God is on the move

In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the Lord was upon me; and He took me there. In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.” Ezekiel 40:1-3 NKJV

Our God is a God of restoration and Order – precise and detailed order. Cubit by cubit, every nook and cranny, and every “I” dotted and “T” crossed. These chapters are very important to poor Ezekiel who has just seen the destruction of the temple of his day – His heart was broken. And this was much bigger and more beautiful! And although many scholars like to focus on the worship parts of the temple or the symbolism – this temple has never been built. It is the third temple – and these plans are so complete that there is already a plan in place to build it as soon as they have permission.  

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 40-41 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). As I said – it is the plan to rebuild the temple. All the details kinda make your eyes glaze over unless you are really into building design – and even then you can google a rendering of it.

I knew this was coming – so I saved one of the themes of this book to discuss.  One of the overarching themes is God being on the move.  First in chapter one – Like all prophets, they have a real experience with God and their assignment.  His real experience was to see a mobile throne driving around in a land far away from the temple.  Ezekiel was the first in captivity to see the temple cannot contain God.  They had received news from Jeremiah to build houses and have baby and live life in captivity – because they did not know what to do. The Law revolved around a temple many miles away. And they didn’t know what to do in plan B.  Ezekiel was able to understand the people, but now He also understood – GOD WAS ON THE MOVE! They were captive – but God was sovereign and on the move!! When we find ourselves in plan B and feeling captive – We can then remember that is when God jumps into His throne-mobile and zooms around anywhere He wants – to intercede for us.

The next time Ezekiel saw the throne mobile – he had been taken in a vision to the temple and saw the sin and corruption of the leaders inside the temple.  He saw Judah literally chasing God from His own house with idols and corruption. God sent death, defiled the temple with dead bodies, and then let the temple be destroyed.

None of this should be a surprise – we have read all of this already. But what I want to point out is – even the second time God moved – there was balance. Yes, the temple was destroyed – but did you see His judgments?! Did you see all those chapters about nations being dealt with? Did you see God Himself vindicate His people, as unworthy as they were and in captivity because they were disobedient and adulterous lovers of God – YET full of mercy and grace God rode from the temple and executed judgments on their behalf.

The temple standing – somehow in their corrupted minds meant God’s grace could be abused and God was caged in and couldn’t leave them. God can leave. He will not let anything, even His temple be more powerful in our minds than Him. Like we see in Romans 6 – God forbid we continue in sin and abuse grace. There is a judgment for willful sin.

But what about just being a weak human? How many times have we fallen and God still rode to our rescue – and still vindicated us?  Wait! Do not answer that yet.  I need to tell you a secret first – many times we do not get to see it happen. You see, we are too busy fighting with God about having to forgive them and having to pray for them.
Remember when they were wandering in the desert and they were fighting with Moses – when up on the mountain top a sorcerer was being paid to curse them?! AND where was God? On the mountain top causing the sorcerer to bless them!  So while we fight in the valley or in captivity – while we run amuck as humans do God is busy vindicating, blessing, and preparing our restoration. 

Glory to God!  It is important for us to look at this theme in this book.  And now that we have read most of it is a good time to reflect back at all the time – God was moving!   And then look at our own lives – look at our nations as well. Cause God has been on the move – and with the move comes judgment.

As true to this year – We seem to be having each of these books come to life right before our eyes in fulfilled prophesy and timely words.  And even though today’s reading is a bunch of measurements and I could symbolically relate it to worship like many a teacher before me – if is much more urgent for our daily life to truly know our God.

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” 2 Tim 1:12

Do you know Him? really know Him? like Ezekiel and like Paul?  Do you know He has a Throne-mobile and can zoom around?! Did you know He is on the move? We sing a song “We need a move” and do so in complete ignorance that HE IS MOVING! It is ourselves who are inactive and captive. Yes – we are! We need a greater understanding of calling a solemn assembly we need a Joel (oh that book is coming up soon). We need to have our hearts break and cry out!!! We need to get into the secret place and talk it out with God.

Do we really know in whom we believe – cause we would be quiet and repentant! While God is on the move. He said we are His temple and therefore the restoration happens within us (until such a time that He builds another).

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 40-41 NKJV

A New City, a New Temple

40 In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was [a]captured, on the very same day the hand of the Lord was upon me; and He took me there. In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway.

And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and [b]fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.” Now there was a wall all around the outside of the [c]temple. In the man’s hand was a measuring rod six [d]cubits long, each being a cubit and a handbreadth; and he measured the width of the wall structure, one rod; and the height, one rod.

The Eastern Gateway of the Temple

Then he went to the gateway which faced east; and he went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gateway, which was one rod wide, and the other threshold was one rod wide. Each gate chamber was one rod long and one rod wide; between the gate chambers was a space of five cubits; and the threshold of the gateway by the vestibule of the inside gate was one rod. He also measured the vestibule of the inside gate, one rod. Then he measured the vestibule of the gateway, eight cubits; and the gateposts, two cubits. The vestibule of the gate was on the inside. 10 In the eastern gateway were three gate chambers on one side and three on the other; the three were all the same size; also the gateposts were of the same size on this side and that side.

11 He measured the width of the entrance to the gateway, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. 12 There was a [e]space in front of the gate chambers, one cubit on this side and one cubit on that side; the gate chambers were six cubits on this side and six cubits on that side. 13 Then he measured the gateway from the roof of one gate chamber to the roof of the other; the width was twenty-five cubits, as door faces door. 14 He measured the gateposts, sixty cubits high, and the court all around the gateway extended to the gatepost. 15 From the front of the entrance gate to the front of the vestibule of the inner gate was fifty cubits. 16 There were beveled window frames in the gate chambers and in their intervening archways on the inside of the gateway all around, and likewise in the vestibules. There were windows all around on the inside. And on each gatepost were palm trees.

The Outer Court

17 Then he brought me into the outer court; and there were chambers and a pavement made all around the court; thirty chambers faced the pavement. 18 The pavement was by the side of the gateways, corresponding to the length of the gateways; this was the lower pavement. 19 Then he measured the width from the front of the lower gateway to the front of the inner court exterior, one hundred cubits toward the east and the north.

The Northern Gateway

20 On the outer court was also a gateway facing north, and he measured its length and its width. 21 Its gate chambers, three on this side and three on that side, its gateposts and its archways, had the same measurements as the first gate; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 22 Its windows and those of its archways, and also its palm trees, had the same measurements as the gateway facing east; it was ascended by seven steps, and its archway was in front of it. 23 A gate of the inner court was opposite the northern gateway, just as the eastern gateway; and he measured from gateway to gateway, one hundred cubits.

The Southern Gateway

24 After that he brought me toward the south, and there a gateway was facing south; and he measured its gateposts and archways according to these same measurements. 25 There were windows in it and in its archways all around like those windows; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 26 Seven steps led up to it, and its archway was in front of them; and it had palm trees on its gateposts, one on this side and one on that side. 27 There was also a gateway on the inner court, facing south; and he measured from gateway to gateway toward the south, one hundred cubits.

Gateways of the Inner Court

28 Then he brought me to the inner court through the southern gateway; he measured the southern gateway according to these same measurements. 29 Also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways were according to these same measurements; there were windows in it and in its archways all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 30 There were archways all around, twenty-five cubits long and five cubits wide. 31 Its archways faced the outer court, palm trees were on its gateposts, and going up to it were eight steps.

32 And he brought me into the inner court facing east; he measured the gateway according to these same measurements. 33 Also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways were according to these same measurements; and there were windows in it and in its archways all around; it was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. 34 Its archways faced the outer court, and palm trees were on its gateposts on this side and on that side; and going up to it were eight steps.

35 Then he brought me to the north gateway and measured it according to these same measurements— 36 also its gate chambers, its gateposts, and its archways. It had windows all around; its length was fifty cubits and its width twenty-five cubits. 37 Its gateposts faced the outer court, palm trees were on its gateposts on this side and on that side, and going up to it were eight steps.

Where Sacrifices Were Prepared

38 There was a chamber and its entrance by the gateposts of the gateway, where they washed the burnt offering. 39 In the vestibule of the gateway were two tables on this side and two tables on that side, on which to slay the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the trespass offering. 40 At the outer side of the vestibule, as one goes up to the entrance of the northern gateway, were two tables; and on the other side of the vestibule of the gateway were two tables. 41 Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side, by the side of the gateway, eight tables on which they slaughtered the sacrifices. 42 There were also four tables of hewn stone for the burnt offering, one cubit and a half long, one cubit and a half wide, and one cubit high; on these they laid the instruments with which they slaughtered the burnt offering and the sacrifice. 43 Inside were hooks, a handbreadth wide, fastened all around; and the flesh of the sacrifices was on the tables.

Chambers for Singers and Priests

44 Outside the inner gate were the chambers for the singers in the inner court, one facing south at the side of the northern gateway, and the other facing north at the side of the [f]southern gateway. 45 Then he said to me, “This chamber which faces south is for the priests who have charge of the temple. 46 The chamber which faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar; these are the sons of Zadok, from the sons of Levi, who come near the Lord to minister to Him.”

Dimensions of the Inner Court and Vestibule

47 And he measured the court, one hundred cubits long and one hundred cubits wide, foursquare. The altar was in front of the temple. 48 Then he brought me to the vestibule of the temple and measured the doorposts of the vestibule, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side; and the width of the gateway was three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side. 49 The length of the vestibule was twenty cubits, and the width eleven cubits; and by the steps which led up to it there were pillars by the doorposts, one on this side and another on that side.

Dimensions of the Sanctuary

41 Then he brought me into the [g]sanctuary and measured the doorposts, six cubits wide on one side and six cubits wide on the other side—the width of the tabernacle. The width of the entryway was ten cubits, and the side walls of the entrance were five cubits on this side and five cubits on the other side; and he measured its length, forty cubits, and its width, twenty cubits.

Also he went inside and measured the doorposts, two cubits; and the entrance, six cubits high; and the width of the entrance, seven cubits. He measured the length, twenty cubits; and the width, twenty cubits, beyond the sanctuary; and he said to me, “This is the Most Holy Place.

The Side Chambers on the Wall

Next, he measured the wall of the [h]temple, six cubits. The width of each side chamber all around the temple was four cubits on every side. The side chambers were in three stories, one above the other, thirty chambers in each story; they rested on [i]ledges which were for the side chambers all around, that they might be supported, but not fastened to the wall of the temple. As one went up from story to story, the side chambers became wider all around, because their supporting ledges in the wall of the temple ascended like steps; therefore the width of the structure increased as one went up from the lowest story to the highest by way of the middle one. I also saw an elevation all around the temple; it was the foundation of the side chambers, a full rod, that is, six cubits high. The thickness of the outer wall of the side chambers was five cubits, and so also the remaining terrace by the place of the side chambers of the [j]temple. 10 And between it and the wall chambers was a width of twenty cubits all around the temple on every side. 11 The doors of the side chambers opened on the terrace, one door toward the north and another toward the south; and the width of the terrace was five cubits all around.

The Building at the Western End

12 The building that faced the separating courtyard at its western end was seventy cubits wide; the wall of the building was five cubits thick all around, and its length ninety cubits.

