Highlights In Today's Reading:
Imagine the vivid display in chapter 10 as the glory of the Lord leaves the Temple. How can we benefit? The counselors are being judged in 11:7-10. Does this pitiful experience apply to us? Strange to see hope for the exiles in Babylon (11:17), but despair for all who remain in Jerusalem. A new proverb in 12:23 as judgment on false prophets (preachers) is prophesied in chapter 13.
In a vision, Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord depart from off the threshold of the House (Temple) (10:18). God's presence departed from within the Holy of Holies and moved slowly toward the exit of the Temple. Because the Israelites had included various forms of detestable idol worship, God could not remain and share His glory with false gods: I the Lord . . . am a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).
Brokenhearted, His presence hesitatingly departed from the city and went to the Mount of Olives, lingering there for a while as though waiting to see if Israel would repent and return to Him.
As the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city (Ezekiel 11:23), Israel lost their most precious possession — the presence of the Lord. They were headed for disaster. They could no longer say: In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).
God again gave Ezekiel a prophecy that reached far into the future. It is thrilling to know that Ezekiel was also speaking to Christians. After Christ died on the cross, arose from the grave, and ascended to heaven, God the Holy Spirit came to dwell in all Christians: I will put a new Spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in My statutes (various observances), and keep Mine ordinances (My Commandments), and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezekiel 11:19-20; also 36:26-27).
Christians are made kings and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6) and are obligated by our high calling as ambassadors of Christ (II Corinthians 5:20) to manifest the righteousness of God. As we bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (10:5), our conversation and conduct will bring honor to our Lord.
At all times we need to keep our thoughts in submission to Christ so that we will be prepared for His coming.
Let us pray for each other, that in evergrowing measure this may be the one purpose of our hearts and the joy of our lives.
We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure (I John 3:2-3).
Thought for Today:
Those that have experienced God's saving grace know the joy of having a new life in Christ Jesus free from the guilt of the past.
As the One who gives a new Spirit (Ezekiel 11:19). This is the promise fulfilled when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts (Galatians 4:4-7).
12:3 stuff for removing =b> belongings to take into exile; 12:23 effect =b> fulfillment; 13:9 upon =b> against; 13:18 women that sew pillows to all armholes =b> false prophetesses who sew magic charms upon the wrists of garments; 13:21 kerchiefs =b> veils; 13:23 divine divinations =b> practice witchcraft visions.
Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by To God Be The Glory • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. John Pius • Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Government Official: Rep. John Olver (MA) • Country: Czech Republic (10 million) in central Europe • Major languages: Czech and Slovak • Religious freedom • 63% Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede for your nation and friends in prayer with fasting and a self-sacrificing spirit (Esth. 4:16).
Optional Reading: Revelation 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 1:29