AUGUST 16 READINGS...Ezekiel 3:16-4:17 & Jeremiah 27:1-22 & 51:59-64
To give a little more historical perspective let me remind you that Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel were contemporaries. All three prophets of God, but with different assignments. Jeremiah was to be the prophet to remain in Judah and prophecy to the King and the remaining people until the third siege of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was taken in the first siege of Nebuchadnezzar, he was to serve in the palace of the King of Babylon. He and his friends were made eunuchs in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy given to Hezekiah. Ezekiel was taken in the second siege of Nebuchadnezzar, he was to serve among the people in captivity in Babylon at the refugee camp near the river Kebar.
In today’s readings the Lord speaks to Ezekiel and instructs him to only speak when the Lord commands. He tells Ezekiel that he has been made a “watchman on the wall”. He was to warn the people of the coming judgment of God…instructing them to turn from their sin and follow God. If they refused to listen then their destruction was upon their own heads. But if Ezekiel refused to tell them of impending judgment then he would be responsible for their deaths. We need to speak the truth of God. I would warn all that the judgment of God has already begun on us…it is time to turn back to the Lord and get our lives right with Him. The Lord instructed Ezekiel to illustrate the coming days for the people. Days of both war, famine, and starvation. Even to the place where they would be lacking both food, and fuel to cook what little food they had. The day would come when they would cook their food over their own dung. The Lord had Ezekiel prophesy that the city of Jerusalem would remain surrounded by armies, until the day of its total destruction. Destruction is coming upon our nation…who will hear the words of the Lord?
The Lord also instructs Jeremiah to illustrate His word to Judah and the surrounding nations. He was to put a yoke upon himself and prophesy the total domination of all these nations by Babylon. The yoke would be so great that they would not be able to break free from it. He also had Jeremiah warn them of false prophets who would come along and say that they would be able to break the yoke, and soon be free of Babylonian domination. Jeremiah intentionally went to King Zedekiah, then to the priests and the people, to tell them to submit to Babylon or they would die. Hananiah, a prophet from Gibeon, came and spoke words of false prophecy that in two years the people would be free of Babylon…he even broke the wooden yoke that Jeremiah was wearing. The Lord told Jeremiah to replace the broken wooden yoke with one of iron, and to tell Hananiah that he would die that year because of his false prophecies. He died two months later. Our reading closes with the end of the book of Jeremiah…his letters were sent to Babylon. This answers the question of how Daniel who was in Babylon for many years would know to reference Jeremiah’s writing in Daniel 9. Don’t listen my friends to false teachers and prophets…their perverted messages will always lead to destruction.
Please share your thoughts from today’s readings. Stay in the Word of the Lord…obey His Word…don’t listen to false teachers. The judgment of God is upon us…listen and obey the Lord…it is the only safe place for us to be.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Ezekiel 5:1-9:11