Dimensions and Design of the Temple Area

13 So he measured the temple, one hundred cubits long; and the separating courtyard with the building and its walls was one hundred cubits long; 14 also the width of the eastern face of the temple, including the separating courtyard, was one hundred cubits. 15 He measured the length of the building behind it, facing the separating courtyard, with its galleries on the one side and on the other side, one hundred cubits, as well as the inner [k]temple and the porches of the court, 16 their doorposts and the beveled window frames. And the galleries all around their three stories opposite the threshold were paneled with wood from the ground to the windows—the windows were covered— 17 from the space above the door, even to the inner [l]room, as well as outside, and on every wall all around, inside and outside, by measure.

18 And it was made with cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub. Each cherub had two faces, 19 so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around. 20 From the floor to the space above the door, and on the wall of the sanctuary, cherubim and palm trees were carved.

21 The doorposts of the temple were square, as was the front of the sanctuary; their appearance was similar. 22 The altar was of wood, three cubits high, and its length two cubits. Its corners, its length, and its sides were of wood; and he said to me, “This is the table that is before the Lord.”

23 The temple and the sanctuary had two doors. 24 The doors had two panels apiece, two folding panels: two panels for one door and two panels for the other door. 25 Cherubim and palm trees were carved on the doors of the temple just as they were carved on the walls. A wooden canopy was on the front of the vestibule outside. 26 There were beveled window frames and palm trees on one side and on the other, on the sides of the vestibule—also on the side chambers of the temple and on the canopies.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 40:1 Lit. struck
  2. Ezekiel 40:4 Lit. set your heart
  3. Ezekiel 40:5 Lit. house
  4. Ezekiel 40:5 A royal cubit of about 21 inches
  5. Ezekiel 40:12 Lit. border
  6. Ezekiel 40:44 So with LXX; MT, Vg. eastern
  7. Ezekiel 41:1 Heb. heykal; the main room in the temple, the holy place, Ex. 26:33
  8. Ezekiel 41:5 Lit. house
  9. Ezekiel 41:6 Lit. the wall
  10. Ezekiel 41:9 Lit. house
  11. Ezekiel 41:15 Or sanctuary
  12. Ezekiel 41:17 Lit. house; the Most Holy Place

God is greater than Gog

Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name— ” Ezekiel 39:25 NKJV

We are going to finish up this book soon and so today’s reading is the beginning of the end of the book. We are introduced to Gog, a nation that doesn’t and hasn’t yet existed – and what is believed to be end of the world prophecy. And of course more mercy and grace and restoration for Israel!!

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 38-39 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

Who is Gog?  This is a loaded question – with theologians all over the place with answers.  We have all heard about Armageddon – the war where Gog and Magog attack Israel!  Even people who have never read the Bible have heard about it in pop culture – where the enemy tries to desensitize the world to the judgments of God. 
To answer this question for someone else, I would need a great deal more study on the matter.  The majority of theologians agree it happens after the rapture – so I do not intend on being here for it.  But if so some reason I am here – I know that I know how to hear and obey God and I know that I know He protects and preserves me.  I know that I know, that to live is Christ and to die is gain (meaning, while alive, my life belongs to God and it is His and when I die, I receive the reward of eternal life which is our goal).
Part of the intensity of the discussions about Gog is the unknown which is always a door for fear.  Yes, even the most seasoned scholars must temper fear when handling end time prophesy. There is a measure of normalcy to it. So, take a deep breath and bear in mind that regardless of your ability to fully understand – Our God, the Good Father, has a plan for each of us and we are safely nestled in His plan.  Just as we saw His tender love in all the judgments so far in this book – His great love never fails us. And of course, God is greater than Gog. God lays out a victorious plan – complete victory.  But let us look at some wise advice for us:

“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them” Ezekiel 38:7
Be prepared and be a watchman.  Prepare by getting into the word of God and learning it – more. And be a “watch and pray” kind of person, as you learn from the word of God. Like the brides prepared with oil (yesterday’s discussion) – we should be prepared.

“Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years.” Ezekiel 39:9
For 7 years they will burn the weapons – that is a LOT of weapons! This is important to note. 
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17
We all know, that no weapon formed will prosper – but did you ever stop to think about how many weapons will be formed?  You see, if you are doing this right, and have a right relationship with God – it will make people angry! Very angry!

People who are captive in some way to a demonic spirit – they will be frothing at the mouth, mad! People who are generally complacent, will be open to be used as stumbling blocks (they end up used as weapons). People who are in a weak relationship and not putting in the work will be vulnerable to jealousy.  So – if you are doing it right, your circle becomes small. And there ends up being so many more weapons formed against you then you can count.  And God protects you from each and every one.
If you stop to think about how many – it doesn’t scare you. It doesn’t wear you down. With real, God guided thought on the matter you begin to become desensitize in a good way.  There are a billion attacks a day most small and handled long before they get near you and you never know. The enemy uses a broad spectrum approach in hopes that one or two can get through – and some do, but they do not prosper.  They pop by and give you opportunity to fear – but don’t. It’s handled, just like the rest, everything from the physical weapon to the tongue. God has this.

then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 39:28-29

Let’s finish this discussion on a Jesus note! Because in His name we have complete victory! Even against things we are unaware of!  The closing verse is all about our Jesus! He has set the captives free once and for all and is the final freedom! And Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us – in the book of Acts. We now have the power of that Spirit. We have the anointing that breaks the yoke of bondage. We must stop waiting for someone else to do it and step up in that power and through the boldness of the Holy Spirit, under His anointing, In the Name of Jesus – set the captives free!

Be free from the fear of covid – 19 and everything associated with it in the name of Jesus!

Be free from the sicknesses and illnesses that come against you in the name of Jesus!

Be free from the confusion and lies of this world and fear it causes – IN THE NAME OF JESUS!

Be free from being overwhelmed by information and be free from blind eyes, closed ears and lack of understanding – IN THE MIGHTY NAME OF JESUS!

Be free from all blockages, to have a real relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ – in the glorious name above all names – Jesus!!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 38-39 NKJV

Gog and Allies Attack Israel

38 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, [a]the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, [b]Ethiopia, and [c]Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: 11 You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell [d]safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ ” ’

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? 15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” 17 Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?

Judgment on Gog

18 “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. 19 For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great [e]earthquake in the land of Israel, 20 so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ 21 I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’

Gog’s Armies Destroyed

39 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, [f]the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. You shall [g]fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. You shall [h]fall on [i]the open field; for I have spoken,” says the Lord God. “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live [j]in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord God. “This is the day of which I have spoken.

“Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the [k]javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord God.

The Burial of Gog

11 “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of [l]Hamon Gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord God. 14 “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of [m]a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall [n]set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 The name of the city will also be [o]Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land.” ’

A Triumphant Festival

17 “And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field:

“Assemble yourselves and come;
Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal
Which I am sacrificing for you,
A great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel,
That you may eat flesh and drink blood.
18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty,
Drink the blood of the princes of the earth,
Of rams and lambs,
Of goats and bulls,
All of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 You shall eat fat till you are full,
And drink blood till you are drunk,
At My sacrificial meal
Which I am sacrificing for you.
20 You shall be filled at My table
With horses and riders,
With mighty men
And with all the men of war,” says the Lord God.

Israel Restored to the Land

21 “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward. 23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.” ’

25 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name— 26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them [p]captive any longer. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 38:2 Tg., Vg., Aquila the chief prince of Meshech, also v. 3
  2. Ezekiel 38:5 Heb. Cush
  3. Ezekiel 38:5 Heb. Put
  4. Ezekiel 38:11 securely
  5. Ezekiel 38:19 Lit. shaking
  6. Ezekiel 39:1 Tg., Vg., Aquila the chief prince of Meshech
  7. Ezekiel 39:4 Be slain
  8. Ezekiel 39:5 Be slain
  9. Ezekiel 39:5 Lit. the face of the field
  10. Ezekiel 39:6 securely or confidently
  11. Ezekiel 39:9 Lit. hand staffs
  12. Ezekiel 39:11 Lit. The Multitude of Gog
  13. Ezekiel 39:14 Lit. those who pass through
  14. Ezekiel 39:15 build
  15. Ezekiel 39:16 Lit. Multitude
  16. Ezekiel 39:28 Lit. there

Dry Bones – Live

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ” Ezekiel 37:4-6 NKJV

Oh Glory To God! A New Year and Living Bones! I cannot tell you how excited I was to be able to share my thoughts on this common and exciting chapter! Everyone knows we are in a time of awakening, and for those asleep, it certainly feels like their dry bones are rattling awake with life! And during the celebration of God creating us – what could be better then Him waking us back up, and reassembling us, essentially creating us again… wait, that sounds a little mixed. Let’s dig in.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 35-37 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Today’s reading starts with a few more judgements then… the restoration of Jerusalem.  At least in the judgments we could see the Lords justice = love. And now here is all sorts of glorious hope. Restoration symbols and prophecy that speaks to the literal time line of the Jews returning to Israel, and for every restoration, as well as prophesy that points to the New Jerusalem, which will be like the Garden of Eden and the place where heaven and earth overlap again and God can commune with those on earth – when Jesus reigns here on earth, after the rapture and after the tribulation and after all the things.  It is easy to extract what belongs to the Babylonian period of time – the rest belongs somewhere else in time.  AND SO much of it belongs to a time, to a generation in which many believe God marks time with. A generation found in camps, looking like dead piles of bones. And from those dead piles of bones at Auschwitz, and other camps and from hiding all over the world, from those bones God restored and created in one day the nation of Israel!!!

I know we have been sleeping – and we woke up parched and some of us woke up without enough supplies. I know if feels like we were dead. But we did not have death touch us like the bone people of the concentration camps.  Actually, most of us slept in lush beds of comfort because we were lulled asleep by our feelings of security and our bountiful blessings.  Here – let’s read this:

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight
 a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,
 ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
“Watch therefore, for you
 know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Matthew 25:1-13 NKJV

First of all they all slept, even the wise. Second, He said He will seem to be late and you will need to be prepared.  Third – this is literally sandwiched among all the end time discussions of Jesus.  Jesus Himself said this parable is for you and me right now. Is Jesus coming tomorrow? I wish, but I don’t think so. He could, we have all already fallen asleep. And now we are waking up. Are we dry dead bones being restored like the passage in today’s reading? No. We are just a bunch of sleepy brides – it is very late.

I want the dry bones passage to mean revival and healing and blessings – but now is not that time. On the day the Lord created us and we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we are reminded that the dry bones in the horrors of camps and from all the corners of the world were used by God and He restored His nation. This one is for that Nation – this passage is surrounded by overwhelming prophecy for the Nation.  And it is important, because that generation will not pass away (Matt 24:34) before we see our Savior!  Ah – there it is! There is our promise!

