Bible Pathway - Sept. 2, 2011
Read Ezekiel 5
What a haircut (Ezek. 5:1-4)! The reaction of God 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).
Ezekiel was led, in a vision, into the Temple where he beheld various kinds of image worship which were abominations (Ezek. 8:9) condoned or practiced by the seventy men of the ancients (Jewish elders) of the House of Israel (8:11).
The image of jealousy, which provoketh (the Lord) to jealousy (8:3), was an idol set in the inner court near the north gate. Immediately after seeing the image, Ezekiel said: Behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there (8:4).
Following this, Ezekiel was shown twenty-five men standing at the altar of sacrifice in the Holy Place, but instead of worshiping toward the Holy Place of Jehovah, they were turning their backs toward the Temple of the Lord . . . and they worshipped the sun toward the east (8:16).
Failure to honor God and His Word always opens the way for idolatry instead of worship of the One True God. So, we are not surprised when we read: The glory of the God of Israel was gone (9:3). To magnify the Word of God and have His presence is our highest privilege. But to have Him withdraw His holy presence is a fearful thing. Is our worship of the Lord such that we can feel His presence? Or do we just take Him for granted?
The love and long-suffering of God are such that He reluctantly withdraws His presence only when there is persistent, willful rejection of His Word. Every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved (John 3:20; also Jer. 7:16).
The Israelites did not cease to "acknowledge" the Lord as their God above all gods; but they added the worship of various abominable idols and, thereby, profaned the Temple. Similarily, many today acknowledge God as sovereign only on Sunday.
The fearful thing is that it is possible to call ourselves Christians, believe all the fundamental doctrines of the faith, attend religious services regularly, and go through the motions of worship because we feel it is our religious duty and, yet, never truly worship only Him. Our hearts and thoughts can be elsewhere, even during the worship service. How can we realize His presence if we refuse to read the Word of God to learn why He created us, how He expects us to live, and what He expects us to do?
Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21).
Thought for Today:
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you (II Cor. 13:5)?
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 ancients aged; 8:12 chambers of his imagery shrine of his own carved idol.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Pat Boeme • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Staff: Chris Robison • Government Officials: Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) • Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Islamic state — no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities • 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Confess your sins and ask the Lord to restore the joy of your salvation (Ps. 51:1-3,12).
Memory Verse for the Week: