September 6

 

Read Ezekiel 20

 

In Today's Reading:

 

God's refusal to be consulted by the elders; history of rebellious Israel; its defeat by Babylon and scattering among the heathen

 

The king and the religious leaders of Judah had expressed a growing hatred for the prophet Jeremiah because of his messages of impending judgment against them. They refused to believe that the message was from God, not merely from Jeremiah. Furthermore, the consequences of rejecting God's Word are immense. There comes a time when God says: Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer (Proverbs 1:28). Now it was too late to pray for God to spare Jerusalem from destruction. However, Ezekiel again records: Certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire (ask for guidance) of the LORD, and sat before me (Ezekiel 20:1). Then God gave Ezekiel the following message: I will not be enquired of by you . . . . I chose Israel. . . . But they rebelled against Me. . . . they despised My judgments . . . for their heart went after their idols (20:3,5,8,16). Following this, Ezekiel received a terrifying message of judgment from the Lord for Israel: I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword. . . . to give it into the hand of the slayer (21:3,11).

 

Ezekiel's prophecy of the sharpened sword was a message of impending destruction. King Zedekiah, the profane wicked prince of Israel (21:25), and the people would soon be captured. Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, who, no doubt, congratulated himself on his triumph in Judah. But, he was unknowingly being used to fulfill God's judgment upon His rebellious people. This is a clear reminder that the lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD (Proverbs 16:33).

 

There has been no king anointed to sit on the throne of David in Israel for the past 2500 years, just as Ezekiel foretold: Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem (turban), and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it (to) Him (Ezekiel 21:26-27). In the time of Jesus, an Edomite named Herod was merely a puppet king appointed by Rome to govern only the Jews of Judea. The promised land will continue to exist without a king until the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

As the One who will gather His people from all nations and will purge out the false from the true (Ezekiel 20:34-38; Matthew 3:12; 25:32).

 

Word Studies:

 

20:5 lifted up mine hand = promised, vowed; 21:2 drop thy (your) word toward = preach against; 21:13 the sword contemn even the rod = there is a testing in store by the sword since you despised the rod (refused to be corrected).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Joseph F Zorc · Staff: Barbara Bivens · Government Officials: Rep. Danny Davis (IL), Rep. John Kline (MN), Rep. Sander Levin (MI), and Rep. Kendrick Meek (FL) · Country: Monaco (32,000) in southeastern France · Major languages: French and English · No open evangelism permitted · 90% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray each day for the Lord to protect you from evil (I Peter 5:8)

 

Optional Reading: Revelation 11

 

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 1:16