We do need to get into the secret place with God to get our oil filled – get prepared.  This means spend time talking with God, reading, studying, memorizing, meditating on the word of God! This means maintaining an attitude of worship – praying without ceasing. This means walking in the spirit and not by flesh. Can someone really do it? YES! I tell you yes! But you have to put the time into your relationship with God. You will get there as fast as you surrender to His will and humble yourself.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 35-37 NKJV

Judgment on Mount Seir

35 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it, and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you;
I will stretch out My hand against you,
And make you [a]most desolate;
I shall lay your cities waste,
And you shall be desolate.
Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

“Because you have had an [b]ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated [c]blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. Thus I will make Mount Seir [d]most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. I will make you [e]perpetually desolate, and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I am the Lord.

10 “Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although the Lord was there, 11 therefore, as I live,” says the Lord God, “I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. 12 Then you shall know that I am the Lord. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’ 13 Thus with your mouth you have [f]boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.

14 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate. 15 As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom—all of it! Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’

Blessing on Israel

36 “And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Because the enemy has said of you, ‘Aha! The [g]ancient heights have become our possession,’ ” ’ therefore prophesy, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people”— therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills, the [h]rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around— therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and [i]spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country.” ’

“Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations.” Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and [j]bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. 12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children.

13 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’ 14 therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore,” says the Lord God. 15 “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore,” says the Lord God.’ ”

The Renewal of Israel

16 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. 18 Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it. 19 So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. 20 When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name—when they said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.’ 21 But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went.

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will [k]loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!”

33 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it.

37 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 Like a [l]flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its [m]feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

The Dry Bones Live

37 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the [n]breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” ’ ” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and [o]breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”

One Kingdom, One King

15 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.

18 “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— 19 say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ’ 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.

21 “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will [p]make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” ’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 35:3 Lit. a desolation and a waste
  2. Ezekiel 35:5 Or everlasting
  3. Ezekiel 35:6 Or bloodshed
  4. Ezekiel 35:7 Lit. a waste and a desolation
  5. Ezekiel 35:9 Lit. desolated forever
  6. Ezekiel 35:13 Lit. made yourself great
  7. Ezekiel 36:2 Or everlasting
  8. Ezekiel 36:4 Or ravines
  9. Ezekiel 36:5 Lit. scorning souls
  10. Ezekiel 36:11 Lit. be fruitful
  11. Ezekiel 36:31 despise
  12. Ezekiel 36:38 Lit. holy flock
  13. Ezekiel 36:38 appointed feasts
  14. Ezekiel 37:9 Breath of life
  15. Ezekiel 37:10 Breath of life
  16. Ezekiel 37:26 Lit. cut

Shana Tova U’Metuka!

Have a good and sweet year. At sun set tonight, the Lord says He declares the feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah.  He tells us to call for a solemn assembly, blow the trumpets, and humble yourself. This is the end of one year and the beginning of another and it is the same in our lives – one season ends and another begins.  It is God’s ordained timing – It is HIS holiday.

And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying…” Ezekiel 32:1 NKJV
Our reading today is placed 28 days and 2700ish years ago – give or take.  Ezekiel is receiving this word one month before new year’s day.  God found it important enough to note the timeline – so I find it interesting how close it is to our timeline – a few short 28 days off, give or take. The calendar is an interesting thing.

The modern Christian calendar set time as revolving around the birth of Christ (the history of the calendar is really very interesting so I will try not to get side-tracked).  And as sweet of a sentiment it is – it is a variation to the Roman calendar, which is based on idols and pagan gods as well as sorcery and the planets in the sky. This modern calendar did not only change which month the new year began in – it also changed the way it is commemorated. The year no longer begins with humility, repentance – getting our house in order and our life right with God; and remembering the Garden of Eden and how we were made to commune face to face with God but our sin and pride separated us. We need to start with addressing sin and pride to have a blessed year.  But instead the modern new year celebration is a drunken debauchery! And if you do any soul searching and attempt to change from your old ways with a “new year equals new me” declaration, then you become mocked by others. Even modern psychology suggests that new year’s resolutions are damaging to your psyche. Because you set yourself up for failure and give your self a means to measure that failure. (Insert face-palm)

God said to repent and turn from our wicked ways – but we cannot do it without His grace transforming us and without humility and true repentance. How can He heal us if we do not repent and get humble? Anyway…

God was the only one there when the world was created – and if HE says it began on this date, then I cannot disagree (I wasn’t there).  If He says to ring in the new year with a solemn assembly, repentance and humility, and a feast of sweet treats, then I cannot argue.  This is NOT a Jewish holiday – it is the Lord’s holiday. He said so. 

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 32-34 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Today’s reading the Lord declares His judgements on Pharaoh and Egypt – I love how God’s tender love always shows through as it is written in a lament style. God laments what has to be done. 

Chapter 33 warns us to be watchmen – read and understand and cross reference Jesus in the garden the night before He died saying watch and pray! With this warning to be watchmen is His loving reminder that He is just – He is fair.  Here come the judgments of the Lord on the wickedness of our time – and on any evil still within us. 
So – let’s discuss this again – it bears further explanation.  We have been deeply asleep. We are only just startled awake and do not have all our bearing yet. Do you know that feeling? Spiritually the majority of the modern world is deeply asleep – and then there are a few of us shaking it off. I know many people who have been “saved” for 50 plus years… and even they are waking up right now.  So keep in mind that we aren’t awake enough to understand everything like we want to. Every time I type the words: humble ourselves and repent – I honestly think: well, God I have done that and honestly practice searching myself with God every day.  But I get a check in my spirit when I think that! I still have so much God needs to work on and I need to repent from not seeing it within myself – and it is a daily thing as long as we are on this earth. God transforms us slowly. Some faster than other, some slower than others – but it is not an insta-transformation and then it is done and we no longer need to work on ourselves or work on humility. (The Bible says humble “yourself” – it is something we are to work on.)
So be watchmen – watch and pray – watch for this holy judgment – watch by being prepared so we have already been washed and marked by Jesus’s blood.

Then in verse 21 – the judgement comes and Jerusalem falls: historically, symbolically, and in every manner of speaking.  Talk about a “new year – new me” transformation – it became destroyed.

30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” Ezekiel 33:30-33

Oh Lord, this sounds like today’s world. Everyone seeking the anointed preachers – seeking to hear from God through someone else – seeking an experience with God through someone else…. Because they do not want to be doers of the word – just hearers of the word!

The next chapter is a firm warning to false prophets and teachers how shepherd flocks. This chapter needs its own 2 hour sermon! So much good stuff for today’s world. 

But for you – I will just highlight and pull out a little bit and let you read it and talk with God about it.  Be hungry for God – it is good to be zealously hungry. It is good to study and dig in. It is good to seek good teachings.  But. Go to the same table for your meals and make sure they are serving meat.  Make sure the shepherd resembles a Moses, a David, a Joshua, a Daniel, etc.  And doesn’t look like Jezebel or Nebuchadnezzar!  
With the internet there are people like me handing out juicy morsels – go ahead and get a treat. Make sure it is meat. Even with me, check – read it for yourself, study to show yourself approved.
But – do not chase every preacher – every excited person jumping up and downing declaring Jesus saves. Please be careful. There are more out there with a corrupted message than those with a pure word.  This is why I tell you to memorize the word – who it clean and uncorrupted – it is your weapon, do not let it get dull from watered down, muddy preaching.  Be careful what you put in your head.  Your brain can only be added to and you cannot take something out of it. You cannot remove a corrupted twisted lie from the devil – but you can correct it and learn the truth to straighten it back out!  Philippians 4:8 is so vital in this regard.

Ok, I carried on for longer than I usually do – I am full of fire shut up in my bones!

The new year greeting for tonight is actually a prayer – so let me pray for you to have a good and sweet year and for all of you reading these words: May the Lord, bless your coming year, keep you close and safe under His wing, may His face shine on you and overflow you with grace.  You are the head and not the tail; above only and not beneath; and in all your ways and endeavors you are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved – you are blessed to be a blessing. In the name of Jesus – amen!

Draw close to God in your relationship through Christ Jesus in the coming year.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

I am aware this is not a scripture verse – I am prayerfully declaring a blessing upon you.

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 32-34 NKJV

Lamentation for Pharaoh and Egypt

32 And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him:

‘You are like a young lion among the nations,
And you are like a monster in the seas,
Bursting forth in your rivers,
Troubling the waters with your feet,
And fouling their rivers.

‘Thus says the Lord God:

“I will therefore spread My net over you with a company of many people,
And they will draw you up in My net.
Then I will leave you on the land;
I will cast you out on the open fields,
And cause to [a]settle on you all the birds of the heavens.
And with you I will fill the beasts of the whole earth.
I will lay your flesh on the mountains,
And fill the valleys with your carcass.

“I will also water the land with the flow of your blood,
Even to the mountains;
And the riverbeds will be full of you.
When I put out your light,
I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
And the moon shall not give her light.
All the [b]bright lights of the heavens I will make dark over you,
And bring darkness upon your land,”
Says the Lord God.

‘I will also trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries which you have not known. 10 Yes, I will make many peoples astonished at you, and their kings shall be horribly afraid of you when I brandish My sword before them; and they shall tremble every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of your fall.

11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you. 12 By the swords of the mighty warriors, all of them the most terrible of the nations, I will cause your multitude to fall.

“They shall plunder the pomp of Egypt,
And all its multitude shall be destroyed.
13 Also I will destroy all its animals
From beside its great waters;
The foot of man shall muddy them no more,
Nor shall the hooves of animals muddy them.
14 Then I will make their waters [c]clear,
And make their rivers run like oil,”
Says the Lord God.

15 “When I make the land of Egypt desolate,
And the country is destitute of all that once filled it,
When I strike all who dwell in it,
Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

16 “This is the lamentation
With which they shall lament her;
The daughters of the nations shall lament her;
They shall lament for her, for Egypt,
And for all her multitude,”
Says the Lord God.’ ”

Egypt and Others Consigned to the Pit

17 It came to pass also in the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

18 “Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt,
And cast them down to the depths of the earth,
Her and the daughters of the famous nations,
With those who go down to the Pit:
19 ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty?
Go down, be placed with the uncircumcised.’

20 “They shall fall in the midst of those slain by the sword;
She is delivered to the sword,
Drawing her and all her multitudes.
21 The strong among the mighty
Shall speak to him out of the midst of hell
With those who help him:
‘They have gone down,
They lie with the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

22 “Assyria is there, and all her company,
With their graves all around her,
All of them slain, fallen by the sword.
23 Her graves are set in the recesses of the Pit,
And her company is all around her grave,
All of them slain, fallen by the sword,
Who caused terror in the land of the living.

24 “There is Elam and all her multitude,
All around her grave,
All of them slain, fallen by the sword,
Who have gone down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth,
Who caused their terror in the land of the living;
Now they bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.
25 They have set her bed in the midst of the slain,
With all her multitude,
With her graves all around it,
All of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword;
Though their terror was caused
In the land of the living,
Yet they bear their shame
With those who go down to the Pit;
It was put in the midst of the slain.

26 “There are Meshech and Tubal and all their multitudes,
With all their graves around it,
All of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword,
Though they caused their terror in the land of the living.
27 They do not lie with the mighty
Who are fallen of the uncircumcised,
Who have gone down to hell with their weapons of war;
They have laid their swords under their heads,
But their iniquities will be on their bones,
Because of the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
28 Yes, you shall be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised,
And lie with those slain by the sword.

