Nov 23rd 2011, 05:45 PM
Quote:- (Henry H. Halley)” Ezekiel was a prophet of the captivity. He was taken to Babylon 597 BC, 11 years before Jerusalem was destroyed. . . .
The Babylonian captivity of Judah was accomplished 606 BC, 597 BC and 586 BC. . . (it) lasted 70 years. 606 – 536 BC. Ezekiel was there from 597 BC to at least 570 BC. . .
Daniel had been in Babylon 9 years when Ezekiel arrived. . . Daniel in the palace, Ezekiel n the country. . .
Ezekiel preached among the exiles the same thing that Jeremiah was preaching in Jerusalem: certainty of Judah’s punishment for her Sins. . .
Ezekiel’s mission seems to have been to explain the action of God in causing, or permitting, Israel’s captivity. It was because of the unspeakable abominations of which they had been guilty; abominations for which other nations had been blotted out. By their punishment they would come to know that God is God. They did. The Babylonian captivity cured the Jews of Idolatry. . . from that day to this . . . they have not been idolaters.
Until Jerusalem fell Ezekiel was unceasingly predicting it’s certainty (ch.1-24). After that his prophecies dealt with the overthrow of surrounding heathen nations (ch. 25-32) and the re-establishment and glorious future of Israel (ch. 33-48).
Since Ezekiel was so meticulous in dating his visions, even to the exact day, it is assumed that all that follows a given date belongs to that date, till the next date is mentioned.
Ezekiel lived by the river Chebar, the great ship canal branching off from the Euphrates above Babylon and running through Nippur to the Tigris. Nippur, about 50 miles southeast of Babylon, was Calneh, one of the cites Nimrod built (Gen. 10:10) Telabib seems to have been Ezekiel’s home town, there is in the region a village called ‘Kilfil’, the Arabian for ‘Ezekiel’ which tradition say was his residence. About 40 miles away was Fara, traditional home of Noah. This may have suggested the use of Noah’s name (14:14,20), Eridu, traditional site of the garden of Eden.
Nov 24th 2011, 04:17 PM
What does the text say? – Ezekiel was a priest in Babylon. He was very precise in the way he timed his Visions. God told Ezekiel He was sending him to the rebellious children of Israel, he must not be afraid of them even though their responses might be painful. Then Ezekiel was offered a book of funeral songs, words of sorrow and pronouncements of doom and told to eat it. The Lord said He would make Ezekiel as obstinate and hard-headed as the people he must go to, and make his forehead as hard as adamant stone. Then the Holy Spirit took him away to the Judean exiles in Tel-abib beside the river Chebar. After 7 days the Lord said He had made Ezekiel a watchman for Israel; if He told Ezekiel to warn the wicked they will die in their Sins and he tells them he, himself will be saved, but if he does not warn them he will suffer their fate too. The Lord told him to go to the plain, and there he saw the Glory of the Lord; the Spirit told him to go to his house where he would be paralysed until the Lord spoke to him, when he would be able to give the people His message.
Application? – Do I stop giving the message of the Salvation the Lord offers if the response is disappointing? I, too, will suffer if I don’t give the Lord’s message to those who are perishing.
Nov 25th 2011, 04:42 PM
Ezekiel 4 - 7
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel to demonstrate with a clay tablet and mime that Jerusalem would be besieged for 390 days to pay for Israel’s Sin, and 40 days to pay for Judah’s Sin, during which the people would have to live on starvation rations of inferior bread and minimum rations of water because of their Sin. The Lord told Ezekiel he must shave his hair and beard off and use it to demonstrate that Jerusalem had every opportunity to prosper but had rebelled against the Lord and been more wicked than the people of other nations; therefore the Lord was going to punish them publicly and scatter them to the winds, because of their idolatry. A third of the people would die in the city, a third would be killed by the enemy and a third would be scattered to the winds; the Lord would ensure they were mocked by other peoples, because the Lord’s patience with His people had come to an end. Silver and gold will have no value and will not help anyone to escape the Lord’s Judgement.
Application– In what ways do I rebel against the Lord? In what way does my nation rebel against the Lord? Do I value silver and gold above obedience to the Lord? Would I be wise to be obedient to Him instead, before it is too late?
