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Bible Pathways - Sept. 6, 2006

Ezekiel 20

In Today's Scripture Reading:

God's refusal to be consulted by the elders; history of rebellious Israel; its defeat by Babylon and scattering among the heathen

The king and the religious leaders of Judah had expressed growing hatred for the prophet Jeremiah because of his messages of judgment against them. There comes a time when God says: Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer (Proverbs 1:28). It was now too late to pray for God to spare Jerusalem from destruction. However, Ezekiel records: Certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire (ask for guidance) of the LORD, and sat before me (Ezekiel 20:1). Then God gave Ezekiel the following message: I will not be inquired of by you . . . . I chose Israel. . . . But they rebelled against Me. . . . they despised My judgments . . . for their heart went after their idols (20:3,5,8,16). Following this, Ezekiel received a terrifying message from the Lord for Israel: I am against thee, and will draw forth My sword. . . . to give it into the hand of the slayer (21:3,11).

Ezekiel's prophecy of the sharpened sword was a message of impending destruction. King Zedekiah, the profane wicked prince of Israel (21:25), and the people would soon be captured. Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, who, no doubt, congratulated himself on his triumph in Judah. But, he was unknowingly being used to fulfill God's judgment upon His rebellious people. This is a reminder that the lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD (Proverbs 16:33).

No king has been anointed to sit on the throne of David in Israel for the past 2500 years. As Ezekiel foretold: Thus saith the Lord GOd; Remove the diadem (turban), and take off the crown. . . . I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it (to) Him (Ezekiel 21:26-27). In the time of Jesus, an Edomite named Herod was merely a puppet king appointed by Rome to govern only the Jews of Judea. The promised land will continue to exist without a king until the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15).

Christ Revealed:

As the One who will gather His people from all nations and will purge out the false from the true (Ezekiel 20:34-38). When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. . . . And these (goats) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:31-46; also 3:12).

Word Studies:

20:5 lifted up mine hand =b> promised, vowed; 21:2 drop thy (your) word toward =b> preach against; 21:13 the sword contemn even the rod =b> there is a testing in store by the sword since you despised the rod (refused to be corrected).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of John & Elza Gibbs · Staff: Rick Hash Government Officials: Rep. Danny Davis (IL), Rep. John Kline (MN), Rep. Sander Levin (MI), and Rep. Kendrick Meek (FL) Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific Major languages: English and Gilbutese Religious freedom 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Exodus 15:1-19).

Optional Reading: Revelation 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 103:10


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