29 “There is Edom,
Her kings and all her princes,
Who despite their might
Are laid beside those slain by the sword;
They shall lie with the uncircumcised,
And with those who go down to the Pit.
30 There are the princes of the north,
All of them, and all the Sidonians,
Who have gone down with the slain
In shame at the terror which they caused by their might;
They lie uncircumcised with those slain by the sword,
And bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.

31 “Pharaoh will see them
And be comforted over all his multitude,
Pharaoh and all his army,
Slain by the sword,”
Says the Lord God.

32 “For I have caused My terror in the land of the living;
And he shall be placed in the midst of the uncircumcised
With those slain by the sword,
Pharaoh and all his multitude,”
Says the Lord God.

The Watchman and His Message

33 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will [d]save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

“So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have [e]delivered your soul.

10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine[f] away in them, how can we then live?” ’ 11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

The Fairness of God’s Judgment

12 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the children of your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ 13 When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. 14 Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does [g]what is lawful and [h]right, 15 if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not [i]fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not [j]fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

The Fall of Jerusalem

21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped from Jerusalem came to me and said, “The city has been [k]captured!”

22 Now the hand of the Lord had been upon me the evening before the man came who had escaped. And He had opened my mouth; so when he came to me in the morning, my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.

The Cause of Judah’s Ruin

23 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 24 “Son of man, they who inhabit those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many; the land has been given to us as a possession.’

25 “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “You eat meat with blood, you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then possess the land? 26 You rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and you defile one another’s wives. Should you then possess the land?” ’

27 “Say thus to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “As I live, surely those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and caves shall die of the pestilence. 28 For I will make the land most desolate, [l]her arrogant strength shall cease, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through. 29 Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.” ’

Hearing and Not Doing

30 “As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.’ 31 So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33 And when this comes to pass—surely it will come—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

Irresponsible Shepherds

34 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and [m]cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.

‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”

God, the True Shepherd

11 ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, [n]in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. 16 “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”

17 ‘And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats. 18 Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the [o]residue of your pasture—and to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have fouled with your feet.”

20 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. 21 Because you have pushed with side and shoulder, butted all the weak ones with your horns, and scattered them abroad, 22 therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.

25 “I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 I will raise up for them a garden[p] of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,” says the Lord God.’

31 “You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 32:4 Lit. sit or dwell
  2. Ezekiel 32:8 Or shining
  3. Ezekiel 32:14 Lit. sink; settle, grow clear
  4. Ezekiel 33:5 Or deliver his soul
  5. Ezekiel 33:9 Or saved your life
  6. Ezekiel 33:10 Or waste away
  7. Ezekiel 33:14 justice
  8. Ezekiel 33:14 righteousness
  9. Ezekiel 33:17 Or equitable
  10. Ezekiel 33:20 Or equitable
  11. Ezekiel 33:21 Lit. struck down
  12. Ezekiel 33:28 Lit. pride of her strength
  13. Ezekiel 34:4 harshness or rigor
  14. Ezekiel 34:13 Or by the streams
  15. Ezekiel 34:18 remainder
  16. Ezekiel 34:29 Lit. planting place

Shana Tova! (while preparing for)

For Rosh Hashanah, here is a supplemental post to bless your understanding while you begin a year that is good and sweet. This post includes some of the traditional items from the New Year celebration table and explains the meanings. This holiday represents the day the Lord said was the new year and the day He began creation – so this isn’t a Jewish holiday. It is the Lord’s day. Maybe you will want to include some of these in your meal tomorrow night? I am posting tonight, so you have time to go purchase anything you might need.

Round Challah (bread) – bread symbolizes the sin of the last year, round symbolizes the year is complete and finished. The 12 disciples understood that one of the symbols, bread represented, was sin.  So when they saw Jesus break the bread, say it was His body, (and of course after the work of the cross was complete) they understood, He took our sins and the work He set out to accomplish is complete.  
Note: *Some people do not eat the challah bread. Instead they break off piece and recall a sin, a struggle, an unforgiveness that is struggled with, or anything else they are giving to God. Then they symbolically attach it to the piece of bread and prayerfully throw it in a river to have it taken away from them. And repeat piece by piece.

Challah Ceremonial Covering – recalls the Biblical scene the day before the Sabbath, of the Israelites collecting their manna for the day and covering the Shabbat portion to keep it. It represent not only God’s provisions but His ability to preserve us as well.  It also represents God covering our sins, as we saw the bread represents our sins.

Pomegranate (but on my table I have Pomegranate Jam) – It was once believed that each pomegranate had 613 seeds the same number as the number of the laws – they have been sweetened and turned into jam because we are transformed under grace. This fruit is full of seeds – each one symbolic of new beginnings, new life, and new trees (and all the meanings of trees are also carried within this symbol – from the tree of life, to the tree Jesus died on, to us being the branches).  The pomegranate is also a symbol of the Garden of Eden, as displayed in the temple, and since the new year falls on the day God created the earth – it helps us reflect on the goal God has of restoring His relationship with man, to the kind we shared in the Garden.  The fruit also represents our original sin – reminding us to stay humble.

Apples – having similar symbolic meanings to the pomegranate (like representing the original sin); and being in season on new year’s day, it is believed that is how the apple became a symbol at Rosh Hashanah. Unlike the complexity of the Pomegranate, the apple simply represents the washing of sins as it is covered in honey at the feast, washing away the sin and making it new and sweet in the eyes of the Lord.

Honey – symbolizes prosperity and abundance from God as well as being considered a blessing for a sweet new year. It was used to preserve fruits and as an embalming material – so it also represents keeping and cherishing.  It was also valued as medicine – so honey also became a symbol of healing. To drizzle honey on an apple slice is a symbol of grace – turning the original sin into the blessing of health (healing) and abundance for the year to come.

Raisins – symbolizes the bountiful blessings of the past and how God can provide again. They represent the blessing being preserved. And then their sweetness blesses our new year with thoughts of God’s love. As God loved the grape enough to making them sweeter with age, God loves us enough to sweeten our futures.

Candle(s) – obviously a symbol of light, being able to see, and pointing to the hope of Jesus – who is the way, the truth and the light.

As we are reading through Ezekiel and learning about symbols – we see how important symbols are to God’s communication with us – and it is important to remember the symbols in holidays as God instructed. 

Weekend Reading (September 5)

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 28-31 NKJV

Proclamation Against the King of Tyre

28 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Because your heart is lifted[a] up,
And you say, ‘I am a god,
I sit in the seat of gods,
In the midst of the seas,’
Yet you are a man, and not a god,
Though you set your heart as the heart of a god
(Behold, you are wiser than Daniel!
There is no secret that can be hidden from you!
With your wisdom and your understanding
You have gained riches for yourself,
And gathered gold and silver into your treasuries;
By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches,
And your heart is lifted up because of your riches),”

‘Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god,
Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers against you,
The most terrible of the nations;
And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom,
And defile your splendor.
They shall throw you down into the Pit,
And you shall die the death of the slain
In the midst of the seas.

“Will you still say before him who slays you,
‘I am a god’?
But you shall be a man, and not a god,
In the hand of him who slays you.
10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
By the hand of aliens;
For I have spoken,” says the Lord God.’ ”

Lamentation for the King of Tyre

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.

16 “By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.

17 “Your heart was [b]lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;
I cast you to the ground,
I laid you before kings,
That they might gaze at you.

18 “You defiled your sanctuaries
By the multitude of your iniquities,
By the iniquity of your trading;
Therefore I brought fire from your midst;
It devoured you,
And I turned you to ashes upon the earth
In the sight of all who saw you.
19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you;
You have become a horror,
And shall be no more forever.” ’ ”

Proclamation Against Sidon

20 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 21 “Son of man, set your face toward Sidon, and prophesy against her, 22 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I am against you, O Sidon;
I will be glorified in your midst;
And they shall know that I am the Lord,
When I execute judgments in her and am hallowed in her.
23 For I will send pestilence upon her,
And blood in her streets;
The wounded shall be judged in her midst
By the sword against her on every side;
Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

24 “And there shall no longer be a pricking brier or a painful thorn for the house of Israel from among all who are around them, who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.”

Israel’s Future Blessing

25 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. 26 And they will dwell [c]safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God.” ’ ”

Proclamation Against Egypt

29 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Behold, I am against you,
O Pharaoh king of Egypt,
O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers,
Who has said, ‘My [d]River is my own;
I have made it for myself.’
But I will put hooks in your jaws,
And cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales;
I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers,
And all the fish in your rivers will stick to your scales.
I will leave you in the wilderness,
You and all the fish of your rivers;
You shall fall on the [e]open field;
You shall not be picked up or [f]gathered.
I have given you as food
To the beasts of the field
And to the birds of the heavens.

“Then all the inhabitants of Egypt
Shall know that I am the Lord,
Because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.
When they took hold of you with the hand,
You broke and tore all their [g]shoulders;
When they leaned on you,
You broke and made all their backs quiver.”

‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will bring a sword upon you and cut off from you man and beast. And the land of Egypt shall become desolate and waste; then they will know that I am the Lord, because he said, ‘The River is mine, and I have made it.’ 10 Indeed, therefore, I am against you and against your rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from [h]Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia. 11 Neither foot of man shall pass through it nor foot of beast pass through it, and it shall be uninhabited forty years. 12 I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate; and among the cities that are laid waste, her cities shall be desolate forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries.”

13 ‘Yet, thus says the Lord God: “At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they were scattered. 14 I will bring back the captives of Egypt and cause them to return to the land of Pathros, to the land of their origin, and there they shall be a lowly kingdom. 15 It shall be the lowliest of kingdoms; it shall never again exalt itself above the nations, for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over the nations anymore. 16 No longer shall it be the confidence of the house of Israel, but will remind them of their iniquity when they turned to follow them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.” ’ ”

Babylonia Will Plunder Egypt

17 And it came to pass in the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to labor strenuously against Tyre; every head was made bald, and every shoulder rubbed raw; yet neither he nor his army received wages from Tyre, for the labor which they expended on it. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he shall take away her wealth, carry off her spoil, and remove her pillage; and that will be the wages for his army. 20 I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor, because they worked for Me,’ says the Lord God.

21 ‘In that day I will cause the [i]horn of the house of Israel to spring forth, and I will open your mouth to speak in their midst. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’ ”

Egypt and Her Allies Will Fall

30 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Wail, ‘Woe to the day!’
For the day is near,
Even the day of the Lord is near;
It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.
The sword shall come upon Egypt,
And great anguish shall be in [j]Ethiopia,
When the slain fall in Egypt,
And they take away her wealth,
And her foundations are broken down.

“Ethiopia, [k]Libya, [l]Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword.”

‘Thus says the Lord:

“Those who uphold Egypt shall fall,
And the pride of her power shall come down.
From [m]Migdol to Syene
Those within her shall fall by the sword,”
Says the Lord God.