Nov 26th 2011, 05:29 PM
Ezekiel 8, 9 +10
What does the text say? – Over 6 years later, when the Elders of Jerusalem were with Ezekiel, he had a Vision of being between heaven and earth and seeing into the Temple in Jerusalem where the Glory of God was, but he also saw 70 elders using censers and lots of idols, and men worshipping the sun. The Lord said He would not spare the people nor have pity on them. Then Ezekiel saw 6 men with their weapons come when the Lord called; one was a writer who was told to go through Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of each person who was distressed by the Sins committed in the city. Then the Lord told the other men to kill everyone else – men, women and children, beginning in the Temple with the 70 Elders.
In his Vision Ezekiel saw a blue throne over a crystal surface and the heads of the cherubim. The Lord told the writer to go between the wheels and take a handful of the burning coals and scatter them over the city, which he did. The cloud of the Lord’s Glory/Presence filled the inner courtyard, then the Temple. Each of the 4 cherubim had 2 wheels – one inside the other at right-angles – and could move in any direction. This was the same as the living creature Exekiel had seen at the river Chebar.
Note:- (Andrew White, Vicar of Bagdad, has photos of such things in his book ‘Faith Under Fire’)
Application? – Am I in too much of a hurry to wait for the Lord to give me Visions? Do I fully realise there is nothing I can do that is unknown to the Lord? Do I fully appreciate the power of the pen (for good and evil)? Have I got eyes to see what the Lord shows me, or am I so used to modern technology that I don’t even notice?
Nov 27th 2011, 05:29 PM
What does the text say? - The Spirit took Ezekiel back to the east gate of the Temple and showed him the men who gave un-Godly counsel in the city. The Lord told him to tell those men the Lord knew what they were saying and would bring on them the war they feared, drive them out of Jerusalem and carry out His Judgement against them, all the way to the borders of Israel, then they would know He is the Lord. While Ezekiel was still prophesying Pelatiah suddenly died. The Lord said Ezekiel must tell the exiles the Lord would be a sanctuary to them while they were in exile, then would gather them in the land of Israel again. When they had removed all the idols He will give them a new heart responsive to Him then they will be His people, He will be their God and they will be obedient to Him; but those who long for idols will be punished for their Sins. Then the Glory of the Lord went from the city and stopped above the mountains to the east; then the Spirit of the Lord took Ezekiel back to Babylonia where he told the exiles everything the Lord had shown him.
Application? – Do I know the Lord well enough to recognise those giving un-Godly counsel? Do I know that what the Lord says He will do will surely happen? Christians are exiles in this world, so do I always remember the Lord is my sanctuary, and place of Rest? Have I removed all idols from my life? Is the Glory of the Lord in my home and heart?
Nov 28th 2011, 04:38 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel he lived in the midst of
rebellious people who neither heard God nor recognise His Lordship, so he must mime going into captivity to encourage the people to reconsider their rebellion to God; and if he was asked what his actions meant he was to say it was a prophecy concerning everyone in Israel, including King Zedekiah, and that they would be taken into exile. Although Zedekiah would try to escape he would be caught and taken to Babylon, yet he wouldn’t see it, and his helpers and troops would be scattered among the nations, but a few of them will survive and know He is the Lord. The Lord also told Ezekiel he must eat and drink with trembling and fear, then tell the people they will eat and drink fearfully because of the violence of all who dwell there. The Lord said He would fulfil all the Visions He had given regarding His people, but the false prophets who had spoken of peace when there will be no peace, and those who give their own wishes as prophecies that people believe, will be shown to be liars and the people will know He is the Lord.
Application? – Have I rebelled against the Lord in any way? If I am determined to obey the Lord, and study His Word, I will recognise false prophets and not be led astray. Have I told anyone they are Saved and cannot lose their Salvation, when I should have told them that they had now started on the road to Salvation, that they are being Saved, and if their fervent desire is to be faithful to the Lord (even when they have let Him down), they will be Saved one day?
Nov 29th 2011, 03:28 PM
What does the text say? – Some of the Elders of Israel went to Ezekiel to ask him to seek the Lord for them. But the Lord said he would not speak to them apart from to tell them to repent, as they all had idols in their hearts that caused them to fall into Sin. All false prophets, and those who seek guidance from them, will all be cut off from Israel so that everyone will know that idols cut people off from God. When a country is persistently unfaithful to God, even if Noah, Daniel and Job lived there only they – and not even their children – would be saved when God destroyed the land. God was going to send severe Judgement on Jerusalem, though a remnant would be saved, but the rest of the people would go out of the frying pan into the fire because of their Sin. The Lord accused His people of offering the best that He had given them to their idols, acting like prostitutes building pagan shrines on every street corner and idols in every square, so the Lord would send their lovers to strip them of their wealth and kill them. Sodom’s Sins were pride, gluttony and laziness when the poor and needy were suffering and were proud of their, even more detestable Sins, so was wiped out. God’s people had committed more detestable Sins than Sodom and Samaria, yet He would remember the Covenant He had made with His people long ago and when He forgave them they would be ashamed.
