As a method of reinforcing His messages to Judah, the Lord took Ezekiel’s speech from him and made him mute except when necessary to convey a message to the people from God.
In contrast to Jeremiah’s messages which were written and spoken mostly in poetic form, Ezekiel was instructed to give graphic visual demonstrations from God. One of those illustrations involved constructing a model of the city upon a clay tablet including the walls and fortifications surrounding it. He was then to show them how Babylon would construct a ramp and mound in order to reach the top of the city wall without the use of ladders. Battering rams would also be used to break the wall down.
Other signs that were given to the prophet depicted the length of time that Israel and Judah would suffer because of their sins. Their diet while under siege was also illustrated to the people.
It was humiliating for a man to have his head and beard shaved. God instructed Ezekiel to do just that to himself with a sharpened sword as a razor. He was then to divide the pile of hair and beard into thirds and burn one third; strike one third with the sword and scatter the other third. A small number would be bound in the edge of his garment. Cannibalism would also be prevalent during the siege.
Jerusalem would be humiliated and disgraced at the hands of Babylon. One third of the population would die of pestilence and famine; one third by the sword and the other third would escape into the countryside, but many of them would also die by the sword. Only a small remnant would survive the terrible destruction.
Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse. (1 Chronicles 10:13-14 NIV)
사울이 죽은 것은 여호와께 범죄했기 때문이었다. 그는 여호와의 명령에 불순종하고 영매를 찾아다니면서도 여호와에게는 물어 보지 않았다. 그래서 여호와께서는 그를 죽이고 그의 나라를 이새의 아들 다윗에게 넘겨 주셨다. (역대상 10:13-14 Korean KLB)
Almighty God – eternally loving and merciful Father in heaven ~ shine the light of your love upon all people of this earth you created for our dwelling place. Thank you for this new day that arrives with fresh hope for success in life by learning and obeying your word. Give wisdom to all leaders of the various nations so that they will not reject the timeless wisdom contained in your word. Shame those leaders who refuse to look to your Son as the highest authority in this day and time. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
Cedar Key Church
Ezek. 21:18-32; 24:1-27
The Lord described the path that Nebuchadnezzar would take to battle Jerusalem. At some point the Ammonites had become a problem to the Babylonian king. Nearing Jerusalem, there would be a fork in the road—the right one leading to Jerusalem and the left to Ammon. As one today might toss a coin in order to make a choice, Nebuchadnezzar shook arrows, consulted with his gods and observed the livers of sacrificed animals in order to make his decision. God had willed that both nations would be taken.
Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem was described as a boiling pot of cooking meat. That cooking flesh represented the inhabitants. All would be consumed in the misery of the city’s destruction.
It was against God’s will that any of the exiled people already present in Babylon would weep and mourn for their destroyed homeland. The sudden death of Ezekiel’s wife was reason for him to go into shock and mourning. The Lord commanded that he completely refrain from any display of grief. Sorrow that deep is difficult to conceal. When confronted by the people, he stated that with Jerusalem’s destruction, there would be the loss of many things dear to them, including sons and daughters. Those actions were from the Lord and they were to remain silent regarding their grief.
WHY DO THE LIBERALS AMONG US STAY?
If the church of Christ is just another denomination beset with as many sins, shortcomings, failures, and uninformed views as the leftist/progressive members of it say that it is why do they not leave it for “a different denomination,” a better and more perfect one, or at least one that is more in keeping with their views?
If loyal churches of Christ are behind the times because they refuse to adopt instrumental music in the worship of the church, utilize women preachers, admit to being a denomination, or accept as members those who have not been immersed for the remission of sins (or some biblically synonymous reason), etc. why do the leftists stay? Continue reading
“But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his warnings, and ridiculed his prophets. Finally the Lord got very angry at his people and there was no one who could prevent his judgment.”
2 Chronicles 36.16
God felt compassion toward his people and the place of his habitation among them, v. 15. But Israel’s rejection short-circuited his compassion. Jerusalem was destroyed and the people suffered.
People today make fun of the Kingdom’s teachers and evangelistas. They will be judged. Do I speak harshly of those who work in the gospel?
#votd #2-Chronicles #rejection
The Lord spoke to Ezekiel depicting His people as two harlot sisters who had been with Egypt. Samaria was represented by the older of the two and Jerusalem was seen as the younger. Even though they belonged to God, both had looked to Egypt for aid and support against their enemies instead of relying upon their Lord in their time of need. Samaria also had lusted after Assyria and God gave her over to her lovers, the Assyrians.
