Read Ezekiel 22 -- 24
In Today's Reading:
Sins of Israel enumerated; parable of two sisters; parable of the boiling pot; death of Ezekiel's wife
Ezekiel was a prophet to the exiles in Babylon. He faithfully foretold the judgment of God upon Jerusalem: Thus saith 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 ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 23:46-47,49). However, the people did not repent. On the very day that God revealed to Ezekiel that his precious wife, the desire (delight) of thine eyes, would die, God also said: Yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down (24:16). The Lord told Ezekiel 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 that his own personal grief was to give way to the far greater heartbreak over the destruction of the Lord's Temple, which took place the same day Ezekiel's wife died.
The next morning, news of Ezekiel's unusual reaction to his wife's death caused concern among the exiles, who asked: Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us? (24:19). Then came the tragic declaration from God through Ezekiel: Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane My Sanctuary (the Temple will be destroyed by heathens) . . . and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. . . . when this cometh, ye 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 people grieving over material losses, but showing little concern for their own, or their children's, eternal welfare. Jesus cautioned His disciples that they should not be preoccupied with earthly things, not even daily needs: For all these things do the nations (Gentiles) of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek (earnestly strive after) . . . the Kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you (Luke 12:30-31).
In the denunciation of Israel's false prophets (Ezekiel 22:25-28). Compare their sins with those of the scribes and Pharisees Christ spoke against (Matthew 23:13-36).
22:7 set light by father and mother = treated parents with contempt; 22:12 gifts = bribes; 23:16 doted upon = lusted after; 23:20 paramours = illicit lovers; 24:17 tire = turban.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of George N Irwin · Staff: Mike Moore · Government Officials: Sen. Daniel Inouye (HI) and Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA) · Country: Mongolia (3 million) in east-central Asia · Major language: Khalkha Mongol · As a 70-year era of communism wanes, Bibles are now on sale in the capital, Ulaanbaatar · 29% Shamanist; 2% Buddhist; 2% Muslim; .2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God in prayer for His faithfulness to His Word and His desire that all come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
Optional Reading: Revelation 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 1:16