Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Pont Aven, France

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Sep 5, Eze 31-33

Today's readings are Eze 31-33. Tomorrow's are Eze 34-36. 

In Eze 31, Pride is punished once again, this time in Assyria, once one of the most beautiful places on earth. Assyria is compared to a tree that is mighty but comes crashing down. The same fate awaits Pharaoh and Egypt.

Pharaoh is lamented in Eze 32 which ends with a description of the destruction of Egypt's armies.

Just prior to delivering these devastating prophecies, Ezekiel's hears of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. His prophetic gift is reaffirmed and he receives a promise.  Soon, his ministry, which has been one of foretelling pain and siiffering, will transform into one of encouragement. But, there are still some warnings he has to deliver. 

The few survivors of the massacre in Jerusalem mistakenly believe the land now belongs to them. Ezekiel tells them their idolatry and hypocrisy disqualify them from being blessed with the land. This particular unfaithful remnant, who rejected Ezekiel's warnings, will be judged as the other unfaithful were. On that day, they would know Ezekiel was a true prophet.

God's abhorrence of pride and His resolve to punish it among the ungodly and eliminate it from among His people is breath-taking in these chapters. He actually uses the pride of the evil nations to expunge the pride from among His own people, then punishes the evil nations for coming against His people.

The reason pride is such a serious matter is that it displaces God in the heart of the prideful person. Pride centers on self, wants to satisfy self, boasts about self and leaves no room for God. It is a direct contradiction to the commandment to "love God with all your heart". Rather than loving and worshiping God, the prideful man loves and worships himself.

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