"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Ezekiel 7:1-9:11 ~ Hebrews 5:1-14 ~ Psalm 105:1-15 ~ Proverbs 26:28
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Old Testament – Ezekiel chapter 7 has a line that repeats twice in verses 4 & 27: “Then you/they will know that I am the LORD!” We are seeing here that God is not happy with Israel in large part because they do not realize that he is the Lord. They have sold out to other gods and idols and sin and don’t really think God will do much about it. Well, God opens this chapter with strong words in verse 1: “The end is here!” God’s patience has run out. But, keep in mind that God kept trying to get the Israelites to repent over and over and over again. They wouldn’t.
Ezekiel chapter 8 reminds me of a lawyer making a case in court! And God absolutely puts forth a strong case for why the end arrived for Jerusalem in the 5th/6th century B.C. It is so sad to see these sins take place in and around the Temple. In chapter 9 we see six angels of God appear from the north gates – where one of the major idols was located. In this vision, these 6 angels are carrying out God’s judgment on Israel. Verse 7 gives us a hint that God is preparing to leave the Temple completely: “”Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded.” We’ll pick this up in tomorrow’s readings…
Below is an artist’s interpretation of Ezekiel’s visit to Jerusalem: (I realize this is one of the more “unique” pieces of art I have posted up – just wait until we get to the book of Revelation! 🙂
New Testament – Hebrews chapter 5 verse 10 today tells us this about Jesus: “And God designated him to be a High Priest in the line of Melchizedek.” Who is Melchizedek? He first appeared in Scripture in Genesis 14:18-20: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Melchizedek was clearly important, as Abram gave him a tenth of everything. And Christ is a “High Priest in the line of Melchizedek.” The thing to keep in mind is that most Bible scholars do not believe that Melchizedek was literally Christ. So, for us today, it’s fine history to know. But, Christ is our High Priest, as this chapter of Hebrews makes clear.
Verses 11 – 14 today are a great reminder that as Christians we must learn to become “self-feeders.” We can’t rely only on pastors and teachers and mentors to provide us with spiritual nourishment. We must learn to grow our relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit through our own study and prayer as well. I submit that the One Year Bible is one great way to feed yourself spiritually daily!
Psalms – Psalm 105 verse 4 stood out to me today – “Search for the LORD and for his strength, and keep on searching.” I like that – search! If you search for God, he will indeed be found.
Verses 8 & 9 remind us of this character of God: “He always stands by his covenant– the commitment he made to a thousand generations. This is the covenant he made with Abraham and the oath he swore to Isaac.” The covenant continues today through the new covenant (testament) brought to us through Jesus.
Proverbs – Proverbs 26:28 teaches us: “A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin.” This is a great reminder not to lie nor to flatter!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14 (NIV)
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