In Today's Scripture 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 thine eyes, was to die, God also said: Yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy 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 saith 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 ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye 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: Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us? (24:19). Then came the tragic news from Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will profane My Sanctuary, the excellency of your strength . . . and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. . . . when this cometh, ye 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 knoweth that ye have need of these things. . . . But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these (material and otherwise) things shall be added unto you (Luke 12:30-31; Matthew 6:33).
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezekiel 22:25-28). Compare them with those Christ spoke against the scribes and Pharisees. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-36).
22:7 set light by father and mother =b> treated parents with contempt; 22:12 gifts =b> bribes; 23:16 doted upon =b> lusted after; 23:20 paramours =b> illicit lovers; 24:17 tire =b> turban.
Pray for Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI) and Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA) • Country: Guatemala (12.3 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages • Religious freedom • 60% Catholic; 35% Protestant; 2% Animist; 1.5% Other; 1.5% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and then obediently do what God says (I Chronicles 14:14-16).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Daniel 12:3