Sept. 2, 2009
Read Ezekiel 5
Highlights In Today's Reading:
What a haircut (5:1-4)! God's reaction to disobedience (5:5-17) plus His prophesied consequences against Israel as the "End" nears (chap. 6, 7,9)! They shall know that I am the Lord (7:27).
Fourteen years after Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Kingdom of Judah, life in Jerusalem seemed to have returned to "normal." Her priests have violated My Law . . . profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane (22:26). They continue "business as usual." Consequently, the people were indifferent to Ezekiel when he said: I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols. . . . In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste (6:4-6). What a horrifying thought! But no repentance.
For many, their hearts' chief concern was wealth and it had become another idol. Just as Ezekiel had prophesied, the Israelites refused to repent until it was too late — they shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed (discarded like rubbish): their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord (7:19). How typical this is of many in our generation with their emphasis on material success and sex.
Wealth itself is not sinful and can be a means to bring about miracles with spiritual and eternal values. But wealth was never meant to be lavished upon us with no regard for others' needs.
Fourteen months after his first vision (1:1), Ezekiel reported: As I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me. . . . and the Spirit lifted me up . . . and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem . . . at the gate of the altar (was) this image of jealousy in the entry. (8:1-5). The prophet was led to see the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth (8:6).
Still no repentance. Ezekiel was then told that he would see greater abominations that they do. . . . and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz (8:13-14) the Babylonian god of fertility. Next he was led to see that the land (was filled) with violence (8:16-17).
But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (I John 3:17).
Thought for Today:
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (Ps. 34:18).
By the man clothed in linen (Ezek. 9:2-11) who represents Christ as High Priest, marking His people to be spared from the flaming sword of vengeance. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast (firmly) our profession (confession) (Heb. 4:14; also Rev. 7:2-3).
5:16 staff = supply; 6:4 images = idols; 7:26 counsel from the ancients = counsel from the aged; 8:12 chambers of his imagery = shrine of his own carved idol.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Casmir A. Zuranski • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) and Rep. At-Large Earl Pomeroy (ND) • Country: Brazil (168 million) in South America • Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish • Religious freedom • 67% Catholic; 21% Protestant; 4% spiritist; .7% Buddhist; .7% Muslim; .15% Indigenous; 2.4% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord in time of trouble, for He promises to hear us (Ps. 18:6).
Optional Reading: Revelation 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 11:28