Application? – What idols have I hidden in my heart? Have they cut me off from God? Do I give the time,ability, and money, that God has given me, to my idols? Could I be in danger of losing all I have because I don’t give the Lord what is due to Him? Am I ashamed of my Sins?
Nov 30th 2011, 04:34 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel to give the people a story in the form of a riddle. A great eagle took a twig from the top of a cedar and planted it elsewhere, it also planted a seed in good soil beside a flowing river where it grew into a fruitful vine and gave allegiance to the eagle. Another eagle came and the vine transferred it’s allegiance to the 2nd eagle. Will it survive? No. Because the Lord will pull it up and replant it where it will wither. The meaning of the story is that the king of Babylon took king Jehoiachin from Jerusalem to Babylon, he made a covenant with the king’s relative, Zedekiah, but he rebelled and sent ambassadors to Egypt; but Zedekiah could not break a covenant and prosper because that is treason against the Lord, who will take another high twig and plant it on a mountain of Israel, where it will grow into a majestic cedar under which every sort of bird will live. It is the Lord who makes green trees wither and gives dead trees new life.
Application? – The Lord does not take broken promises, I make to other people, lightly; so I will suffer in some way if I break a promise.
Quote:- (Henry H. Halley) “ The ‘tender twig’ (22-24) which God would later plant, in the restored royal family of David, had it’s fulfilment in the Messiah”
Dec 1st 2011, 05:41 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord said if a person has faithfully obeyed Him in every way they will live, and if their child has not obeyed Him that child will die; if their child – the righteous person’s grandchild – obeys the Lord and is righteous, they will live. No one will be responsible for either their parent’s or child‘s Sin. If a sinful person turns from their sin and is faithful to the Lord they will live, and if a righteous person turns to Sin none of their righteousness will be remembered and they will die. Israel says the Lord is not fair but it is their ways that are not fair, so repent and turn from your Sins, don’t let them destroy you. Put all your rebellion behind you and get a new heart and spirit, for the Lord has no pleasure in anyone’s death, so be faithful to Him.
A song about the fall of Israel’s kings.
Application? – I will not benefit from Godly parents unless I am also faithful to the Lord. If I am faithful to the Lord I will not suffer, spiritually, if my children are not faithful to the Lord. Is it time for me to reconsider how faithful, or unfaithful, I am to God through Jesus Christ and, if necessary, mend my ways? Are there any ‘little’ sins I have not repented of?
Dec 2nd 2011, 04:17 PM
What does the text say? – In the 17th year of the exile some Elders of the people asked Ezekiel to seek the Lord’s Will for them. The Lord God replied that when He promised to bring their ancestors out of Egypt He said they must get rid of all their idols, but they rebelled against Him and didn’t do what He said. In the wilderness He had given them His Rules and Regulations but they rebelled and defiled His Sabbaths. Again and again the Lord saved them from the destruction they deserved because their ancestors blasphemed Him and were unfaithful to Him. His people were still unfaithful to Him and worshipped idols, wanting to be like the Gentiles, so He would not speak to them; the Lord God said that because of their infidelity He would rule over them with an iron fist, great anger and awesome Power. He would examine them carefully and hold them to the terms of the Covenant, He would purge His people of the rebellious ones who would never go back to their homeland. Then the Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy against the forest lands of the Negev and tell that wilderness the Lord would set it on fire. The people said Ezekiel spoke in riddles.
Application? – Am I unfaithful to the Lord in any way? Do I expect the Lord to Guide me even if I have not repented of all Sin? Do I treat Sunday as any other day of the week and think the Lord won’t mind? Do I, as a Christian, think I can do all the un-Godly things unbelievers do with no repercussions? If the Lord seems to speak in riddles do I ask Him to clarify what He is saying to me?
