4-6). Even the Israelites who were captive in Babylon were sure that God would protect Jerusalem and the only Temple on earth where His presence dwelt.
But Ezekiel continued to warn them: He that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him (7:15). What a horrifying prophecy!
Fourteen months after his first vision (1:1-2), Ezekiel reported: The Spirit . . . brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem (8:1-5). The prophet then saw in his vision the great abominations (detestable things) that the house of Israel commits. . . . wicked abominations. . . . there sat women weeping for Tammuz (the Babylonian god of fertility). . . . men, with their backs toward the Temple of the LORD, and . . . they worshiped the sun (8:6,9-14,16). As a result of their disobedience to the Word of God, the Israelites had filled the land with violence (8:17). The people also would not believe his second vision that showed God's reason for the horrifying judgment that was to come upon Judah and Jerusalem.
We face a similar situation with our overemphasis on material success and a refusal to read the Word of God to learn why He created us, how He expects us to live, and what He expects us to do.
Wealth was never meant to be selfishly accumulated or to be lavished on ourselves. God entrusts people with wealth, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work (II Corinthians 9:8). Having a right attitude of the heart is all important since both rich and poor can lust after more possessions.
The Holy Spirit warns: They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare (trap), and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (damnation) (I Timothy 6:9).
Christ Portrayed:
By the man clothed in linen (Ezekiel 9:2-11) representing 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 our profession (Hebrews 4:14; see also Revelation 7:2-3).
Word Studies:
5:16 staff = supply; 6:4 images = incense altars; 7:26 ancients = religious elders, supposed spiritual leaders; 8:12 imagery = perverse idol imagination.
Prayer Needs:
Pray for BP Staff: Letha Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Jim DeMint (SC) and Rep. Earl Pomeroy (ND) · Country: Peru (27 million) on the western coast of South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Open to evangelism and Bible distribution · 89% Roman Catholic; 4% Protestant

Prayer Suggestion: Pray with unwavering faith so that your prayers may be answered (James 1:5-7).
Optional Reading: Revelation 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:1