Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Lord promises judgment against the leaders of His people because they had forsaken Him and were occupied with their idols (Chapter 14). He compares Jerusalem to a worthless vine (Chapter 15). Look what their destiny is! Don't miss reading Chapter 16.
Israel failed to honor the One True God. Their knowledge of Him should have encouraged them to be a holy people and teach the world to honor His Word and worship Him. No Israelite or Egyptian could doubt that God delivered the Israelites from slavery and gave them the promised land and led them to become a great nation. Their fame and the power of God was known by the Canaanites long before the Israelites arrived as Rahab confessed: I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath (Joshua 2:9-11). But Israel miserably failed to express gratitude and reverence to Him.
Through Ezekiel, the Lord's response was: Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest? (Ezekiel 15:2). The grape vine was created for one purpose — to bear fruit. If it does not bear fruit, then it fails in the one purpose for which it was created (John 15:1-16). Its branches are twisted and unfit for useful lumber. It burns so rapidly that it is of no value for fuel. It is useless even for pegs and pins. That is why the prophet said: Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? (Ezekiel 15:3). NEVER!
The Israelites failed to fulfill their purpose as the chosen people of God. They suffered the fires of affliction and became slaves. Sin is deceptive. It destroys spiritual discernment in our lives. Unless we confess and forsake our sins (I John 1:9), we will face bitter consequences just as the Israelites did.
Some "Christians" purchase "things" (idols) with their tithe that rightly belongs to God. Then they ignore worshiping God on the Lord's Day and devote it to their idol.
The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication . . . Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred . . . Envyings, murders, drunkenness . . . and such like . . . they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). No exceptions!
Thought for Today:
Are you closer to God now than you used to be? If not, remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent (Revelation 2:5).
In the everlasting Covenant (Ezekiel 16:60). He is the Mediator of a better Covenant (Agreement) (Hebrews 8:6).
16:8 I spread My skirt over thee =b> symbolic of a covenant of marriage (Ruth 3:9; Deuteronomy 22:30); 16:25 opened thy feet =b> played the harlot; 16:30 imperious whorish woman =b> shameless harlot; 16:31 eminent place =b> mound or high place for pagan shrine; 16:43 fretted =b> provoked to anger.
Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Richard & David Harvey • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. George M. Peterson • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Bob Filner (CA), Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT), and Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY) • Country: Denmark (5 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Danish and Faroese • Religious freedom • 92% Protestant; 1% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% cults; .1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and intercede for your family (Job 1:5).
Optional Reading: Revelation 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 1:29