Dec 3rd 2011, 04:40 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord said that Ezekiel must proclaim against the holy places and land of Israel, saying that the Lord was about to destroy the people, both righteous and wicked together; he must brandish a sword 3 times to symbolise a great massacre and encourage terror, and say that after the killing the Lord’s fury would be satisfied. Again the Lord spoke to Ezekiel telling him to decide a route for the king of Babylon to take to Jerusalem in Judah and to Rabbah in Ammon, and set up sign posts at a fork in the road. The king of Babylon would decide to set up siege mounds against the walls of Jerusalem, then he would remind the people of their rebellion. The Lord said the time had come for punishment for the Sin of the prince of Israel, and exalt the humble. There will be destruction which will not be restored until the One comes who has the right to Judge. Concerning the Ammonites whose prophets gave false visions and forecast lies, the day of final reckoning had come and they would be wiped out.
Application? – Do I take notice of the signs of the Lord’s actions in the times I live in? Do calamities encourage me to repent of my rebellion against the Lord? Do I pray for righteous government in my nation knowing that I, too, may well suffer the Lord’s Judgement on my nation one day?
Dec 4th 2011, 03:26 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel to publicly denounce the detestable Sins of Jerusalem, and to tell the people the Lord says it is a city of murderers and idolaters, doomed and damned. They are guilty because of the blood they have shed, idols they have made, the fathers, mothers and morality they have treated with contempt and Holy things they despise. They don’t consider the Lord or His Sabbaths, so He will purge their wickedness and scatter them among the nations. The Lord said the people were like the waste matter after silver has been refined, a useless mixture, that He will melt in the heat of His fury. The leaders seize treasures and extort wealth, the priests have violated His Instructions and defiled Holy things and don’t teach the people to respect Him and His Sabbaths, also the prophets give false predictions. The Lord looked for someone who would rebuild the wall of righteousness to guard the land and for someone to plead with Him on behalf of the land, but found no one, so they will suffer the penalty for their Sins.
Application? – Do I ignore obvious Sins, or remind the Lord’s people He expects them to be righteous? Are all my actions pleasing to the Lord? Do I do my best to teach others what pleases the Lord? Do I pray to God in Jesus’ Name on behalf of my nation, it’s leaders and people?
Dec 5th 2011, 05:18 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel that 2 sisters were prostitutes in Egypt when young and He married them both – they were Aholah (Samaria) and Aholibah (Jerusalem). Samaria gave her love to Assyria and worshipped their idols, so God handed them over to her Assyrian lovers who took her children as slaves and killed her. Even though Jerusalem saw what happened to Samaria she, too, was as depraved as her sister and sent messengers to Babylon inviting them to come to her; When they had defiled her she rejected them, so the Lord rejected Jerusalem. Therefore the Lord will send the Babylonians from Pekod, Shoa and Koa with all the Assyrians and He will punish His people by handing them over to them, they will be treated with hatred and robbed of all they own, all because they defiled themselves with idols. They will have anguish, distress and desolation; because they ignored the Lord they must bear the consequences. Oholah and Oholibah have committed adultery by worshipping idols and murder by burning their children as sacrifices, they have also violated the Sabbath, so the Lord will hand them over to be terrorised and plundered as a warning to others not to follow their wicked example and so they will know He is the Sovereign Lord.
Application? – Has my heart turned away form the Lord – have I lost the desire to please Him alone? Do I desire what are perceived as benefits of worshipping other gods (doing what unbelievers do)? Do I condone abortion? Do I violate the Lord’s day in any way (perhaps sport or shopping etc.)?
Dec 6th 2011, 05:39 PM
What does the text say? – On January 15th in the 9th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity the Lord told Ezekiel to write down the date as the king of Babylon had started his siege against Jerusalem; he must tell the people the pot (Jerusalem) had been put on the fire and the meat put in the pot to cook and only sorrow awaited that city of murderers, the Lord Himself will pile up the fuel to burn away the filth of lewdness and the corruption of their idolatry. The Lord had tried to cleanse His people but they had refused, so they will remain in their filth until His fury is satisfied. The Lord will not change His mind or have any pity , the people will be Judged for their wicked actions. The Lord told Ezekiel He would take away his dearest treasure yet he must not show any sorrow, weep, show the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought by friends; Ezekiel proclaimed this to the people in the morning then in the evening his wife died. Next day Ezekiel followed the Lord’s instructions and the people asked what his actions meant, so he told them the Lord would defile His Temple, the source of their security and pride – and that their sons and daughters left in Jerusalem would be killed, but they would not mourn or weep but waste away because of their Sins, and mourn privately for all the evil they had done. On that day a survivor from Jerusalem would come from Babylon and when he told what had happened Ezekiel’s voice would be returned to him, then the people would know He was the Lord.
