Our Undiscouraged God

Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19; 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9  (day seven) 
“They defiled my holy name by their detestable practices.  So I destroyed them in my anger.  Now let them put away from me their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings, and I will live among them forever.”  (43:8-9)  When the Bible says that “His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23) it means the Eternal One is not discouraged or weary with His plan to restore the world.  Our sin has not defeated Him, nor changed His promise, nor weakened His bright resolve!  True, our rebellion has been very costly to us and our children and the cosmos, but THE VICTORY IS AS CERTAIN AS IT HAS EVER BEEN.  What a privilege it is to receive this gracious invitation.  “Put away” the practices of sin!  He will “live among” us forever.  What is out of balance will be restored to an eternal equilibrium.  It is an unchanging offer of grace from an undiscouraged God.

Mine eye have seen the GLORY

Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19; 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9 (day six) 
“And I saw the GLORY of the God of Israel coming from the east.  His voice was the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his GLORY.”  (43:2)  “Mine eyes have seen the GLORY of the coming of the Lord.”Julia Ward Howe.  Whether civil war song or prophet’s vision, the hope is the same.  Christ will come to His people with great GLORY.  The Hebrew word for GLORY is kabod.  It came from the word kabed which meant “heavy”.  Heavy as compared to plastic or disposable.  A contrast to a world that is not real, substantial and eternal.  Ultimately, His GLORIOUS coming is the only hope for this sin-sick, self-spent world.  God, Himself, will be the light and the justice. “For the Son of Man is going to come in the GLORY of His Father with His angels, and will repay every man according to his deeds.”  (Matthew 16:27)  GLORY? GLORY. Hallelujah!

Leading Lessons

Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19, 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9  (day five)
In the verses between the listed passages is an ironic scene.  Found in the first few verses of chapter 11, Ezekiel is now at the east gate where 25 “leaders” are discussing new building projects for the city.  Really??!!  Talk about clueless!!  The irony is two fold:  1-They are totally unaware of the destruction taking place,  2- They are in the very spot where the Glory of the Lord just passed.  What a sad picture of a leader.  Good leaders recognize where God’s presence is, and where it isn’t.  Good leaders strive to understand God’s plan and purpose.  Good leaders listen, look, and learn so that they can influence others to find the Lord.  Good leaders are desperate for God’s presence to be where they are (homes, churches, nations).  May all who lead, learn these lessons!!



The Gospel Message

RE Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19, 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9  (day four) 
At least two things permeate this passage…the glory of God and His promise of hope.  Ezekiel’s visions are of the indescribable majesty and glory of the Lord.  Israel’s disobedience has separated them from God’s glory.  It was Ezekiel’s job to deliver God’s message to His people.  If Israel would put away their harlotry and repent of their iniquities, God would dwell among them forever.  This was 25 years into their captivity of 70 years…it was the beginning of Passover.  Passover was a celebration of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt.  Here He was promising to do it again.  All Israel had to do was repent and turn from their disobedience and God would live among them forever.  Forgiveness from sin, eternal life…what a promise.  Don’t you wish we could have a promise like that?


Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19; 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9 (Day Three) 
“Now let them put away from me their prostitution and the funeral offerings for their kings, and I will live among them forever.”  The words of the prophet Ezekiel join the writing of John in Revelation as brimming with the most hope in all of scripture.  John writes: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.’”  To live among us—this is what God intends.  It is the future of the human race—those of that race who count on Christ.  How will you live today—what will you think about, where will you go, what will you give your time to—knowing that God will make his home among us?

Many Waters

Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19, 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9 (day two).
And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2 ESV) Last week we read how the Lord breathed the breath of life into the dry bones. The Spirit of God moved among them and filled them with life by the sweet life-giving breath. Now he speaks with a different voice. Have you stood on the beach and heard the mighty roar of the ocean before? Unrelenting, powerful, unequalled. He still speaks, but which voice will get our attention?


Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 10:18-19, 11:22-23; 40:1-2; 43:1-9  (day one)
“And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, ‘the glory has departed from Israel.’ ”  (1 Samuel 4:21)  Old story.  The daughter-in-law of Eli, upon hearing the news of a great defeat and the enemy capture of the Ark of the Covenant, kneels down and gives birth and dies. (On how many levels can sin be tragic?)  Before death comes, she names the boy Ichabod, which means “the glory of God has departed.”  Years later, it happens again.  Not the birth, but the departure of God’s glory, God’s protection/power.  Ezekiel sees it in a vision.  “The glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple.” (10:18)  Then later, “the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.”  (11:23)  Graphic.  Sobering.  It is what David dreaded, “Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.”  (Psalm 51:11)


Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 37:1-14 (day seven) 
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley.”  (v 1)  Eyes that see the invisible are a gift from God. ( 2 Corinthians 4:18)  One of the promised outcomes of the Spirit’s presence and fullness is “your young men shall see visions” (Acts 2)  Ezekiel is not unique in this experience.  Isaiah.  Daniel.  Ananias (Acts 9, the conversion of Saul).  Peter (Acts 10).  Paul (2 Corinthians 12).  All of these people give testimony to a Spirit-assisted perception of invisible reality.  Vision!  Stands to reason, doesn’t it?  The Spirit came to “guide us into ALL truth.”  (John 16:13)  If so, then invisible truth, truth only seen with Spiritual eyes must be included on the list.  May the church be glad for such grace.  “Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me, Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine.”–Clara Scott.

Life after death?

Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 37:1-14 (day six) 
“He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’  I said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’ ” (v 3)  Is there life after death?  “Yes” is the unwavering answer of the Christian faith.  Dead people, dead marriages, dead churches can be resurrected by the Spirit of God.  Ezekiel is less certain.  He knows God CAN.  He is somewhat reluctant to declare that God WILL.  Those of us who live on this side of the empty tomb are more confident.  “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. . .(after Him) those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end. . .(and) the last enemy to be abolished is death.”  (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23-24)  Christian, are you confident in the reality of life after death?  Does this confidence change the way you live and make decisions and face challenges?  He is Risen!  Do you believe we all will be?

Dead is Dead

Re: Verse reading–Ezekiel 37:1-14 (day five)
We see 2 pictures of spiritual death in Ezekiel’s vision.  One is visually and physically evident.  It’s crystal clear.  The dry bones are a visual picture of an extended period of rebellion, hopelessness, and utter ruin.  The need and the problem are obvious.

The second picture is a little more complicated if just merely observing.  Bones rejoined, muscles, tendons, and flesh back in place.  Recognizable form is now added to the bodies and corpses.  Things are taking shape and progress is being made.  Wonder if there was excitement and joy at this point?  Wonder if a celebration was about to ensue?  To interrupt a premature conclusion, God makes Ezekiel aware of their condition.  Still, they are corpses.  Still, they are without life.  Still, they are… dead.  God commands Ezekiel to prophesy breath (Spirit) to fill these bodies.  Once filled from within with the Spirit (breath) they are made alive and ready to be used by God (an army).   Sound familiar?  (John 3:3-5)