“They shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate countries,
And her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are laid waste.
Then they will know that I am the Lord,
When I have set a fire in Egypt
And all her helpers are destroyed.
On that day messengers shall go forth from Me in ships
To make the [n]careless Ethiopians afraid,
And great anguish shall come upon them,
As on the day of Egypt;
For indeed it is coming!”

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“I will also make a multitude of Egypt to cease
By the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his people with him, the most terrible of the nations,
Shall be brought to destroy the land;
They shall draw their swords against Egypt,
And fill the land with the slain.
12 I will make the rivers dry,
And sell the land into the hand of the wicked;
I will make the land waste, and all that is in it,
By the hand of aliens.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”

13 ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“I will also destroy the idols,
And cause the images to cease from [o]Noph;
There shall no longer be princes from the land of Egypt;
I will put fear in the land of Egypt.
14 I will make Pathros desolate,
Set fire to Zoan,
And execute judgments in [p]No.
15 I will pour My fury on [q]Sin, the strength of Egypt;
I will cut off the multitude of [r]No,
16 And set a fire in Egypt;
Sin shall have great pain,
No shall be split open,
And Noph shall be in distress daily.
17 The young men of [s]Aven and Pi Beseth shall fall by the sword,
And these cities shall go into captivity.
18 At [t]Tehaphnehes the day shall also be [u]darkened,
When I break the yokes of Egypt there.
And her arrogant strength shall cease in her;
As for her, a cloud shall cover her,
And her daughters shall go into captivity.
19 Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt,
Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

Proclamation Against Pharaoh

20 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and see, it has not been bandaged for healing, nor a [v]splint put on to bind it, to make it strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, both the strong one and the one that was broken; and I will make the sword fall out of his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them throughout the countries. 24 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put My sword in his hand; but I will break Pharaoh’s arms, and he will groan before him with the groanings of a mortally wounded man. 25 Thus I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put My sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’ ”

Egypt Cut Down Like a Great Tree

31 Now it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude:

‘Whom are you like in your greatness?
Indeed Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon,
With fine branches that shaded the forest,
And of high stature;
And its top was among the thick boughs.
The waters made it grow;
Underground waters gave it height,
With their rivers running around the place where it was planted,
And sent out [w]rivulets to all the trees of the field.

‘Therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of the field;
Its boughs were multiplied,
And its branches became long because of the abundance of water,
As it sent them out.
All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs;
Under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth their young;
And in its shadow all great nations [x]made their home.

‘Thus it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches,
Because its roots reached to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it;
The fir trees were not like its boughs,
And the [y]chestnut trees were not like its branches;
No tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty.
I made it beautiful with a multitude of branches,
So that all the trees of Eden envied it,
That were in the garden of God.’

10 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have increased in height, and it set its top among the thick boughs, and its heart was [z]lifted up in its height, 11 therefore I will deliver it into the hand of the mighty one of the nations, and he shall surely deal with it; I have driven it out for its wickedness. 12 And aliens, the most terrible of the nations, have cut it down and left it; its branches have fallen on the mountains and in all the valleys; its boughs lie broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the peoples of the earth have gone from under its shadow and left it.

13 ‘On its ruin will remain all the birds of the heavens,
And all the beasts of the field will come to its branches—

14 So that no trees by the waters may ever again exalt themselves for their height, nor set their tops among the thick boughs, that no tree which drinks water may ever be high enough to reach up to them.

‘For they have all been delivered to death,
To the depths of the earth,
Among the children of men who go down to the Pit.’

15 “Thus says the Lord God: ‘In the day when it went down to [aa]hell, I caused mourning. I covered the deep because of it. I restrained its rivers, and the great waters were held back. I caused Lebanon to [ab]mourn for it, and all the trees of the field wilted because of it. 16 I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to [ac]hell together with those who descend into the Pit; and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the depths of the earth. 17 They also went down to hell with it, with those slain by the sword; and those who were its strong arm dwelt in its shadows among the nations.

18 ‘To which of the trees in Eden will you then be likened in glory and greatness? Yet you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the depths of the earth; you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude,’ says the Lord God.”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 28:2 Proud
  2. Ezekiel 28:17 Proud
  3. Ezekiel 28:26 securely
  4. Ezekiel 29:3 The Nile
  5. Ezekiel 29:5 Lit. face of the field
  6. Ezekiel 29:5 So with MT, LXX, Vg.; some Heb. mss., Tg. buried
  7. Ezekiel 29:7 So with MT, Vg.; LXX, Syr. hand
  8. Ezekiel 29:10 Or the tower
  9. Ezekiel 29:21 Strength
  10. Ezekiel 30:4 Heb. Cush
  11. Ezekiel 30:5 Heb. Put
  12. Ezekiel 30:5 Heb. Lud
  13. Ezekiel 30:6 Or the tower
  14. Ezekiel 30:9 Or secure
  15. Ezekiel 30:13 Ancient Memphis
  16. Ezekiel 30:14 Ancient Thebes
  17. Ezekiel 30:15 Ancient Pelusium
  18. Ezekiel 30:15 Ancient Thebes
  19. Ezekiel 30:17 Ancient On, Heliopolis
  20. Ezekiel 30:18 Tahpanhes, Jer. 43:7
  21. Ezekiel 30:18 So with many Heb. mss., Bg., LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg.; MT refrained
  22. Ezekiel 30:21 Lit. bandage
  23. Ezekiel 31:4 Or channels
  24. Ezekiel 31:6 Lit. dwelled
  25. Ezekiel 31:8 Or plane, Heb. armon
  26. Ezekiel 31:10 Proud
  27. Ezekiel 31:15 Or Sheol
  28. Ezekiel 31:15 Lit. be darkened
  29. Ezekiel 31:16 Or Sheol

Weekend Reading (September 4)

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 24=27 NKJV

Symbol of the Cooking Pot

24 Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, write down the name of the day, this very day—the king of Babylon started his siege against Jerusalem this very day. And utter a parable to the rebellious house, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Put on a pot, set it on,
And also pour water into it.
Gather pieces of meat in it,
Every good piece,
The thigh and the shoulder.
Fill it with choice [a]cuts;
Take the choice of the flock.
Also pile fuel bones under it,
Make it boil well,
And let the cuts simmer in it.”

‘Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Woe to the bloody city,
To the pot whose scum is in it,
And whose scum is not gone from it!
Bring it out piece by piece,
On which no lot has fallen.
For her blood is in her midst;
She set it on top of a rock;
She did not pour it on the ground,
To cover it with dust.
That it may raise up fury and take vengeance,
I have set her blood on top of a rock,
That it may not be covered.”

‘Therefore thus says the Lord God:

“Woe to the bloody city!
I too will make the pyre great.
10 Heap on the wood,
Kindle the fire;
Cook the meat well,
Mix in the spices,
And let the [b]cuts be burned up.

11 “Then set the pot empty on the coals,
That it may become hot and its bronze may burn,
That its filthiness may be melted in it,
That its scum may be consumed.
12 She has [c]grown weary with [d]lies,
And her great scum has not gone from her.
Let her scum be in the fire!
13 In your filthiness is lewdness.
Because I have cleansed you, and you were not cleansed,
You will not be cleansed of your filthiness anymore,
Till I have caused My fury to rest upon you.
14 I, the Lord, have spoken it;
It shall come to pass, and I will do it;
I will not hold back,
Nor will I spare,
Nor will I relent;
According to your ways
And according to your deeds
[e]They will judge you,”
Says the Lord God.’ ”

The Prophet’s Wife Dies

15 Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 16 “Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17 Sigh in silence, make no mourning for the dead; bind your turban on your head, and put your sandals on your feet; do not cover your [f]lips, and do not eat man’s bread of sorrow.

18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died; and the next morning I did as I was commanded.

19 And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things signify to us, that you behave so?”

20 Then I answered them, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 21 ‘Speak to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, [g]your arrogant boast, the desire of your eyes, the [h]delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. 22 And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your [i]lips nor eat man’s bread of sorrow. 23 Your turbans shall be on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you shall neither mourn nor weep, but you shall pine away in your iniquities and mourn with one another. 24 Thus Ezekiel is a sign to you; according to all that he has done you shall do; and when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord God.’ ”

25 ‘And you, son of man—will it not be in the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and their glory, the desire of their eyes, and [j]that on which they set their minds, their sons and their daughters: 26 that on that day one who escapes will come to you to let you hear it with your ears? 27 On that day your mouth will be opened to him who has escaped; you shall speak and no longer be mute. Thus you will be a sign to them, and they shall know that I am the Lord.’ ”

Proclamation Against Ammon

25 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them. Say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God: “Because you said, ‘Aha!’ against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity, indeed, therefore, I will deliver you as a possession to the [k]men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”

‘For thus says the Lord God: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel, indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Proclamation Against Moab

‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because Moab and Seir say, ‘Look! The house of Judah is like all the nations,’ therefore, behold, I will clear the territory of Moab of cities, of the cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kirjathaim. 10 To the men of the East I will give it as a possession, together with the Ammonites, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations. 11 And I will execute judgments upon Moab, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Proclamation Against Edom

12 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; [l]Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord God.

Proclamation Against Philistia

15 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Because the Philistines dealt vengefully and took vengeance with [m]a spiteful heart, to destroy because of the [n]old hatred,” 16 therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will stretch out My hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the remnant of the seacoast. 17 I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I lay My vengeance upon them.” ’ ”

Proclamation Against Tyre

26 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, ‘Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.’

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ says the Lord God; ‘it shall become plunder for the nations. Also her daughter villages which are in the fields shall be slain by the sword. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’

“For thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar[o] king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people. He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the fields; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a [p]defense against you. He will direct his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10 Because of the abundance of his horses, their dust will cover you; your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen, the wagons, and the chariots, when he enters your gates, as men enter a city that has been breached. 11 With the hooves of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people by the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water. 13 I will put an end to the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps shall be heard no more. 14 I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken,’ says the Lord God.

15 “Thus says the Lord God to Tyre: ‘Will the coastlands not shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when slaughter is made in the midst of you? 16 Then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments; they will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be astonished at you. 17 And they will take up a lamentation for you, and say to you:

“How you have perished,
O one inhabited by seafaring men,
O renowned city,
Who was strong at sea,
She and her inhabitants,
Who caused their terror to be on all her inhabitants!
18 Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall;
Yes, the coastlands by the sea are troubled at your departure.” ’

19 “For thus says the Lord God: ‘When I make you a desolate city, like cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you, 20 then I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit, so that you may never be inhabited; and I shall establish glory in the land of the living. 21 I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again,’ says the Lord God.”

Lamentation for Tyre

27 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, “Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre, and say to Tyre, ‘You who [q]are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord God:

“O Tyre, you have said,
‘I am perfect in beauty.’
Your borders are in the midst of the seas.
Your builders have perfected your beauty.
They [r]made all your planks of fir trees from Senir;
They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast.
Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars;
The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks
With ivory from the coasts of [s]Cyprus.
Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail;
Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you.

“Inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen;
Your wise men, O Tyre, were in you;
They became your pilots.
Elders of Gebal and its wise men
Were in you to caulk your seams;
All the ships of the sea
And their oarsmen were in you
To market your merchandise.

