Read Ezekiel 22
Ezekiel's mission: Denounce their terrible deeds in public (Ezek. 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 (24:3-5). Judgment follows (24:6-14). Did you get the message when Ezekiel's wife died (24:15-24)?
For years Ezekiel had prophesied the final destruction ofJerusalem. The time of judgment was now fixed. The destruction of the Holy City would be brought about, not by "fate," as the world would see it, but because of Judah's sins.
Ezekiel himself is now told that he will be made a sign (Ezek. 24:24). The sign of Jerusalem's destruction was the death of Ezekiel's precious wife — the desire of thine eyes (24:16-18) — on the exact day that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon . . . besieged Jerusalem (Jer. 39:1; II Kin. 25:1; Jer. 52:4; Ezek. 24:1-2).
As Ezekiel underwent the death of his precious wife, he was instructed not to express his deeply-felt sorrow since it did not compare with the Lord's grief over the horrible destruction of the City of God and His Temple.
The people of God are described as silver taken from the ground (Ezek. 22:20-22). Silver must go through the refiner's fire several times before all impurities are removed. It is precious and valuable only after worthless elements of the ground are removed. The Israelites were taken as slaves among the Gentile nations, just as Ezekiel had foretold. They had been cast into "the furnace," so to speak, in order to purge them of idol worship and bring them into reverence of and submission to the Word of God: Ye shall know that I am the Lord God (24:24).
Christ is lovingly purifying His people even today, for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth (Heb. 12:6).
As we read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts and enables us to give up the things in our lives that defile us (I Cor. 2:12-16). Then we are strengthened to do His perfect will. Our foremost concern should be to allow Christ to truly be Lord of our lives.
Jesus Christ . . . gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:13-14).
Just as Ezekiel became a living sign of the Lord's sorrow, so there must be the sign of the cross of Christ over every part of a Christian's life — over the home life, business life, social life, and our personal desires.
Our Lord will bless the precious one whose heart is set on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:2).
Thought for Today:
I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18).
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezek. 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 set light by father and mother treated parents with contempt; dealt by oppression with the stranger treated foreigners with oppression and extortion; vexed the fatherless and the widow wronged the orphan and the widow; 22:12 gifts bribes; 23:16 doted upon lusted for, was infatuated with; 23:20 doted upon their paramours lusted after their male prostitutes; 24:17 tire.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. and Mrs. Walter Swanson • Staff: Barbara Bivens • Government Official: Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI) • Country: Ukraine (51 million) east-central Europe • Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian • Religious freedom • 55% Orthodox (various jurisdictions); 15% Catholic (mainly Greek-Catholic); 3.2% Protestant; 1% Jews; .5% Muslim; 25.3% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray at all times (Ps. 55:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: