"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Ezekiel 37:1-38:23 ~ James 1:19-2:17 ~ Psalm 117:1-2 ~ Proverbs 28:1
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Old Testament – Ezekiel chapter 37 starts with a fascinating vision! This vision of the valley of dry bones is an allusion to the exiled Israelites. As God brings life and breath into the bones, he will do the same for the exiles, and bring them back to their home land. In a sense, bring them back to life!
Verse 14 sums up the purpose of this vision nicely – “I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I am the LORD.” Again, we hear the words, as we have so often in Ezekiel – “then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Verses 15-23 are great – discussing the reunification of the two kingdoms of Israel since the time of Solomon. Israel will become one kingdom again. And verses 24 through 28 point toward the coming Messiah, Jesus. Verse 26 stands out – “And I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant.”
Ezekiel chapter 38 is very interesting, with a prophesy against Gog of the land of Magog. It will help you to know that Gog is mentioned in Revelation chapter 20 verses 7 & 8 as follows – “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth–Gog and Magog–to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.” This can help give some context for this chapter. This may be an end-times type of prophecy from Ezekiel. Verse 22 tells us – “I will punish you and your hordes with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur!” And, again, we close this chapter with some familiar powerful words from God – “Thus will I show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the LORD!”
New Testament – James’ verses today again are all so powerful… I am enjoying this book immensely. Chapter 1 Verse 27 is a great reminder to care for the poor amongst us – “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.”
James chapter 2 verse 17 is a famous one – “So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all–it is dead and useless.” Or, paraphrased, faith without works is dead. It’s important of course to remember that works alone do not save us – only faith does through the grace of God. But, works naturally come through that saving faith. They are a natural by-product and demonstrate that we have a true and living faith.
Psalms – Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the Psalms – and the shortest chapter in the entire Bible. This Psalm is said to basically be one long Alleluia. 🙂 Actually verse 1 has a very important message – “Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth.” This demonstrates that God was very interested in the salvation of the Gentiles and all the nations in the Old Testament. And not just in the New Testament as we get to the book of Acts. This was part of the plan all along…
Proverbs – Proverbs 28 verse 1 today teaches us: “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.”
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 (NIV)
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