Read Ezekiel 22 - 24
In Today's Reading:
Sins of Israel enumerated; parable of two sisters; parable of the boiling pot; death of Ezekiel's wife
On the very day that God revealed to Ezekiel that his precious wife, the desire (delight) of your eyes, was to die, God also said: Yet neither shall you mourn nor weep, neither shall your tears run down (Ezekiel 24:16). Ezekiel was told by the Lord that, after his wife's death, he was to refrain from all the conventional signs of mourning for the dead. It was not that he was to be insensitive to the death of his wife. But, his own personal grief was to give way to the far greater heartbreak over the death of God's nation and the destruction of His Temple which took place the same day Ezekiel's wife died. Thus says the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled (plundered) And the company . . . shall slay their sons and their daughters. . . . and you shall bear the sins of your idols: and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD (23:46-47,49).
News of Ezekiel's unusual reaction to his wife's death must have spread quickly, for the people asked: Will you not tell us what these things are to us? (24:19). Then came the tragic news from Ezekiel: Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane My Sanctuary, the excellency of your strength . . . and your sons and your daughters whom you have left shall fall by the sword. . . . when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord GOD (24:21-24).
Eventually, a messenger who had escaped the devastation of Jerusalem arrived in Babylon to report the city's destruction (33:21). The Israelites' acceptance of false gods and their indifference to the Word of God had brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and the death of their own sons and daughters, just as they had been forewarned by Jeremiah in Jerusalem and by Ezekiel in Babylonia (Galatians 6:7-8).
Often we see people grieving over material losses, but showing little concern for their own, or their children's, eternal welfare. Jesus said that His disciples should not be preoccupied with earthly things, not even our daily needs: For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. . . . But (rather) seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these (material and otherwise) things shall be added to you (Luke 12:30-31; Matthew 6:33).
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezekiel 22:25-28). Compare their sins with those of the scribes and Pharisees Christ spoke against (Matthew 23:13-36).
22:7 set light = made light; 22:12 gifts = bribes; 23:16 doted upon = infatuated, lusted after; 23:20 paramours = illicit lovers; 24:17 tire = turban.
Pray for BP Staff: Rick Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Ed Bryant (TN), Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI), and Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA) · Country: Taiwan, Republic of China (22 million) 77 islands off the southeastern coast of the People's Republic of China · Major language: Mandarin Chinese · Religious freedom · 70% Chinese folk-religions/Buddhism; 3% Protestant; 1.5% Roman Catholic
Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a clean and pure heart (James 4:8).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 12:19