10 “Those from Persia, [t]Lydia, and [u]Libya
Were in your army as men of war;
They hung shield and helmet in you;
They gave splendor to you.
11 Men of Arvad with your army were on your walls all around,
And the men of Gammad were in your towers;
They hung their shields on your walls all around;
They made your beauty perfect.

12 “Tarshish was your merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods. 13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise. 14 Those from the house of Togarmah traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules. 15 The men of Dedan were your traders; many isles were the market of your hand. They brought you ivory tusks and ebony as payment. 16 Syria was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made. They gave you for your wares emeralds, purple, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies. 17 Judah and the land of Israel were your traders. They traded for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, millet, honey, oil, and balm. 18 Damascus was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made, because of your many luxury items, with the wine of Helbon and with white wool. 19 Dan and Javan paid for your wares, [v]traversing back and forth. Wrought iron, cassia, and cane were among your merchandise. 20 Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloths for riding. 21 Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your regular merchants. They traded with you in lambs, rams, and goats. 22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah were your merchants. They traded for your wares the choicest spices, all kinds of precious stones, and gold. 23 Haran, Canneh, Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Assyria, and Chilmad were your merchants. 24 These were your merchants in choice items—in purple clothes, in embroidered garments, in chests of multicolored apparel, in sturdy woven cords, which were in your marketplace.

25 “The ships of Tarshish were carriers of your merchandise.
You were filled and very glorious in the midst of the seas.
26 Your oarsmen brought you into many waters,
But the east wind broke you in the midst of the seas.

27 “Your riches, wares, and merchandise,
Your mariners and pilots,
Your caulkers and merchandisers,
All your men of war who are in you,
And the entire company which is in your midst,
Will fall into the midst of the seas on the day of your ruin.
28 The common-land[w] will shake at the sound of the cry of your pilots.

29 “All who handle the oar,
The mariners,
All the pilots of the sea
Will come down from their ships and stand on the [x]shore.
30 They will make their voice heard because of you;
They will cry bitterly and cast dust on their heads;
They will roll about in ashes;
31 They will shave themselves completely bald because of you,
Gird themselves with sackcloth,
And weep for you
With bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.
32 In their wailing for you
They will take up a lamentation,
And lament for you:
‘What city is like Tyre,
Destroyed in the midst of the sea?

33 ‘When your wares went out by sea,
You satisfied many people;
You enriched the kings of the earth
With your many luxury goods and your merchandise.
34 But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters;
Your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst.
35 All the inhabitants of the isles will be astonished at you;
Their kings will be greatly afraid,
And their countenance will be troubled.
36 The merchants among the peoples will hiss at you;
You will become a horror, and be no more forever.’ ” ’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 24:4 Lit. bones
  2. Ezekiel 24:10 Lit. bones
  3. Ezekiel 24:12 Or wearied Me
  4. Ezekiel 24:12 Or toil
  5. Ezekiel 24:14 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. I
  6. Ezekiel 24:17 Lit. moustache
  7. Ezekiel 24:21 Lit. the pride of your strength
  8. Ezekiel 24:21 Lit. compassion
  9. Ezekiel 24:22 Lit. moustache
  10. Ezekiel 24:25 Lit. the lifting up of their soul
  11. Ezekiel 25:4 Lit. sons
  12. Ezekiel 25:13 Or even to Dedan they shall fall
  13. Ezekiel 25:15 Lit. spite in soul
  14. Ezekiel 25:15 Or perpetual
  15. Ezekiel 26:7 Heb. Nebuchadrezzar, and so elsewhere in the book
  16. Ezekiel 26:8 Lit. a large shield
  17. Ezekiel 27:3 Lit. sit or dwell
  18. Ezekiel 27:5 built
  19. Ezekiel 27:6 Heb. Kittim, western lands, especially Cyprus
  20. Ezekiel 27:10 Heb. Lud
  21. Ezekiel 27:10 Heb. Put
  22. Ezekiel 27:19 LXX, Syr. from Uzal
  23. Ezekiel 27:28 open lands or pasturelands
  24. Ezekiel 27:29 Lit. land

God’s Love – On fire for Him

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30 NKJV

Current affairs being what they are – I am praying. I assume you are praying. We all say we are praying. But how are we praying? We all know mankind better humble himself really fast or the clock is going to speed up on our correction and discipline. I pray when I write these, that I can teach other’s to get humble and stay humble – but that isn’t standing in the gap.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 22-23 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). Today we have more judgment being explained – in symbolism.  Three things really stand out to me. 1. God wants intercessory prayers – we need to stand in the gap. 2. The symbols of fine metals going through the fire.  And 3. God will give us what we want if we are stubborn about it – just so we can see it isn’t what we want.

Standing in the gap.
In all of my prayers – and working from home and able to worship or listen to the bible while I work, I have all day to pray and talk to God.  Today, I was part of a special prayer for women who have opened businesses since losing their jobs. FYI, lots of people trying to make ends meet this way, please keep us in prayer – it is a struggle. And I was blessed to be able to encourage and lift up women from the same position they are in. I understand the Bible and my God’s promises and I also understand the struggle and the constant test of my faith. I was able to stand in the gap.  God used them to bless me and build my faith – while using me to bless them and build them up.  As I experienced it, I thought, we need more of that in this world! Jesus is the ultimate gap stander / intercessor. We should be Christ-like.

Metals in fire.
This symbol is great! Now, first we must remember God never mixes up His symbols – they always mean what they mean. Man may give you a sermon and misrepresent a symbol.  I heard a preach who was so timely with his word for the church he was visiting, and he mixed a symbol – and of course it rubbed me all sorts of wrong, but God used it in a mighty way and leaders, as well as members, were at the alter crying. So, I have all sorts of more mixed feels about mixing the metaphors. I am a bit of a purist when it comes to the word of God. So I will try not to mix it up – but sometimes words change meanings over time and there are new ways of seeing things. As long as the symbol can consistently be viewed that way throughout scriptures, then ok.
Anyway, the refiner’s fire is a symbol used throughout the Bible – I could do a month long study of the topic and still not touch all the content.  Let me just hit you with a bunch of verses you can go look up later (inconvenient, I know.  If I had the time, I would type them all out or link them for you- I am sorry, please forgive me.)
1 Peter 1:7 = tested by fire in order to have faith and revelation of Christ.
Zechariah 13:9 = cleansing and purifying His people
Isaiah 1:25 = to remove the unwanted parts
Isaiah 48:10 = affliction to purify
Malachi 3:3 = cleanings for righteousness
Job 23:10 = trials make you like gold
Proverbs 17:3 = the Lord tests our heart
Psalms 66:10 = praising God in the trial or purification
Revelations 3:18 = to add value
Jeremiah 9:7 = testing
1 Corinthians 3:13 = fire reveals truths
Daniel 12:10 = purification…… and so many more!

But there is so much more to fire… like in Exodus 3:2 – the Lord appears in fire! In a burning bush! He was also in fire in the Book of Daniel, when our favorite three Hebrew boys were thrown into the furnace.  In Hebrews 12:29, God is described as a consuming fire! Luke 3:16 wants us to be baptized in fire! Hell is a lake of fire.  And Jeremiah had the fire shut up in his bones – which is where we get the saying that if you are zealous for Christ, we say: you are on fire for Him. 

When looked at, fire seems to have all the same functions as grace! Hold on, don’t leave – check this out:  Grace is the work of the cross, and its job is to transform. It transformed Jesus from death to life. It then was applied to me and transformed me into a new creature. Fire also transforms. It judges. It justifies. It removes the unwanted and leaves a holy and pure……
Oh, wait, weren’t we discussing that yesterday – that God’s judgement is coming to purify us so we are ready for Heaven! The quicker we repent and get on fire instead of going through the fire – the better off we will be!
God loves us so much that he gives us a huge amount of material to study to understand this process – and so we know it is a process of correction in love.  He won’t hurt us.

God gives us what we want.
Let me hit this quickly since I am running up today’s word count.  The description of the harlot is effective as a metaphor and we are familiar with the images.  Now, here is the short lesson of it all – if you want and really want something and God said no… but you are persistent, and you go after it, God will give it to you. It won’t be what you thought – it isn’t want you need or even really want. Don’t be stubborn like Israel.  This applies personally in everyday life. This applies nationally, as we see what happened to Judah during this time.  And this applies globally. 
Be careful what you support and put yourself behind – don’t end up following an idol away from God.  Instead of waiting for the Lord to judge you – get into the prayer closet – spending so time there. Ask God to reveal to you what need to be changed.  You can do the work yourself, without the fire – chances are, you won’t follow through and really spend the time required to do so. Chances are you will go thru the fire – or be given into captivity of the thing you desired more than you desired God’s will for your life.  It has happened to me. Guard yourself – get in with God… besides it’s an endless supply of material to talk about while building your relationship with Him!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another great verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 22-23 NKJV

Sins of Jerusalem

22 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Now, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Yes, show her all her abominations! Then say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “The city sheds blood in her own midst, that her time may come; and she makes idols within herself to defile herself. You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. Those near and those far from you will mock you as [a]infamous and full of tumult.

“Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his [b]power to shed blood in you. In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the [c]fatherless and the widow. You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths. In you are men who slander to cause bloodshed; in you are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. 10 In you men uncover their fathers’ nakedness; in you they violate women who are set apart during their impurity. 11 One commits abomination with his neighbor’s wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten Me,” says the Lord God.

13 “Behold, therefore, I beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and remove your filthiness completely from you. 16 You shall defile yourself in the sight of the nations; then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

Israel in the Furnace

17 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; they are all bronze, tin, iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace; they have become dross from silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20 As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. 22 As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have poured out My fury on you.’ ”

Israel’s Wicked Leaders

23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not [d]cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 The conspiracy of her [e]prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured [f]people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have [g]violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy [h]people, and to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.

Two Harlot Sisters

23 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying:

“Son of man, there were two women,
The daughters of one mother.
They committed harlotry in Egypt,
They committed harlotry in their youth;
Their breasts were there embraced,
Their virgin bosom was there pressed.
Their names: [i]Oholah the elder and [j]Oholibah her sister;
They were Mine,
And they bore sons and daughters.
As for their names,
Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem is Oholibah.

The Older Sister, Samaria

“Oholah played the harlot even though she was Mine;
And she lusted for her lovers, the neighboring Assyrians,
Who were clothed in purple,
Captains and rulers,
All of them desirable young men,
Horsemen riding on horses.
Thus she committed her harlotry with them,
All of them choice men of Assyria;
And with all for whom she lusted,
With all their idols, she defiled herself.
She has never given up her harlotry brought from Egypt,
For in her youth they had lain with her,
Pressed her virgin bosom,
And poured out their immorality upon her.

“Therefore I have delivered her
Into the hand of her lovers,
Into the hand of the Assyrians,
For whom she lusted.
10 They uncovered her nakedness,
Took away her sons and daughters,
And slew her with the sword;
She became a byword among women,
For they had executed judgment on her.