Application? – Have I refused to allow the Lord to cleanse me, by not truly repenting and/or wholly trusting Jesus Christ to be Who the Bible says He is?
Quote:- (Henry H. Halley)”a heart-rending sign to the exiles that their beloved city of Jerusalem was now to be taken from them. Silence was imposed on Ezekiel till news came of the fallen city, 3 years later. (27; 33:21-22).
Dec 7th 2011, 04:48 PM
What does the text say? –The Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy against the Ammonites; to tell them that because they cheered when His Temple was defiled, mocked when Israel was desolate and laughed at Judah going into captivity, the Lord will allow people from the East to overrun their country, harvest all their fruit, drink all their milk, and make Rabbah a pasture for camels and all the land of Ammon a resting place for sheep and goats, for the people will be destroyed. Because Moab and Seir said Judah was just like other nations, their land will be given to others and the people will cease to exist. Because Edom took vengeance on Judah, the Lord will wipe out it’s people and animals then make it a wasteland. Because the people of Philistia have acted against Judah out of bitter revenge and long-standing contempt, the Lord will wipe out the Kerethites and the people who live by the sea. All this will happen so people know He is the Lord.
Application? – Have I ever mocked a Jew? Have I ever thought there was nothing special about the Jews? Has my nation ever treated Jews badly? Is Almighty God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, my Lord?
Dec 8th 2011, 04:26 PM
Ezekiel 26 - 28
What does the text say? – On February 3rd in the 12th year of King Jehoiakim’s captivity, the Lord told Ezekiel Tyre had been delighted in the fall of Jerusalem as they thought Tyre would gain wealth because of it; but the Lord would cause many nations to destroy it and leave it an uninhabitable ruin. Tyre had been a great trading city for the best of every kind of merchandise from far and near passed through it, but it would exist no more. The Lord told Ezekiel to tell the prince of Tyre that he had too high an opinion of himself, so the Lord would destroy him. Then the Lord told Ezekiel to sing a funeral song for the king of Tyre, saying he had been the model of perfection , full of wisdom and beauty, he was in Eden with his clothing adorned with every precious stone all set in finest gold; he had access to the mountain of God and was blameless from the day he was created until he became evil and was banished in disgrace because of his pride in the beauty and wisdom the Lord had given him. Then the Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy the destruction of Sidon, so that Israel’s scornful neighbour would know He is the Lord and His people will, once again, live safely in Israel, building homes and planting vineyards, when their contemptuous neighbours have been punished and know He is the Lord God.
Application? – No nation or person is too great to be punished by the Lord. Have I ever been contemptuous or scornful of any other nation? Am I proud of my looks or ability – which are, in fact, a gift from God?
Quote:- (Henry H. Halley)”585 BC Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre. It took 13 years to conquer the city (585 – 573 BC). Tyre . . . 60 miles North West of Nazareth, was a double city, one part on an island the other on a fertile and well-watered plain . . . it was a great maritime power of the ancient world . . . with colonies on the north and west coasts of Africa, in Spain and Britain, controlling the commerce of the Mediterranean, with the wares of all nations passing through it’s port. A city renowned for it’s splendour and fabulous wealth. With it’s subjugation by Nebuchadnezzar it ceased to be an independent power; it was later subdued by the Persians and again by Alexander the Great (332 BC). It never recovered it’s former glory and has for centuries been a ‘bare rock’ where fishermen ‘spread their nets’, an amazing fulfilment of Ezekiel’s prophecy that it ‘nevermore should have a being’.
Dec 9th 2011, 04:40 PM
Ezekiel 29 - 32
What does the text say? – On January 7th 586 BC the Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy against the king and people of Egypt. He, the Lord, would bring an army against them who would destroy the army and the people, then the land would be wasteland from Migdol to Aswan and as far south as the border with Ethiopia; for 40 years the land would be uninhabited. At the end of 40 years the people would go back and be prosperous again, but not have military might - then Israel would know He is the Lord. On April 26th 570 BC the Lord told Ezekiel He would give Nebuchadnezzar’s army Egypt to plunder, because he was working for the Lord when he destroyed Tyre. The day would come when the ancient glory of Israel would be revived and then Ezekiel’s words would be respected, and the people would know He is the Lord. The Lord told Ezekiel many people would die in Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Lidia and all Arabia would also be destroyed, all Egypt’s allies would be destroyed by the king of Babylon – then Egypt would know He is the Lord. On April 29th in the 11th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity the Lord told Ezekiel He would scatter the Egyptians throughout other nations, then they would know He is the Lord, and on June 21st 586BC and March 17th 584 BC He told Ezekiel that Pharoah and the Egyptian people would go into the pit. (Note:- dates are from Henry H. Halley)
Application? - The Lord’s disciplines and punishments may be a long time coming, but they will surely come when He thinks the time is right.
