September 10

 

Read Ezekiel 33

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Jerusalem's destruction; justice of God's dealing; reproof of the false shepherds; destruction of Edom; restoration of Israel foretold

 

God appointed Ezekiel as a watchman unto the house of Israel; and said to Him: Therefore thou shalt hear the Word at My mouth, and warn them (for) Me (Ezekiel 33:7). The Israelites who remained in Jerusalem, as well as the captives in Babylon, disregarded Ezekiel's warnings that God would destroy Jerusalem if they refused to repent of their sinful ways. The Jews in Babylon complained that the death of their kindred in Jerusalem and the destruction of their homeland were inconsistent with the promise of God's Covenant to care for and protect them. Then the Lord rebuked them: Thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal (right): but. . . . When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity (sin), he shall . . . die. . . . But if the wicked turn from his wickedness . . . he shall live (33:17-19).

 

When the inevitable judgment had taken place as foretold by Ezekiel, the Lord told him to say: Ye . . . lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? . . . ye work abomination (detestable sins) . . . As I live, surely they . . . shall fall by the sword, and . . . die of the pestilence. For I will lay the land most desolate. . . . Then shall they know that I am the LORD (The One True God) (33:25-29) This was all fulfilled as prophesied earlier by Ezekiel on the day of his wife's death (24:18,25-26). And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity . . . one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten (33:21).

 

Ezekiel proclaimed that holy living was the Israelites' responsibility in their covenant relationship with God. This was rejected by those unwilling to forsake their sins. Times have not changed; living a godly life is equally unpopular today with many professing Christians who love what the world can offer for the gratification of their earthly nature (I John 2:15-17). Like the Israelites, many people today talk only about the love of God while ignoring His command to be righteous. As ye have yielded your members (body parts) servants to uncleanness (immorality) and to iniquity unto iniquity (sins leading to more sins); even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (sanctification). . . . for the end of those things (sins) is death (Romans 6:19,21).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

As the Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:23) Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep (John 10:14).

 

Word Studies:

 

34:14 fat = rich, the best; 34:27 served themselves of them = enslaved them; 36:3 an infamy of = slandered by.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Stephanie Jones (OH), Rep. James Oberstar (MN), Sen. John Sununu (NH), and Rep. Albert Wynn (MD) · Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages · Limited religious freedom · 87% Buddhist; 5% Protestant; 4% Muslim; 3% spirit worship, Hindu, and other Asian religions; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with a heart and life that are keeping His commandments and He will answer you (I John 4:7-8).

 

Optional Reading: Revelation 15

 

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 1:16