Sept. 7, 2009
Read Ezekiel 22
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Ezekiel's mission: Denounce their terrible deeds in public (chap. 22). Who will save them (22:30)? Two sisters betray God, causing destruction (23:2-3,30,46-49). Who are they (23:4)? The Israelites' complete corruption in a boiling pot (24:3). Judgment follows (24:6-14). Did you get the message when Ezekiel's wife died (24:15-24)?
On the day God revealed to Ezekiel that Jerusalem and His Holy Temple would be destroyed (24:2-14), He said: Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes . . . yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down (24:16). Ezekiel received word from the Lord that after his wife's death he was to refrain from all the conventional signs of public mourning: weeping, covering his head with ashes, going barefoot, covering his lip, and eating bread or the food that was commonly brought to the bereaved (24:17; Lev. 13:45; Is. 15:3; Joel 1:8,13; Mic. 3:7). Instead, he was to mourn with the Lord over the far greater sorrow of God in the death of His chosen nation.
Ezekiel's message was illustrated by the parable of two unfaithful sisters, Aholah and Aholibah (prostitutes), representing the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The elder sister Aholah, because of her sins, was destroyed by the Assyrians. When her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt . . . in her whoredoms . . . than her sister. . . . Thus saith the Lord God; I will bring up a company (Nebuchadnezzar's army) upon them . . . they shall slay their sons and their daughters. . . . ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord God (23:11,46-49).
Then the people realized that those who prophesied of prosperity and their soon return to Jerusalem had deceived them. The Israelites' acceptance of false gods and indifference to their own sins had brought upon them the slaughter of their sons and daughters, just as had been foretold by Jeremiah in Jerusalem and by Ezekiel in Babylon.
How often we see the worldly-minded express great joy over worldly achievements, but have little to say about spiritual victories or the importance of reading God's Word to know His will.
Let our hearts be broken over the sins of our friends, loved ones, and a lost world, for these things break the heart of God. Jesus was known as a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3). As a reminder that our hearts need to grieve for the lost, it is also recorded that Jesus grieved for the hardness of their hearts (Mark 3:5).
Thought for Today:
The Lord will also be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble (Ps. 9:9).
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 they set light by father and mother = they treated parents with contempt; dealt by oppression with the stranger = treat oppressively and suffer extortion from a foreigner; they vexed the fatherless and the widow = they wrong the orphan and the widow; 22:12 gifts = bribes; 23:16 doted upon = lusted for them, was infatuated with; 23:20 doted on their paramours = lusted after their male prostitutes; 24:17 tire = turban.
Pray for Government Official: Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI) • Country: Cambodia (12 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Khmer and French • Confused and unsettled at this time • 88% Buddhist; 3% animism and spirit worship; 2% Muslim; .6% Roman Catholic/Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal His perfect will for you (Ps. 25:4).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 11:29