Tag Archives: idols

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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Psalm 83-86

When I start to read the first eight verses of Psalm 83, I am met with a serious issue raised to God regarding the malicious designs against the people of God and His honour. This is the same prayer I hear in my prayer groups – at its core – a frustration that God is not honoured as He ought to be honoured.

Knock the breath right out of them, so they’re gasping
    for breath, gasping, “God.”
Bring them to the end of their rope,
    and leave them there dangling, helpless.
Then they’ll learn your name: “God,”
    the one and only High God on earth. – Psalm 83:16-18 MSG

I am amazed with all this intensity that I find myself, as a follower of Jesus, in a privileged relationship with God – the only High God on earth. There is honour in His name and in His social position and my blessings are designed to honour God and that relationship by placing me with Him.

 “Shame has often weaned men from their idols, and set them upon seeking the Lord.” – Spurgeon

This prayer is simple – God, show such a manifestation of power that it would be so evident that this could be traced to no one else other than You and by this demonstration, people will honour You. In my mind I see Elijah on Mount Carmel moments.

I think some of my friends think that its okay to leave God His name – that is to say, they believe they can give Him His name because they have frittered away His power. So like giving Him an empty title.

This is where the shame and repentance comes in because without turning there is shame and death. It is like trouble will cause them to turn – and the end result is not chaos but peace.

It is really hard for me to say, but the final day, the great day of judgement, will be the proof of this, before all of heaven, when everlasting shame and contempt will fall on those who have not repented and everlasting honour and praise to those who have decided to follow God.

This is why the prayer is so hard.

  • Knock the breath right out of them
  • Bring them to the end of their rope
  • leave them there dangling, helpless

My prayer is no different – I want God to move into the lives of those who have turned their back towards Him and teach them about the fear of the Lord. I pray this way because the kingdom and the glory and the honour belong to God alone and I will not be satisfied until He has it.

Father, thank You for the passion in this prayer and for encouraging me to be just as passionate.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Deuteronomy 16:9-19:21

”When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example , never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let people practice fortune telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. But you must be blameless before the Lord your God” Deut. 18:9-13 NLT

The Israelites had ungodly practices to face in the Promised Land. The evil was surrounding them, but God was there with them. I can’t help but to think about how this is just as prevalent in the world today. It seems like Satan has a stronghold, but Jesus has the ultimate victory.

What am I letting into my life that isn’t pleasing to God?

Then anyone who has killed someone can flee to one of the cities of refuge for safety. If someone kills another person unintentIonally, without previous hostility, the slayer may flee to anyone of these cities to live in safety. That is why I am asking you to set aside the cities of refuge. And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory , as he swore to your ancestors , and gives them all the land he promised them, you must designate three additional cities of refuge. (He will give you this land if you are careful to obey all the commands I have given you-if you always love the Lord your God and walk in his ways.)” Deut. 19:3-9 NLT

God gave the innocent a place to flee. He was showing His mercy towards His people. I am reminded that He always makes a way when there seems to be no way. I can run to Him when my world seems crazy. He gives me a place of safety. He is my place to hide. His presence is always with me.

Thank you Father for going before me. For your provision and faithfulness. You are my refuge. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45; Psalm 133; James 3

I get a taste of the times by reading Jeremiah 25, 35, 36, 45–a sampling over a span of chapters. Jeremiah confronts again:

“For the past twenty-three years […] the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.

“Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’

“But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord. “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. (Jeremiah 25:3-7, NLT)

(I read of the cup of God’s anger, and it’s not an only mention in the Bible. The cup is mentioned in several books, and in each, it is terrifying.)

To another family, a promise from God in response to their obedience.

And in audacity, King Jehoiakim’s response to God:

21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought it from Elishama’s room and read it to the king as all his officials stood by. 22 It was late autumn, and the king was in a winterized part of the palace, sitting in front of a fire to keep warm. 23 Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. 24 Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard. 25 Even when Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, he wouldn’t listen. (Jeremiah 36:21-25, NLT)

Father God, may I never take your word so lightly. If your promises and word are trustworthy, and they are, they should be the direction I seek to draw even closer to you. I am glad your word doesn’t change, and that you are true. You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and I can walk in full confidence of your promise.

13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18, NLT)

Lord, help me to live a life undistracted, but with a keen kingdom focus.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Chronicles 28; 2 Kings 17; Psalm 66; 1 Corinthians 7

When I think of worship, I think of song. But worship is more than that, isn’t it? Judah, Israel, the surrounding nations, all of them were guilty of turning from the Lord and worshiping something else. They installed their idols in shrines and altars. They offered sacrifices to idols. So worshiping is more than just singing to something–it’s giving it a place of honor; consulting and trusting in it for needs, favor, salvation; placing all hope in it; giving offerings/making sacrifices to it; revering it; talking about it. In all, worship is giving something/someone a place of honor, and power, over us.

22 Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah. (2 Chronicles 28:22-23, NLT)

King Ahaz rejected the Lord, even in his times of trouble. He gave honor and power to something else, which led to his ruin. And it led to the ruin of his nation.

This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them, as well as the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. The people of Israel had also secretly done many things that were not pleasing to the Lord their God. They built pagan shrines for themselves in all their towns, from the smallest outpost to the largest walled city. 10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles at the top of every hill and under every green tree. 11 They offered sacrifices on all the hilltops, just like the nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them. So the people of Israel had done many evil things, arousing the Lord’s anger. 12 Yes, they worshiped idols, despite the Lord’s specific and repeated warnings. (2 Kings 17:7-12, NLT)

The Israelites put in great effort and attention to worship other gods and idols. They were intentional. When I read this passage from 2 Kings 17, they were busy and active pursuing practices of other nations, as well as funding and building things to revere in place of the Lord.

The Lord sends a message through prophets and seers–he persists to turn them from their sin. Like a parent warning a child of imminent danger: “Don’t do that!” The warnings go ignored.

14 But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.

16 They rejected all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. 17 They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire. They consulted fortune-tellers and practiced sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord’s anger. (2 Kings 17:14-17, NLT)

It’s easy for me to point to the leaders of these nations for setting a dangerous course. Leaders do carry responsibility. And leaders are accountable for their actions.

But so am I.

Lord, help make it clear to me who I follow, where I put my trust and hope, what or who I’ve given power to. And if it’s not you, help me to see my error and correct my way. I cannot imagine a better life or truer calling apart from you. Thank you for your persistent love.

Courtney (66books365)

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