The Younger Sister, Jerusalem

11 “Now although her sister Oholibah saw this, she became more corrupt in her lust than she, and in her harlotry more corrupt than her sister’s harlotry.

12 “She lusted for the neighboring Assyrians,
Captains and rulers,
Clothed most gorgeously,
Horsemen riding on horses,
All of them desirable young men.
13 Then I saw that she was defiled;
Both took the same way.
14 But she increased her harlotry;
She looked at men portrayed on the wall,
Images of Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,
15 Girded with belts around their waists,
Flowing turbans on their heads,
All of them looking like captains,
In the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea,
The land of their nativity.
16 As soon as her eyes saw them,
She lusted for them
And sent messengers to them in Chaldea.

17 “Then the [k]Babylonians came to her, into the bed of love,
And they defiled her with their immorality;
So she was defiled by them, and alienated herself from them.
18 She revealed her harlotry and uncovered her nakedness.
Then I alienated Myself from her,
As I had alienated Myself from her sister.

19 “Yet she multiplied her harlotry
In calling to remembrance the days of her youth,
When she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.
20 For she lusted for her [l]paramours,
Whose flesh is like the flesh of donkeys,
And whose issue is like the issue of horses.
21 Thus you called to remembrance the lewdness of your youth,
When the Egyptians pressed your bosom
Because of your youthful breasts.

Judgment on Jerusalem

22 “Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord God:

‘Behold, I will stir up your lovers against you,
From whom you have alienated yourself,
And I will bring them against you from every side:
23 The Babylonians,
All the Chaldeans,
Pekod, Shoa, Koa,
All the Assyrians with them,
All of them desirable young men,
Governors and rulers,
Captains and men of renown,
All of them riding on horses.
24 And they shall come against you
With chariots, wagons, and war-horses,
With a horde of people.
They shall array against you
Buckler, shield, and helmet all around.

‘I will delegate judgment to them,
And they shall judge you according to their judgments.
25 I will set My jealousy against you,
And they shall deal furiously with you;
They shall remove your nose and your ears,
And your remnant shall fall by the sword;
They shall take your sons and your daughters,
And your remnant shall be devoured by fire.
26 They shall also strip you of your clothes
And take away your beautiful jewelry.

27 ‘Thus I will make you cease your lewdness and your harlotry
Brought from the land of Egypt,
So that you will not lift your eyes to them,
Nor remember Egypt anymore.’

28 “For thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will deliver you into the hand of those you hate, into the hand of those from whom you alienated yourself. 29 They will deal hatefully with you, take away all you have worked for, and leave you naked and bare. The nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotry. 30 I will do these things to you because you have gone as a harlot after the Gentiles, because you have become defiled by their idols. 31 You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore I will put her cup in your hand.’

32 “Thus says the Lord God:

‘You shall drink of your sister’s cup,
The deep and wide one;
You shall be laughed to scorn
And held in derision;
It contains much.
33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow,
The cup of horror and desolation,
The cup of your sister Samaria.
34 You shall drink and drain it,
You shall break its [m]shards,
And tear at your own breasts;
For I have spoken,’
Says the Lord God.

35 “Therefore thus says the Lord God:

‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back,
Therefore you shall bear the penalty
Of your lewdness and your harlotry.’ ”

Both Sisters Judged

36 The Lord also said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominations. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour them. 38 Moreover they have done this to Me: They have defiled My sanctuary on the same day and profaned My Sabbaths. 39 For after they had slain their children for their idols, on the same day they came into My sanctuary to profane it; and indeed thus they have done in the midst of My house.

40 “Furthermore you sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and there they came. And you washed yourself for them, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41 You sat on a stately couch, with a table prepared before it, on which you had set My incense and My oil. 42 The sound of a carefree multitude was with her, and [n]Sabeans were brought from the wilderness with men of the common sort, who put bracelets on their [o]wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43 Then I said concerning her who had grown old in adulteries, ‘Will they commit harlotry with her now, and she with them?’ 44 Yet they went in to her, as men go in to a woman who plays the harlot; thus they went in to Oholah and Oholibah, the lewd women. 45 But righteous men will judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.

46 “For thus says the Lord God: ‘Bring up an assembly against them, give them up to trouble and plunder. 47 The assembly shall stone them with stones and [p]execute them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn their houses with fire. 48 Thus I will cause lewdness to cease from the land, that all women may be taught not to practice your lewdness. 49 They shall repay you for your lewdness, and you shall pay for your idolatrous sins. Then you shall know that I am the Lord God.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 22:5 Lit. defiled of name
  2. Ezekiel 22:6 Lit. arm
  3. Ezekiel 22:7 Lit. orphan
  4. Ezekiel 22:24 So with MT, Syr., Vg.; LXX showered upon
  5. Ezekiel 22:25 So with MT, Vg.; LXX princes; Tg. scribes
  6. Ezekiel 22:25 Lit. souls
  7. Ezekiel 22:26 Lit. done violence to
  8. Ezekiel 22:27 Lit. souls
  9. Ezekiel 23:4 Lit. Her Own Tabernacle
  10. Ezekiel 23:4 Lit. My Tabernacle Is in Her
  11. Ezekiel 23:17 Lit. sons of Babel
  12. Ezekiel 23:20 Illicit lovers
  13. Ezekiel 23:34 Earthenware fragments
  14. Ezekiel 23:42 Or drunkards
  15. Ezekiel 23:42 Lit. hands
  16. Ezekiel 23:47 Lit. cut down

God’s Love – Heavenly Minded

“I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:37-38 NKJV

How is everyone doing? Are we remembering to breathe because God is still bigger and in control?  As we see in these verses, (which at first seems heavy) God’s love and merciful plan is in motion. We may not be waiting to return to Israel like the people Ezekiel was preaching to, but we are in an exile, of a sort, waiting to be miraculously taken home to the Jerusalem in the heaven.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 20-21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

So as we read – are we looking up these symbols?  The other day, the metaphor of the tree… did you look it up? The symbolic connection to the tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. AND the symbolic connection to the tree Jesus hung on to save us.  And the rod of Moses and the rod of Aaron and the burning bush and the trees in the book of judges and Jesus is the tree of life and we are to be engrafted in…. all the trees and branches, and vines throughout the Bible.  A very significant symbol in our belief. 
Jerusalem and the temple are also symbols. Jerusalem is a symbol of the Garden of Eden and of the safe place where God and mankind can commune face to face. The temple is the holiest place inside Jerusalem, and Jesus compared Himself to the temple saying tear it down and he will rebuild it in 3 days – but we are also the temple, the sacred place that should be inside Jerusalem.  So until Jerusalem is returned from heaven, our goal is to take our temples to heaven.

Yes – the symbolism in the book of Ezekiel is dark and heavy at first glance. But once we start to understand the symbols we understand the opening verse is about God preparing his church for heaven.  Store up treasures in heaven, which come from obedience to God. Like we read earlier this week and get saved and hope to God that faith in that salvation prayer is enough. We all know that Bible says not to persist in sin – will we chance it? Will we continue in sin and hope our eternity is secure? Seems a big risk for temporary pleasures of this earth.  Break from sin – repent.  (Not just those struggling with big sins – but even those who have hidden small compromises.)

Chapter 20 is all about Israel’s sin problem according to the passage titles. But as we examine it while we read – we learn it is actually all about hope and restoration. It is all about salvation! It is all about my own testimony as well!

“Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers. And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,” says the Lord God.’ ” Ezekiel 20:42-44

I was sinning and self-destructing (as sin leads us to do) and one day God just changed everything. He took me to an internal face to face with His promises to me and His call and His hope of salvation.  There I remembered my ways, in a new light – instead of looking at my ways in darkness. With seeing myself in the light, I realized all the ways I was defiled, and loathed myself because of the evils that I committed.  Not a conviction in a contemporary understanding – the acknowledgement and honesty alone was transformational. A conviction unto righteousness – a conviction that included a surrender and repentance without all the steps broken out like we do daily in the salvation prayer. At that moment I said – If you are who you say you are, I will follow you completely.  In that moment I understood and knew who God is. It is part of that moment as we saw in verse 44.
The Lord dealt with me for His Name’s sake – His name? God is LOVE. I was dealt with in love through mercy and grace. He did not punish me according to my sins – I would be dead and burning in hell.

Judgment is coming – we have been praying for the evil rulers of this world be dealt with. We have been praying we can live a peaceable life as the word tells us to pray. Therefore God must be just. This will purge all of us – sinner and saint. All of us.  Get humble and repentant. Because it is how we come face to face with understanding the depths of who God is (like we saw in verse 44). It is how the evil is weeded out of each of us – can evil people be in heaven? If we harbor evil will we make it into heaven? We need to surrender all and work out our salvation…

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” Philippians 2:12

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  I was told that I often use fear tactics when I speak or write… I am not trying to scare you, but instead to prepare you. But there is a healthy amount of fear of the Lord and trembling in his Holy presence, in the secret place, in the pray closet, that is required to work out your salvation. I speak truth. I forbid the evil spirit of fear, in the name of Jesus. Take the raw truth and lay exposed in front of your maker – show him all the ways in which you have altered and corrupted His masterpiece. And tell me you do not fear with a Holy purifying fear. There is a spirit of fear that is evil and corrupts these truths and tells you to flee from them word of God. But Jesus is the WORD, Jesus is God, God is LOVE – run towards it!!! And you will feel the reverent fear that Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and Isaiah spoke of. If you haven’t yet – press in deeper with God. God will love you through it and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. You can have a deep and meaningful relationship with God through Jesus Christ. If the old prophets could, if the disciples could, if Paul, who never met Jesus could have this sort of real, holy and amazing relationship with God – then so can you and I!!! They were just people who put the work into the relationship. 

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: New Month! New Memory Verse Challenge!! Here is another great verse to pick up an swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 20-21 NKJV

The Rebellions of Israel

20 It came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” says the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you.” ’ Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Then make known to them the abominations of their fathers.

“Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God.’ On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands. Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ But they rebelled against Me and would not [a]obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’ But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

10 “Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and [b]showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands, 16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; 20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’

21 “Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, and were not careful to observe My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; but they profaned My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless I [c]withdrew My hand and acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also I raised My hand in an oath to those in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Gentiles and disperse them throughout the countries, 24 because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My statutes, profaned My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.

25 “Therefore I also gave them up to statutes that were not good, and judgments by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them unclean because of their ritual gifts, in that they caused all [d]their firstborn to pass through the fire, that I might make them desolate and that they might know that I am the Lord.” ’

27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “In this too your fathers have blasphemed Me, by being unfaithful to Me. 28 When I brought them into the land concerning which I had raised My hand in an oath to give them, and they saw all the high hills and all the thick trees, there they offered their sacrifices and provoked Me with their offerings. There they also sent up their sweet aroma and poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them, ‘What is this [e]high place to which you go?’ So its name is called [f]Bamah to this day.” ’ 30 Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Are you defiling yourselves in the manner of your fathers, and committing harlotry according to their abominations? 31 For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,” says the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you. 32 What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’

God Will Restore Israel

33 As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. 34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. 36 Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord God.

