Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 09/07/2003

September 7

Read Ezekiel 22 -- 24

In Today's Reading:

Sins of Israel enumerated; abominations of two sisters; parable of the boiling pot; death of Ezekiel's wife

On the very day that God revealed to Ezekiel that his precious wife, the desire (delight) of your eyes, was to die, God also said: Yet neither shall you mourn nor weep, neither shall your tears run down (Ezekiel 24:16). Ezekiel was told by the Lord that, after his wife's death, he was to refrain from all the conventional signs of mourning for the dead. It was not that he was to be insensitive to the death of his wife. But, his own personal grief was to give way to the far greater heartbreak over the death of God's nation and the destruction of His Temple which took place the same day Ezekiel's wife died. Thus says the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled (plundered). And the company . . . shall slay their sons and their daughters. . . . and you shall bear the sins of your idols: and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD (23:46-47,49).

News of Ezekiel's unusual reaction to his wife's death must have spread quickly, for the people asked: Will you not tell us what these things are to us (24:19)? Then came the tragic news from Ezekiel: Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, the excellency of your strength . . . and your sons and your daughters whom you have left shall fall by the sword. . . . when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord GOD (24:21-24).

Eventually, a messenger who had escaped the devastation of Jerusalem arrived in Babylon to report the city's destruction (33:21). The Israelites' acceptance of false gods and their indifference to the Word of God had brought about the destruction of Jerusalem and the death of their own sons and daughters, just as they had been forewarned by Jeremiah in Jerusalem and by Ezekiel in Babylonia.

Often we see worldly-minded people grieving over material losses, but showing little concern for their own or their children's eternal welfare. Jesus said that His disciples should not be preoccupied with earthly things, not even our daily needs: For all these things do the nations (pagans) of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. But rather seek (desire) . . . the Kingdom of God; and all these (material) things shall be added to you (Luke 12:30-31).

Christ Revealed:

In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezekiel 22:25-28). Compare them with those Christ spoke against the scribes and Pharisees. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 23:13-36).

Word Studies:

22:7 set light = made light; 22:12 gifts = bribes; 23:16 doted upon = lusted after; 23:20 paramours = illicit lovers; 24:17 tire = turban.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Joe Brashier and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WHRI, South Bend IN · Government Officials: Rep. Ed Bryant (TN), Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI), and Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA) · Country: Sao Tome and Principe (155,000) two larger and several smaller islands in the Gulf of Guinea, 125 miles off the western coast of Africa · Major language: Portuguese · Religious freedom is fairly new · 83% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 2% animist · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord for ways to share His love with others (Hebrews 6:10).

Optional Reading: Revelation 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:9

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