Daily Reading: 4-15-16
Ezekiel 20:39-44 New Living Translation (NLT)
Ezekiel is a prophetic visionary used by God to gain Israel’s attention. God’s people—Israel—have been worshiping other gods while trying to worship the one true Lord; therefore, they are experiencing judgment. (Note: remember judgment can be translated “to distinguish”). The Word lends Light to help us distinguish, but it’s our choice. This situation is really no different with many professing Christians, today. The pleasures of this tangible world can lure us to compromise our commitment to follow God’s Word and ways. According to Romans 12:2, humanity can easily try to live with one foot in the world [conforming to the behavior and customs of the world] and one foot in the Kingdom [renewed in thought and transformed by God’s Word]. Eventually the Word will make us choose between the things that call for our allegiance or devotion. It’s the same with Israel in our passage this morning. God will bring a symbolic fork in the road and at the appointed time God’s people will choose the Sovereign Lord of lords and the King of kings—Jesus—the Living Word.
39 “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. 40 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. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices. 41 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 all the nations watch. 42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. 43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 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!”
God has spoken mercy over Israel; He still offers a future and a hope. This is a glimpse of the remnant that will worship at God’s holy mountain, Zion. It foreshadows the vision Ezekiel has in chapters 40-48 where he sees a people in purified worship redeemed by Grace. Christ followers can experience the oneness in worship now as we gather in His name. The other night in our Wednesday worship time a sister in Christ said she had been sending information to someone who proclaims that God is entirely done with the Jews. In our passage, today, we clearly see the heart of God for Israel. One day the people of Israel will worship the Lord in Spirit and truth and He will accept them.
Prayer: Lord, I ask You to help me distinguish and make wise choices for my life, today. I profess my love and devotion to Christ and the work of Grace. Continue to renew my mind, so I may fully live in your Kingdom of Love. I realize the proof of my choice will be manifest in my actions. In Jesus’ name. Amen.