Dec 10th 2011, 05:40 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord instructed Ezekiel to tell the people they make a man a watchman when they fear attack, responsible for warning them when enemies are approaching; that man is not responsible for the lives of those who take no notice of his warning, but is responsible for every life lost if he gives no warning. When the Lord says a wicked person will die but you don’t warn them you are responsible for their death, but if you warn them and they take no notice, they are responsible for their own death. So tell the people the Lord has no pleasure in anyone’s Death but wants the wicked to turn from their wickedness and Live. Former righteousness will not Save those who turn to Sin, nor will former wickedness mean destruction for those who repent (turn away from) their Sins. On January 7th in the 12th year of captivity the Lord gave Ezekiel back his voice, so when a man arrived saying Jerusalem had fallen he was able to tell the people those left in Judah would not possess the land as they were murderers, idolaters and adulterers, so they would all die either by the sword, wild animals or disease. The people listened to Ezekiel for amusement but didn’t have any intention of acting on what he said.
Application? – I am responsible for warning people of the Judgement to come. If I don’t warn them I will be responsible for their lack of Salvation, but if I tell them of their need, their Salvation or lack of it, is their responsibility. No former Sin will prevent those who repent of that Sin from receiving Life. No amount of former righteousness will Save someone righteous who turns to Sin.
Dec 11th 2011, 04:15 PM
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy against the leaders of Israel because they have let their ‘flocks’ starve; they have not taken care of the weak, have not looked for those who have wandered away and are lost, instead they have ruled with harshness and cruelty, so the ‘sheep’ have scattered over the world and are easy prey for wild animals. Therefore the Lord considers these shepherds His enemies and will hold them responsible for the state of His flock. The Lord will gather His flock and feed them Himself, he will seek the lost, bandage the wounded and strengthen the weak, but He will destroy those who are fat and powerful and they will receive His Judgement. The Lord will make a Covenant of Peace with His people, and there will be showers of Blessings, their land will produce famous crops and His people will no longer suffer insults from other nations, and the people of Israel will know they are the Lord’s people and He is their God.
Application? – The Lord will treat His spiritual shepherds in a similar way to how they have treated His people. Do I ensure the Lord’s people under my care are fed from His Word? Do I ensure each person knows why they need to enter into a Covenant of Peace with the Lord? Do I treat each person as my Lord Jesus wants me to? Do I seek the lost? Do I bind up the broken-hearted? Do I strengthen the weak? Am I only a leader for the kudos that position brings or to encourage others and ensure they receive the nourishment they need? Do I use my ‘power’ wisely? Do I always recognise each Blessing the Lord showers on me?
Dec 12th 2011, 04:22 PM
Ezekiel 35 - 36
What does the text say? – The Lord told Ezekiel to prophecy against mount Seir and Edom saying He was their enemy and would completely destroy them because of their hatred of Israel and their intention to make the land of Israel theirs, caring nothing for the Lord and boasting against Him. The Lord said the mountains of Israel would yield fruit for the Israelites who would surely come back, they would inhabit the cities and rebuild the ruins. When the Israelites had lived in their own land they defiled it by the way they lived and the Lord Judged them according to their deeds, scattering them among other nations. The Lord was going to bring them back, not because they deserved it but to protect His Holy Name, and to demonstrate His Holiness to the other nations. When they came home His people would not worship idols because He would give them a new heart and a new spirit, and they would submit to Him; then the people would despise themselves for all the detestable things they had done. When the Lord had cleansed the people of their Sins He will repopulate the cities, the ruins will be rebuilt, and the land become like the Garden of Eden.
Application? – Have I spoken against the Jews in any way? Have I realised how fertile the land God gave His people is, and how other nations covet that land and try to get rid of the people? Is the Lord still protecting His Holy Name by the way He prevents other nations ejecting His people completely? Aught I to pray more diligently for the Jews, as a whole, to have a new heart and a new spirit and submit to the Lord?