37 “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “As for you, O house of Israel,” thus says the Lord God: “Go, serve every one of you his idols—and hereafter—if you will not obey Me; but profane My holy name no more with your gifts and your idols. 40 For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel,” says the Lord God, “there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me; there I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings and the firstfruits of your [g]sacrifices, together with all your holy things. 41 I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. 42 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall [h]loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed. 44 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,” says the Lord God.’ ”

Fire in the Forest

45 Furthermore the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 46 “Son of man, set your face toward the south; [i]preach against the south and prophesy against the forest land, the [j]South, 47 and say to the forest of the South, ‘Hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree and every dry tree in you; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be scorched by it. 48 All flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.” ’ ”

49 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Does he not speak parables?’ ”

Babylon, the Sword of God

21 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, preach[k] against the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel; and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am against you, and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off both righteous and wicked from you. Because I will cut off both righteous and wicked from you, therefore My sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north, that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn My sword out of its sheath; it shall not return anymore.” ’ Sigh therefore, son of man, with [l]a breaking heart, and sigh with bitterness before their eyes. And it shall be when they say to you, ‘Why are you sighing?’ that you shall answer, ‘Because of the news; when it comes, every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming and shall be brought to pass,’ says the Lord God.”

Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ Say:

‘A sword, a sword is sharpened
And also polished!
10 Sharpened to make a dreadful slaughter,
Polished to flash like lightning!
Should we then make mirth?
It despises the scepter of My son,
As it does all wood.
11 And He has given it to be polished,
That it may be handled;
This sword is sharpened, and it is polished
To be given into the hand of the slayer.’

12 “Cry and wail, son of man;
For it will be against My people,
Against all the princes of Israel.
Terrors including the sword will be against My people;
Therefore strike your thigh.

13 “Because it is a testing,
And what if the sword despises even the scepter?
The scepter shall be no more,

says the Lord God.

14 “You therefore, son of man, prophesy,
And strike your hands together.
The third time let the sword do double damage.
It is the sword that slays,
The sword that slays the great men,
That enters their private chambers.
15 I have set the point of the sword against all their gates,
That the heart may melt and many may stumble.
Ah! It is made bright;
It is grasped for slaughter:

16 “Swords[m] at the ready!
Thrust right!
Set your blade!
Thrust left—
Wherever your [n]edge is ordered!

17 “I also will beat My fists together,
And I will cause My fury to rest;
I, the Lord, have spoken.”

18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying: 19 “And son of man, appoint for yourself two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to go; both of them shall go from the same land. Make a sign; put it at the head of the road to the city. 20 Appoint a road for the sword to go to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and to Judah, into fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the [o]images, he looks at the liver. 22 In his right hand is the divination for Jerusalem: to set up battering rams, to call for a slaughter, to lift the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to heap up a siege mound, and to build a wall. 23 And it will be to them like a false divination in the eyes of those who have sworn oaths with them; but he will bring their iniquity to remembrance, that they may be taken.

24 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear—because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand.

25 ‘Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end, 26 thus says the Lord God:

“Remove the turban, and take off the crown;
Nothing shall remain the same.
Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted.
27 [p]Overthrown, overthrown,
I will make it overthrown!
It shall be no longer,
Until He comes whose right it is,
And I will give it to Him.” ’

A Sword Against the Ammonites

28 “And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach,’ and say:

‘A sword, a sword is drawn,
Polished for slaughter,
For consuming, for flashing—
29 While they see false visions for you,
While they divine a lie to you,
To bring you on the necks of the wicked, the slain
Whose day has come,
Whose iniquity shall end.

30 ‘Return it to its sheath.
I will judge you
In the place where you were created,
In the land of your [q]nativity.
31 I will pour out My indignation on you;
I will blow against you with the fire of My wrath,
And deliver you into the hands of brutal men who are skillful to destroy.
32 You shall be fuel for the fire;
Your blood shall be in the midst of the land.
You shall not be remembered,
For I the Lord have spoken.’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 20:8 Lit. listen to
  2. Ezekiel 20:11 Lit. made known to
  3. Ezekiel 20:22 Refrained from judgment
  4. Ezekiel 20:26 Lit. that open the womb
  5. Ezekiel 20:29 Place for pagan worship
  6. Ezekiel 20:29 Lit. High Place
  7. Ezekiel 20:40 offerings
  8. Ezekiel 20:43 Or despise
  9. Ezekiel 20:46 proclaim, lit. drop
  10. Ezekiel 20:46 Heb. Negev
  11. Ezekiel 21:2 proclaim, lit. drop
  12. Ezekiel 21:6 Emotional distress, lit. the breaking of your loins
  13. Ezekiel 21:16 Lit. Sharpen yourself! or Unite yourself!
  14. Ezekiel 21:16 Lit. face
  15. Ezekiel 21:21 Heb. teraphim
  16. Ezekiel 21:27 Or Distortion, Ruin
  17. Ezekiel 21:30 Or origin

God’s Love – Calling Us to Repent

But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die Ezekiel 18:21 NKJV

And as we all know, man in general failed at this – and man individually also failed at this, except Jesus. This is why Jesus took care of the sacrificial parts of the law and brought things back to a personal experience and accountability. This is why Jesus left us with the Holy Spirit, a helper, to ensure we can now succeed. Jesus gave us freedom, and victory and the ability to succeed at his – yet many of us struggle under the lie that we cannot succeed.  But, once the blood is applied – this verse is a great big grace filled Hallelujah!! Repentance, or even just willingness to at least try is really all He wants .

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Ezekiel, chapters 18 and 19 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” Ezekiel 18:30-32

And here we are – it is the house of Israel which God will judge and a government of deceit stolen in a web of lies – it cannot be blessed. God let it rise, so he can make an example of it when it falls, unless of course there is humble repentance.  I shared a preacher, Tom, who doesn’t believe any of the bad things happening are of the Lord.  The Lord doesn’t send Hurricanes, he says.  I don’t know if they are or are not judgements sent by God, but the righteous are blessed after such trials and the evil are judged. Is it just the earth travailing in labor pains – well, the signs of the time do say so. Could it also be both? We see throughout the texts on the Babylonian capture and captivity that God’s righteous are caught in the same judgments – with different outcomes.  We see throughout Biblical history He judges the righteous as well as the unrighteous – but the righteous call it disciple and correction – which even David phone the rod and staff comforting. I want a God who is fair. A God who exposes the evil in me as well as in the corrupt politicians.  That the Taliban will reap their due as I will reap the goodness of the righteousness counted unto me by my loving and fair Father.  But if I have evil in me – I expect fully it be corrected.     

Now onto the biggest take-away today:  God is love.

I have heard so many ask, because of the perilous times we are in, how can I believe God is loving and kind. Because it is written – God takes no pleasure in death. None. He warns, and warns and warns – Look! Now, here I am prompted with the same warning: “Repent! Get humble!” Wake up! He is good and trying to save you. 

Why do we, as humans, work against our own salvation so much! It is like we intentionally try to make it hard for God to reach us. But, wherever we can go, God is there and He is still loving us and still trying to save us because God longs for a relationship with us. 

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: New Month! New Memory Verse Challenge!! Here is another great verse to pick up an swing when you need a sword in your hand!

1 John 4:4

NKJV – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
NAS – “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
ESV – “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
AMP – “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”
NIV – “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Ezekiel 18-19 NKJV

A False Proverb Refuted

18 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

“Behold, all souls are Mine;
The soul of the father
As well as the soul of the son is Mine;
The soul who sins shall die.
But if a man is just
And does what is lawful and right;
If he has not eaten [a]on the mountains,
Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife,
Nor approached a woman during her impurity;
If he has not oppressed anyone,
But has restored to the debtor his pledge;
Has robbed no one by violence,
But has given his bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;
If he has not [b]exacted usury
Nor taken any increase,
But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity
And executed true [c]judgment between man and man;
If he has walked in My statutes
And kept My judgments faithfully—
He is just;
He shall surely live!”
Says the Lord God.

10 “If he begets a son who is a robber
Or a shedder of blood,
Who does any of these things
11 And does none of those duties,
But has eaten [d]on the mountains
Or defiled his neighbor’s wife;
12 If he has oppressed the poor and needy,
Robbed by violence,
Not restored the pledge,
Lifted his eyes to the idols,
Or committed abomination;
13 If he has exacted usury
Or taken increase—
Shall he then live?
He shall not live!
If he has done any of these abominations,
He shall surely die;
His blood shall be upon him.

14 If, however, he begets a son
Who sees all the sins which his father has done,
And considers but does not do likewise;
15 Who has not eaten [e]on the mountains,
Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife;
16 Has not oppressed anyone,
Nor withheld a pledge,
Nor robbed by violence,
But has given his bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;
17 Who has withdrawn his hand from [f]the poor
And not received usury or increase,
But has executed My judgments
And walked in My statutes—
He shall not die for the iniquity of his father;
He shall surely live!

18 As for his father,
Because he cruelly oppressed,
Robbed his brother by violence,
And did what is not good among his people,
Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

Turn and Live

19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

Israel Degraded

19 “Moreover take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say:

‘What is your mother? A lioness:
She lay down among the lions;
Among the young lions she nourished her cubs.
She brought up one of her cubs,
And he became a young lion;
He learned to catch prey,
And he devoured men.
The nations also heard of him;
He was trapped in their pit,
And they brought him with chains to the land of Egypt.

‘When she saw that she waited, that her hope was lost,
She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.
He roved among the lions,
And became a young lion;
He learned to catch prey;
He devoured men.
[g]He knew their desolate places,
And laid waste their cities;
The land with its fullness was desolated
By the noise of his roaring.
Then the nations set against him from the provinces on every side,
And spread their net over him;
He was trapped in their pit.
They put him in a cage with [h]chains,
And brought him to the king of Babylon;
They brought him in nets,
That his voice should no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel.

10 ‘Your mother was like a vine in your [i]bloodline,
Planted by the waters,
Fruitful and full of branches
Because of many waters.
11 She had strong branches for scepters of rulers.
She towered in stature above the thick branches,
And was seen in her height amid the [j]dense foliage.
12 But she was plucked up in fury,
She was cast down to the ground,
And the east wind dried her fruit.
Her strong branches were broken and withered;
The fire consumed them.
13 And now she is planted in the wilderness,
In a dry and thirsty land.
14 Fire has come out from a rod of her branches
And devoured her fruit,
So that she has no strong branch—a scepter for ruling.’ ”

This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.

Footnotes

a. Ezekiel 18:6 At the mountain shrines
b. Ezekiel 18:8 Lent money at interest
c. Ezekiel 18:8 justice
d. Ezekiel 18:11 At the mountain shrines
e.Ezekiel 18:15 At the mountain shrines
f. Ezekiel 18:17 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX iniquity (cf. v. 8)
g. Ezekiel 19:7 LXX He stood in insolence; Tg. He destroyed its palaces; Vg. He learned to make widows
h. Ezekiel 19:9 Or hooks
i. Ezekiel 19:10 Lit. blood, so with MT, Syr., Vg.; LXX like a flower on a pomegranate tree; Tg. in your likeness
j. Ezekiel 19:11 Or many branches