Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tuesday - January 7 - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 13-14, Psalm 5, Matthew 5
Today's scripture focus is Ezekiel 6-7

Ezekiel 6-7

American Standard Version (ASV)
6  And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy unto them,
and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Jehovah: Thus saith the Lord Jehovah to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.
And your altars shall become desolate, and your sun-images shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
And I will lay the dead bodies of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
In all your dwelling-places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your sun-images may be hewn down, and your works may be abolished.
And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am Jehovah.
Yet will I leave a remnant, in that ye shall have some that escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
And those of you that escape shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captive, how that I have been broken with their lewd heart, which hath departed from me, and with they eyes, which play the harlot after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
10 And they shall know that I am Jehovah: I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.
11 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.
12 He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath upon them.
13 And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the places where they offered sweet savor to all their idols.
14 And I will stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate and waste, from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their habitations: and they shall know that I am Jehovah.
7  Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah unto the land of Israel, An end: the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
Now is the end upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways; and I will bring upon thee all thine abominations.
And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity; but I will bring thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am Jehovah.
Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: An evil, an only evil; behold, it cometh.
An end is come, the end is come; it awaketh against thee; behold, it cometh.
Thy doom is come unto thee, O inhabitant of the land: the time is come, the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting, upon the mountains.
Now will I shortly pour out my wrath upon thee, and accomplish mine anger against thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways; and I will bring upon thee all thine abominations.
And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will bring upon thee according to thy ways; and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, do smite.
10 Behold, the day, behold, it cometh: thy doom is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.
11 Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness; none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of their wealth: neither shall there be eminency among them.
12 The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
13 For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they be yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, none shall return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.
14 They have blown the trumpet, and have made all ready; but none goeth to the battle; for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
15 The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword: and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
16 But those of them that escape shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, every one in his iniquity.
17 All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as water.
18 They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be as an unclean thing; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Jehovah: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it hath been the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty; but they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things therein: therefore have I made it unto them as an unclean thing.
21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall profane it.
22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall profane my secret place; and robbers shall enter into it, and profane it.
23 Make the chain; for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
24 Wherefore I will bring the worst of the nations, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pride of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be profaned.
25 Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.
26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumor shall be upon rumor; and they shall seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the elders.
27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.
I can't honestly remember if I have ever actually read all the way through Ezekiel before.  Unfortunately, my "reading through the Bible in a year" goal didn't happen last year, so I'm attempting it again.  So while I am really enjoying this study, it is definitely challenging me!
I turned to Rayburn's studies on chapters 6&7 for this post today.
God's wrath in chapter six, in all of Ezekiel is devastating.  It is completely terrifying to consider this type of wrath being carried out by a loving and caring God.  By the God who sent His son to die to save us all.
Rayburn states, "There is nothing arbitrary, mercurial, unstable, erratic, spiteful, malicious, sullen, untamed, or peevish in the wrath of God. Very much the contrary! God’s wrath is his holy justice in operation. Far from a fit of temper, the divine wrath is reasonable, righteous, and even-handed in all its operations. So patient is the Lord, so compassionate, so ready to forgive, so much does the Lord delight to show mercy, that Isaiah can even refer to the Lord’s judgment, his punishment of sinners as “his strange and alien work” [28:21] almost as if it were forced upon him against his will. And we have the same thought in the New Testament as in the Old. The Lord does not desire the death of the wicked, but that all men should come to repentance and the knowledge of the truth. He delays his judgment so as to provide maximum opportunity for repentance."
I love that last sentence.  "He delays his judgment so as to provide maximum opportunity for repentance.".
God does not want a single one of us to perish!  He is delaying this punishment so that more and more may be saved. 
Rayburn talks about that on his message about chapter 7,
Here then is another piece of our doctrine of divine judgment. It is a long time in coming! It has been promised in the Word of God. It is, therefore, a certainty. But it does not come apace. Years, decades, even centuries may pass with nothing that could be certainly identified as the sort of large-scale disaster that would qualify as the day of the Lord. True, from time to time, there are anticipations of this day of judgment, but only some people are affected and afterwards life goes on as before. People no doubt shuddered at the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii as they did much later at 9/11 or the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, but recent history has taught us again that people get over their disquiet and anxiety quickly enough. In the same way the Jews trembled for a moment at the two deportations to Babylon of some of their leading citizens, but once the caravan had left the city and was out of sight, life returned in large part to normal. The shop had to be opened the next day, after all; the fields had to be planted or harvested; the pretty girl next door wooed and wed. The ancient city seemed as solid and indestructible as ever. The Judgment Day delays! And because it delays men draw the conclusion that it will never come.
This is the single greatest error of mankind! They confuse God’s patience with indifference and the delay of his coming judgment with its non-existence. People everywhere do this. They remain confident that they can trust economic activity, military force, wealth, or their leadership to gain them peace, safety and prosperity. But here in Ezekiel 7 we are told that each one of those idols would prove utterly powerless before the wrath of God. [Eichrodt, 105] This is the great and terrible truth you know about so many people you meet. You know, but they do not, that God’s wrath is certainly coming.
Once again - that last sentence!  As Christians, as believers, as followers of Christ, we KNOW this wrath is coming.  And, Rayburn points out in his message for chapter 6, we know that it is deserved. 
But those who see the truth, even when they themselves have been caught up in that judgment, those who turn at the last or, indeed, like these in v. 8, escape the full force of God’s punishment and eventually repent, they will see with a perfect clarity that it was deserved, absolutely deserved. In other words, those thinking rightly will accuse themselves for their hardheartedness, for their stupidity, for their indifference to all the warnings that the Lord sent beforehand. And they will make no bones that what they had been doing was detestable and that the Lord would not be the Lord God, not the Holy One of Israel, had he not been revolted by it and had he not eventually exhausted his patience and punished it with ferocious judgments.
I think that is what makes Ezekiel so terrifying and so wonderful at the same time.  A loving God is delaying His judgment so that more and more may come to know Him personally, but as we come to know the True God, we know that any punishment we suffered was/is just.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Ezekiel 8-9
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 15-16, Psalm 6, Matthew 6

1 comment:

Tammy said...

How sad it is that God's loving patience is actually taken by some as an invitation to sin all the more because God must not see it as He's not doing anything about it. What a terrifying day it will be for them when God's patience finally comes to an end, and fully justified wrath is carried out.

Loved the portions of both sermons that you highlighted.