Read Ezekiel 20 - 21
In Today's Reading:
God's refusal to be consulted by the elders; history of rebellious Israel; its defeat by Babylon and scattering among the heathen
The king and the religious leaders of Judah had expressed growing hatred for the prophet Jeremiah because of his messages of judgment against them. There comes a time when God says: They shall call upon Me, but I will not answer (Proverbs 1:28). It was now too late to pray for God to spare Jerusalem from destruction. However, Ezekiel records: Certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire (ask for guidance) of the LORD, and sat before me (Ezekiel 20:1). Then God gave Ezekiel the following message: I will not be inquired of by you . . . . I chose Israel. . . . But they rebelled against Me. . . . they despised My judgments . . . for their heart went after their idols (20:3,5,8,16). Following this, Ezekiel received a terrifying message from the Lord for Israel: I am against you, and will draw forth My sword. . . . to give it into the hand of the slayer (21:3,11).
Ezekiel's prophecy of the sharpened sword was a message of impending destruction. King Zedekiah, the profane wicked prince of Israel (21:25), and the people would soon be captured. Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, who, no doubt, congratulated himself on his triumph in Judah. But, he was unknowingly being used to fulfill God's judgment upon His rebellious people. This is a reminder that the lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD (Proverbs 16:33).
No king has been anointed to sit on the throne of David in Israel for the past 2500 years. As Ezekiel foretold: Thus says the Lord God; Remove the diadem (turban), and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it (to) Him (Ezekiel 21:26-27). In the time of Jesus, an Edomite named Herod was merely a puppet king appointed by Rome to govern only the Jews of Judea. The promised land will continue to exist without a king until the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15).
As the One who will gather His people from all nations and will purge out the false from the true (Ezekiel 20:34-38; also Matthew 3:12; 25:32).
20:5 lifted up mine hand = promised, vowed; 21:2 drop thy (your) word toward = preach against; 21:13 the sword contemn even the rod = there is a testing in store by the sword since you despised the rod (refused to be corrected).
Pray for BP Staff: Diana Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Danny Davis (IL), Rep. John Kline (MN), Rep. Sander Levin (MI), and Rep. Kendrick Meek (FL) · Country: Qatar (724,000) in southwestern Asia · Major languages: Arabic and English · Muslim conversion to Christ is forbidden, but expatriate Christians are allowed to meet informally · 92% Muslim; 4% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic; 1% Hindu; .5% Eastern Orthodox ·
Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you will obey the Word of God and not be just a deceived hearer (James 1:22).
Optional Reading: Revelation 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:19