Highlights In Today's Reading:
Israel's sins are exposed. Israel broke all of the 10 Commandments! A parable of two sisters — why is it so important to know why they represent two cities (23:4)? Ezekiel has a heartbreaking mission as the Lord uses the death of his wife as symbolic of God's sorrow over the death of His nation and why (24:16-27)!
For years Ezekiel had prophesied the final destruction of Jerusalem. The time of judgment was now fixed. The destruction of the Holy City would be brought about, not by "fate," as the world would see it, but because of Judah's sins.
Ezekiel himself is now told that he will be made a sign (24:24). The sign of Jerusalem's destruction was the death of Ezekiel's precious wife — the desire of thine eyes (24:16-18) — on the exact day that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. As Ezekiel underwent the death of his precious wife, he was instructed not to express his deeply-felt sorrow since it did not compare with the Lord's grief over the horrible destruction of the City of God and His Temple.
The Israelites were taken as slaves among the Gentile nations, just as Ezekiel had foretold. They had been cast into "the furnace," so to speak, in order to purge them of idol worship and bring them into recognition of and submission to the Word of God: Ye shall know that I am the Lord God (24:24).
Silver must go through the refiner's fire several times before all impurities are removed. God's people are described as silver taken from the ground. It is only precious and valuable after worthless elements of the ground are removed.
Christ is lovingly purifying His people even today, for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).
As we read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts and enables us to give up the things in our lives that defile us (I Corinthians 2:12-16). Then we are strengthened to do His perfect will. Our foremost concern is to allow Christ to truly be Lord of our lives.
Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:13-14).
As Ezekiel became a living sign of God's sorrow, so there must be the sign of the cross of Christ over every part of a Christian's life — over the home life, business life, social life, and our personal desires.
Our Lord will bless the precious one whose heart is set on satisfactions of which this world knows nothing.
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
Thought for Today:
Having a heart like God's will cause us to be heartbroken over our own sins and the sins of others.
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezekiel 22: 25-28). Compare these words with those Christ spoke against the scribes and Pharisees. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 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 for them; 23:20 doted on their paramours =b> lusted after their male prostitutes; 24:17 tire =b> turban.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for one week sponsored by Pam Lott • Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI) and Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA) • Country: Dominican Republic (8 million) in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola • Major language: Spanish • Religious freedom • 96% Roman Catholic (many are spiritists); 2% Protestant; 1% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: The Lord is a shield for you in times of trouble (Psa. 3:1-3).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 1:24