Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Parthenon at night

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 31, Eze 18-20

Today's readings are Eze 18-20. Tomorrow's are Eze 21-22. 

In Eze 18, the Lord addresses the prophecy of safety being spread throughout Jerusalem by the false prophets. Jerusalem is not safe due to the sin of its people. "The  soul who sins shall die." is the primary theme. A number of sinful acts are mentioned. The sins on included on the list are not meant to be exhaustive but are types of behavior that expose a wicked heart. They are the evidence of the "soul that sins". There may be other evidences. This is important to understand. It would be easy to look on lists such as this in Scripture and think, "I'm OK. I don't do any of those things." These lists are intended to expose wicked hearts and should be a motivation to examine our own hearts for any wickedness that may linger there that goes beyond the lists. The soul that turns from its wickedness will be righteous and will be saved.  

In hearing Ezekiel's prophecies, some may accuse the Lord of being unjust or unfair. This is nothing less than an attempt to judge and evaluate God. It is further evidence of a wicked and arrogant heart. Each one will be judged according to their ways and held accountable for their actions. 

Eze 19 is a lament for the princes, the leaders, of Israel, most likely a mournful song. The prince's mother is either Judah or Jerusalem, it's not entirely clear which. But she is like a lioness who rears her cubs. One (King Jehoahaz) grows into a fierce lion who is taken to Egypt. Another terrifying cub (either King Jehoaichin or King Zedekiah) is taken, in a cage, to Babylon. The metaphor then switches into a vine (Jerusalem/Judah) which is destroyed and taken out into the desert (into exile).

Ezekiel is told to prophesy in Eze 20. He is to detail the rebellious history of Israel, demonstrating God's ongoing judgment of sin and His faithful preservation of a righteous remnant, time and time again. "This generation is no different," Ezekiel tells them, "and will be judged as well." 

It seems that every generation throughout history has deemed themselves different, more enlightened, sophisticated and wise. Most believe themselves to be above the type of judgment for sin we see repeatedly in Israel's history. That would be a mistake. Our God, the Creator of the universe, is unchanging. His holiness, purity and perfection never change. If our hope in in Him, it lies in His never-changing demand that sin be atoned for and cleansed in order to enter into His presence. He's given His only Son to do just that. There is no better way. There is no "old fashioned" way. There is no new way. There is no improved way. There is only one way and He never changes. 

Doom is prophesied for Judah becasue of their sin. Yet, there is the promise of a righteous remnant. 

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