September 03

Read Ezekiel 10 -- 13

In Today's Reading:

Burning of Jerusalem foretold; wicked princes exposed; glory of the Lord leaves the Temple; judgment upon evil leaders; the cause of judgment revealed through signs and parables; the promise of Israel's restoration.

Verses for Today:

Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the House, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's House (10:18-19).

Ezekiel viewed the movement of the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 10:18) as His Spirit prepared to leave the Temple; he saw the very Presence of the Lord, which had rested just above the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. The Presence of the Lord departed slowly from the Holy of Holies and lingered briefly above the threshold of the House (the Temple) (9:3). It seems that God was reluctantly leaving the place where He had once chosen to dwell.

The living creatures (1:5) are angelic servants of God (Genesis 3:22-24), recognized as cherubim. Their position symbolized their protective care and high esteem for the Word of God. Two cherubim were formed of gold with their wings spread above the Mercy Seat overshadowing the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Word of God (Exodus 25:18-21).

The two cherubim were a contrast to Israel's leadership of whom God said: [You] have not . . . executed My judgments (Ezekiel 11:12). As a result, the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city (11:23) and made a temporary stop on the Mount of Olives before forsaking Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His Name there (1 Kings 14:21). But, it appears the Israelites were so involved in their faithless religious activities that they were not aware that God had forsaken them.

Then a prophecy that reached far into the future was given: I will put a new Spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh . . . That they may walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19-20). In fact, our Lord Jesus made a greater promise: Even the Spirit of Truth . . . He . . . shall be in you (John 14:17).

Christ Revealed:

As the One Who gives a new Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19). This is the promise fulfilled when one accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord. God [has] sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts (Galatians 4:4-7).

Word Study:

12:3 stuff for removing = belongings for captivity; 12:23 effect = fulfillment; 13:9 upon = against; 13:18 women that sew pillows to all armholes = false prophetesses who sew magic charms on divining garments; 13:21 kerchiefs = veils; 13:23 divine = practice.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Joe Hoeffel (PA), Rep. John Olver (MA), and Rep. Thomas Reynolds (NY) · Pray for your pastor · Country: Sweden (9 million) in northern Europe · Major language: Swedish · Religious freedom · 66% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic; .7% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you contentment in your circumstances, whether in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:11-12).

Optional Reading: Revelation 8

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:28