Dec 13th 2011, 04:59 PM
What does the text say? – Ezekiel was taken, in the Spirit, to a valley of dry bones. The Lord told him to prophecy to the bones and tell them He would make them live again. As Ezekiel watched the bodies reformed but were not breathing. The Lord told Ezekiel to speak prophetically to the breath of Life, then a great army stood up. The Lord said, to His people in exile, He would enable them to live in their own land again, with His Spirit in them, so they would know He is the Lord. The Lord told Ezekiel to take 2 pieces of wood, one to represent Judah and it’s allied tribes and one to represent Ephraim and the northern tribes of Israel – then join them together in his hand and tell the people the Lord would make all Israel one nation again, under one king; they would not pollute themselves with idols and rebellion for the Lord would cleanse them, He would make a Covenant of Peace with them and make His home with them forever.
Application – Since I became Jesus’ disciple, and He breathed on me, have I constantly asked the Lord to fill me with His Holy Spirit to enable me to do His Will, His Way, for His Glory using His Power? Or do I do what I think will please Him in my own power?
Dec 14th 2011, 04:24 PM
Ezekiel 38 -39
What does the text say? - The Lord told Ezekiel He would lead Gog of Magog, who was His enemy, and his whole army, together with Persia, Libya, Ethiopia, Gomer and Togarmah against His land when His people were living there in peace; at that time in the distant future, when everyone is watching, His Holiness will be displayed when His Fury boils over and there would be a terrible earthquake, torrential rain, hail, disease and bloodshed, fear and burning sulphur. Gog and all his allies would die. The Lord will not let anyone shame His Holy Name. It would take 7 months for the people of Israel to bury all the bodies and cleanse the land; then everyone will know the Lord sent His people away because they sinned when they were unfaithful to their God. Then the Lord will have Mercy on Israel, they will accept responsibility for their past shame and unfaithfulness, then He will bring them home from exile and pour out His spirit on them.
Application? – Am I always faithful to the Lord God? Does the way I live bring shame on His Name? Have I asked the Lord to pour out His Spirit on me desiring His Power to do His Will His Way for His Glory above everything ?
Dec 15th 2011, 05:37 PM
What does the text say? – In the 25th year of the captivity , in the 14th year after Jerusalem was captured, the Lord took Ezekiel back to the city in Visions; he saw a man shining like bronze. He had a plumb-line and a measuring rod in his hand, he was standing in the gateway and told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites everything he was shown. There was a wall all round the Temple area 10 ½ feet thick and 10 ½ feet high. The eastern gateway was 10 ½ feet from front to back with alcoves on each side. Ezekiel noted the sizes of each area as it was measured, the number of windows and decorations on the gateposts, then he noted the outer court and it’s 30 chambers with pavement all round; every measurement was noted, that the Northern and Southern gates measured exactly the same as the Eastern gate. The measurements of the gateways to the inner court were noted and the gateposts that faced the outer court. There was a room where sacrifices were prepared on 8 tables, and 4 tables of hewn stone for the burnt offerings. Outside the inner gate were the rooms for the singers. The room facing south was for the priests responsible for maintenance, the room facing north was for descendants of Zodak who were the priests in charge of the altar. Then the man measured the square court and the vestibule
Application? – Have I always taken careful note of all the Lord shows me, and shared it with others?
Dec 16th 2011, 04:41 PM
Ezekiel 41 +42
What does the text say? – In his Vision Ezekiel was taken into the Sanctuary (Holy Place) of the Temple and the Man measured everything possible in that 70’x35’ area and in the Most Holy Place which was 35’x35’. Then He measured the wall of the Temple, which was 10 ½ feet thick, with rows of rooms 7’ across along the outer wall. These side rooms were built on 3 levels, one above the other, 30 rooms on each level; each level was wider than the one below, corresponding to the narrowing of the Wall as it rose higher, a stairway led from top to bottom. The thickness of all the walls and everything in the area were measured, also the sizes of everything in and around the Temple – which was 175’ long. The courtyard around the building was an additional 175’ in length, the inner courtyard to the east of the Temple was also 175’ wide and the building to the west also 175’. Ezekiel noted all the wood panelling in the sanctuary and roof carvings, the pillars, the altar, the doors, and the roof.
Application? – Do I take careful note of every detail of everything the Lord shows me?
