AUGUST 17 READINGS...Ezekiel 5:1-9:11
The ministry of Ezekiel as the prophet of God to the people in exile in Babylon continues. The Lord has Ezekiel do different things to illustrate what the Lord is going to bring upon Judah, and particularly those who remain there. He is to take a razor and cut his hair, and divide the hair into three equal parts. The first third he is to burn, the second he is to chop with the sword, and the last third he is to cast to the wind. God says that this is what will happen to Jerusalem because of its great sin and disobedience to the Lord. The Lord says He will cut them off completely…and show no pity in His judgment. One third will die by famine and disease…a third by the being slaughtered by their enemies…and the last third will be scattered to the winds, being chased by the sword. The Lord has Ezekiel prophesy the end, the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. This is important because there are false prophets among the people in exile who are falsely prophesying that the people will return to Jerusalem and the Temple and both will still be there. The Lord says no…both Jerusalem and the Temple will be restored, and those people will never return, but die in exile. Where there is the truth, there is always the false…these false prophets lie to the people so the Lord has His prophet speak His truth. Of course, just like today, people would rather hear what they want to hear…so they gather up for themselves false teachers and false prophets.
The Lord takes Ezekiel in a vision to see what was going on in the Temple. The people were not only involved in sin, but detestable sins. They had carved animal figures on the inner walls of the Lord’s Temple and bowed down and worshipped them. They worshipped idols in the Temple. The seventy elders of Israel were actually meeting in secret in the Temple burning incense and worshipping false gods. The women were weeping for false gods who could not help them. He saw twenty-five men bowing in the Temple worshipping the sun. The whole nation has left the Lord and started in idolatry, even in the Lord’s sanctuary. The Lord says that because of these detestable actions by these people, these idolaters will be slaughtered by their enemies. Their false gods will not be able to save them from the judgment that is coming. Many churches today are thumbing their noses at God…they are in idolatry…they condone and celebrate that which the Lord condemns…and they are involved in every kind of perversion. They too will face the judgment of God…it is real and its coming. God will not be mocked, nor will He be replaced by anything. Judgment is coming, and it will start in the apostate churches.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading. These are powerful verses that speak of the holiness of God…and how He will judge those who reject Him.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Ezekiel 10:1-13:23