Category Archives: Ezekiel

Ezekiel 32:1-34:24 

My dad would not really share the good news of the gospel with others in order for them to repent and begin to follow Jesus. No, he told them about hell and scared them into making that decision. I cannot say it was effective, and am reminded of him when I read the results of shame and the demise of entire people groups going to hell for not acknowledging God.

God, the Master, says:

I’m going to throw my net over you
    —many nations will get in on this operation—
    and haul you out with my dragnet. – Ezekiel 32:3 MSG

I notice that this net is not going to miss anyone. There will be a lot of people in this net. Those who thought they were somebody are going to be ashamed and filled with shame.

Pharaoh will see them all and, pompous old goat that he is, take comfort in the company he’ll keep—Pharaoh and his slaughtered army. Decree of God, the Master. – Ezekiel 32:31 MSG

This really gets me thinking. Pharaoh is now with the Persians, people of the north, Sidonians and Egyptians in hell, and he does not seem to have the same shame as the others. In fact, he will see everyone and – take comfort in the company he’ll keep. Seriously, there is comfort knowing that you are not the only one to suffer such shame and disgrace in judgment – I never would have figured it to be so. I have to assume Satan feels the same way.

What a picture of the destruction of nations describing what happens when I do not acknowledge God and do not repent when I do. Shame is the ultimate outcome.

I cannot end here. I have to bring Israel back into the picture – where do they land in all of this? Before they find themselves in hell as well, God commands them to be ashamed, while they are living. Here in Ezekiel 36:16-32 is the dialogue they hear from God. Their humility comes from knowing and from learning the outcomes from the punishment they have received and now the way is open for reconciliation with God. God has a definite view of honour and shame and I grasp that and I am sure the people of Israel grasped that as well. If I want a relationship with God, transparency in acknowledging shame is a good thing. It is in the offering of my shame to God that I am set free – truth sets me free. God then completes the reconciliation and the restoration and my status goes from shame to honourable shame as it becomes a part of my testimony to my relationship and journey with Him.

Father, I have to admit my shame to You and submit my pride to You. I do not want You to be only an addition to my life, I want to be a submission to You. Challenge me today, everyday, to be the man You have called and visioned me to be. Let not Your Holy Spirit leave me alone.

Erwin (evanlaar)

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Ezekiel 20:18-22:12

As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them.” Ezekiel 20:39&40 NLT

I was listening to a podcast where the man was talking about how the church he was pastoring at turned into his identity. When God called him to leave it, he didn’t know who he was anymore. Even this can become an idol. What idols do I need to strip away so Jesus is all I need?

When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as the nations watch. Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 20:41&42 NLT

When my heart is right before the Lord, I can humbly serve him. He will get the glory.

You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” Ezekiel 20:44 NLT

Thank you Father for your mercy. I desire a heart that serves you out of knowing that I am your daughter first. Than I am free to bless others with the gifts you have given me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Ezekiel 16:44-20:17

When a reader finds themselves locked into the plot of a captivating read, they allow their emotions to swell and plummet along with the flow of the story line. Some page-turners, bring the reader almost to the point of despair as they trap their protagonist in such a seemingly impenetrable dilemma when they enter the so-called “dark night of the soul” chapter of their story. The reader can see no way out, no hope, no possible conclusion aside from death and loss. And yet, they know the end cannot be all loss, perhaps unless they happen to be reading a tragedy. Even in those rare books that kill off the main character himself, a solid book will work its way toward a satisfying conclusion.

Ezekiel seems to want to remind us of this real life truth as well. When all is despair – God is present. When all seems lost – God has a plan. When the wicked seem to prosper – God will judge. When the righteous seem forgotten – God sees them. When the wicked change their ways – God is ready to forgive.

We might sometimes get caught up in the hopelessness around us, the injustice and evil. Our hope should never fail. We always can rest in God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and compassion.

20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Ezekiel 18:20 ESV

God does not transfer guilt, but holds each person accountable for their own choices. This always reminds me afresh of the awesomeness of the cross. A completely just God needed a way to forgive us who could never compensate for our sinful choices. The sin demanded judgement. So, He paid it himself. He took on the guilt and punishment that he could not pass over in His overriding eagerness to forgive and bless us. His love made Him take our place in absorbing and absolving His own wrath.

 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.