Dec 17th 2011, 04:42 PM
Ezekiel 43 + 44
What does the text say? – The man took Ezekiel to the gate that faced east, and the Glory of the Lord came from the east, His coming was like the sound of rushing waters and the whole landscape shone with His Glory. The Vision was like the ones Ezekiel had seen at the river Kebar, and when the Lord went to destroy Jerusalem. The Glory of the Lord went from the east into the Temple, and filled it, and He said He would always live there among the people of Israel, who would worship Him alone instead of other gods and former kings. The Lord told Ezekiel to write down all he had seen, the specifications of the Temple, it’s decrees and laws, the measurements of the altar, it’s consecration and sacrifices, and the offerings of the people. The people must not forget anything, particularly that the basic Law of the Temple is absolute Holiness in every aspect of life. The Lord said the east gate must be kept shut at all times, as the Lord had gone through it; yet the prince could sit in the gateway to eat in the Lord’s Presence but not go through the gate. No one could enter the sanctuary who had not surrendered themselves to the Lord. Those priests who were unfaithful to the Lord could not touch His Holy things only the descendants of Zadok could do that, but the others could do the maintenance work and general duties. The priests ministering to the Lord must only wear linen garments kept for the purpose, not wool, and their wives must be Israelite virgins. They would serve the Lord Judging the people according to His regulations; they would not own anything but rely on the people’s offerings and sacrifices for food.
Application? – Is every aspect of my life as holy as the Lord desires? Is my life wholly surrendered to the Lord?
Quote:- (Andrew White, the vicar of Bagdad, in ‘Faith under Fire’) “I was amazed that God’s Glory could manifest itself in such extraordinary ways here in Iraq . . . she (an expert in both Aramaic and the book of Ezekiel) showed me very clearly, from Scripture, that the Glory of God had gone to Babylon with the people of Israel in the 2nd exile; and according to the opening verses of Ezekiel 43 it would return to the Temple in Jerusalem from the east . . . where is the Glory today? It is to the east of Jerusalem . . . in Iraq. I can testify to the fact that His Glory is residing here . . . it is tangible, real, visible and awe-inspiring.”
Dec 18th 2011, 04:30 PM
Ezekiel 45 + 46
What does the text say? – The Lord confirmed to Ezekiel how the land of Israel was to be divided and he was to tell the leaders of the people that they must not oppress the people, they must stop all violence, oppression, robbing and cheating of the people; they must use only honest scales and weights and honest measures for everything. The Lord also gave him instructions for what sacrifices and offerings He expected the people to give Him, according to their wealth, and regulations regarding feast days. The gateway to the inner court must only be opened on the Sabbaths and feast days. If the prince gave any inheritance to his son it would belong entirely to them, but if he gave anything to a servant it would only belong to them until the next year of Jubilee then it must be returned to the prince. The prince must not take anyone’s property by force, anything he gave to his sons must be from his own land and will be theirs in perpetuity. The Lord showed Ezekiel a room at the extreme west end of the rooms assigned to the priests, where they were to cook the guilt, sin and grain offerings to prevent endangering the people; then Ezekiel was shown the kitchens where the sacrifices of the people were to be boiled.
Application? – the Lord never changes, and still expects His people to abide by His rules. Am I totally honest in every way? Do I ensure no one is harmed by anything I do?
Dec 19th 2011, 04:50 PM
Ezekiel 47 + 48
What does the text say? – The Man showed Ezekiel there was water flowing from the Temple to the East; He took him out of the North gate and led him round the outside to the outer Eastern gateway where the water was coming from. The Man went Eastwards measuring 1750 feet along the stream then led Ezekiel through the water which came up to his ankles, after another 1750 feet the water came up to his knees, after another 1750 feet the water came up to his waist, and after another 1750 feet was too deep to walk in; then He led him back up the stream, which now had trees growing on both banks. Ezekiel was told the river flowed through the dessert to the Dead Sea, and would make the Dead Sea fresh so that fish would flourish there – everything would live wherever the river went; the leaves of the trees will never wither and they will always bear fruit. The Lord said the Northern borders of Israel would go from the Mediterranean Sea to Zedad, then to the border between Damascus and Hamath then South to along the Jordan , past the Dead Sea as far as Tamar, then West to Kadesh, then follow the Brook of Egypt back to the Mediterranean Sea, which would be their Southern border.
Quote:- (Henry H. Halley)”Roughly it was south half of the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, about 400 miles North to South averaging about 100 miles east to West. The tribes were not in their original arrangement, but as here indicated. The City, 7 ½ miles square. Pattern, in part, of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21). Home of God.