Ezekiel 18:31-32 ESV

God does not want even the rebellious to die in their rebellion. We might sometimes cheer at the downfall of the wicked, but God prefers transformation. His own son paid an astronomical price so that all may enjoy forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

Ezekiel 20:9 ESV

God’s promises are eternally trustworthy. His name, his integrity, aligns with the holiest of standards, his own unchanging truth, consistent through millennia.

Regardless of how the tides of our lives, nations, and histories rise and fall, God never changes. Our eternal hope in Him should not diminish as it carries us through the most confusing life circumstances, and the most dire of plot twists.

Lord God, thank you that you are here, were here, will always be here. Thank you for your incomprehensible compassion toward me. Help me to rest in the three pronged power of your sovereignty, goodness, and wisdom. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Ezekiel 9-12 

I have to admit that today’s reading speaks loudly into why it is good to read through the whole Bible in a year. I had forgotten so many things, but especially one thing – the mark.

Kill old men and women, young men and women, mothers and children. But don’t lay a hand on anyone with the mark. Start at my Temple. – Ezekiel 9:6 MSG

There was a cleansing going on and only those with a mark were redeemed.

“In the sanctuary God should have been most honored, but there He was most dishonored and provoked, and there His holiness would most fully and certainly be vindicated.” – Feinberg

The reason for the cleansing was because the persistent sin presumed on God’s patience and grace and it definitely dishonoured His holiness. As with Sodom and Gomorrah, God honoured the fact that some remained faithful to Him. On them He placed a mark similar to the blood splattered over the door post on the last plague that fell on Egypt – the punishment of death would passover.

This entire experience is about their relationship with God. In fact, Ezekiel creates a step by step view of the presence of God leaving the people. It is quite fascinating to know that when He leaves there is always time to repent. Why do I let pride keep me from waiting so long?

Step #1

The Glory of the God of Israel ascended from his usual place above the cherubim-angels, moved to the threshold of the Temple, and called to the man with the writing case who was dressed in linen.

Then the Glory of God ascended from the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the Temple. The cloud filled the Temple. Court and Temple were both filled with the blazing presence of the Glory of God.  – Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4 MSG

The honour and glory and presence of God – moved to the threshold of the Temple.

Step #2

Then the Glory of God left the Temple entrance and hovered over the cherubim. I watched as the cherubim spread their wings and left the ground, the wheels right with them. They stopped at the entrance of the east gate of the Temple. The Glory of the God of Israel was above them. – Ezekiel 10:18-19 MSG

The honour and glory and presence of God – left the Temple entrance and hovered over the cherubim.

Step #3

Then the cherubim spread their wings, with the wheels beside them and the Glory of the God of Israel hovering over them. The Glory of God ascended from within the city and rested on the mountain to the east of the city. – Ezekiel 11:22-23 MSG

The honour and glory and presence of God – ascended…and rested on the mountain to the east of the city.

What kind of person should I avoid being like if I do not want the presence of God leaving me?

Father, I cannot miss this, I cannot miss You taking steps away from me and not be able to notice them. I am like David, praying, “take not Your Holy Spirit from me.”

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Ezekiel 40-42; John 14

I admit that I am one of those who are quite definitive that the Great Commission is about going out and making disciples. I also believe that others are endowed with the gift of evangelism. Reading Ezekiel today reminds me of the importance that all of us have a part to play in sharing the good news and that in a sense, we are all called to evangelize. I still have a problem with the manner of teaching and manipulation that attends this topic, however, the one thing I can identify in myself is that I love people who do not know Jesus and the love of Jesus causes me to reach out to them. I cannot say that I do not have love for them and I anxiously walk alongside when I can. I constantly see that a relationship goes well when the love of their soul is there.

John talks about the temple in the same way.

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places;[b] if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. – John 14:2 HCSB

Love prepares a welcome. With love, I prepare a room for my baby. With love, I prepare for my guests. Jesus is preparing a place for those who have decided to follow Him because He loves them and is confidently awaiting their arrival.

The whole secret in both Old and New Testament readings is the desire for God to have us united with Jesus.

 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.

“In a little while the world will see Me no longer, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live too. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you. The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You’re going to reveal Yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.

“I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. – John 14:18-25 HCSB

The Holy Spirit enables me to experience a deep, inner unity with God and with Jesus, His Son. Jesus deeply desires me to share in this unity with Him, for this is the very reason He gave His life on the cross for my redemption. When I experience unity with Jesus, I find my true self and am made complete in Him.

Thank you God for being so passionately in love with me.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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