Jerusalem, the younger harlot sister also had lusted after the Assyrians. Instead of learning a much-needed lesson, after seeing the fate of her older sister, her life became more corrupt. Along with the Assyrians, Jerusalem formed alliances with Babylon, but later became alienated from them.
Because of her unfaithfulness, God revealed to Ezekiel that He would stir her alienated lovers up against her. He proceeded to describe the violence that she would endure at their hands because of being defiled by their idols. She would drink, “The cup of your sister Samaria.”
Sometimes one may ask, “What have I done?” If that question had come from Jerusalem, the prophet had the answer—a long list of specific sins that the people had committed against God. His judgment was sure. “They shall repay you for your lewdness…Then you shall know that I am the Lord God.”
This short article about alcohol from a non-religious perspective deserves much attention.
Alcohol removed me from my life and I removed alcohol so I can show up for my life.
These are things a Christian knows, and more. It’s good to hear it for once from someone on the outside who recognizes that alcohol adds nothing to your life — on the contrary, it takes away.
#alcohol #drinking #spirituality
Ezek. 20:1-21:17; 22:1-22
It is surely a lonely feeling to be rejected by God. The elders of Israel/Judah went to Ezekiel asking to inquire of the Lord. They were possibly somewhat concerned because of the many negative prophecies that they had heard or they may have been merely attempting to test the prophet. God’s response was, “…As I live, I will not be inquired of by you.” He then proceeded to review the reasons that He had withdrawn from His people. They had rebelled against him by refusing to obey His statutes and by following after other gods. He was ready to execute his punishment upon them. However, after the period of punishing exile, they would be returned in humility to their homeland.
The Lord continued to speak to Ezekiel and described the events that would soon take place. Babylon’s battle against Judah was seen as a sharp and shining sword slaughtering both the wicked and the righteous. All flesh from north to south would be under God’s wrath. When the righteous associate with the wicked, they are all subjected to the same dangers.
Just as God had described the sins of the Judean nation, He called out the bloody city of Jerusalem. They had been guilty of the same brutal immorality as their neighbors in the country. A silversmith casts raw ore into a furnace to extract impure dross from the precious metal. Likewise, Jerusalem would be refined in the furnace of exile to bring her into the purity of repentance.
Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. (Hebrews 8:1-2 ESV)
Главное же в том, о чем говорим, есть то: мы имеем такого Первосвященника, Который воссел одесную престола величия на небесах и есть священнодействователь святилища и скинии истинной, которую воздвиг Господь, а не человек. (К Евреям 8:1-2 Russian)
Most holy God, our dear Father in heaven ~ O Majesty, we come before you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – our perfect high priest in whom we trust for eternal life. Give courage and protection to those who faithfully bear witness to the truth that brings the good news of salvation. Thank you for giving us the Church – that exists on earth as the place where Christians may grow in spirit and truth while serving as joint priests with Christ in leading souls to the truth that saves. Protect the church from those who may even do lying wonders while disavowing the truth of the Scriptures. Amen.
David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
Cedar Key Church
The elderly man had recently been moved from his home to a far away state. No doubt those moving him took as much as possible from his home but the house was left to sell fully furnished. We were invited by relatives who purchased the house to tour it and take anything we wanted. I picked up a few things but what I saw made a lasting impression.
High on the top shelf in the kitchen cabinet were two tall and long stemmed glasses with the bottom part black in color. As I stood gazing up at those glasses I asked for them to be brought down for a closer look. The glasses held lasting memories to the elderly man and woman. No doubt they had made this house their home for many years. Probably they had celebrated a historic anniversary and the glasses were used in the celebration. The glasses held such memories they chose not to part with them, so they placed them high on the cabinet shelf where they could see them and remember that occasion.
It was sad to walk through the house and see things they had loved and held dear to their hearts. They were no longer there, but their things remained. It’s almost like dying. We leave it all when we depart this life. Dottie Rambo wrote in her famous and true song, “All the things we have loved and held close to our hearts, they’re just borrowed, they’re not ours at all.”
The house was left as when the man departed. Some things had been removed already but much was still there. When we depart this life whatever we were engaged in last will be left where we placed it. We won’t need it anymore. It will no longer be important to us. We’ll leave it all behind.
The memories we shared and held dear to our hearts will no longer be important. The glasses on the shelf, the book we were reading, the framed loved ones pictures, all will be left in their places and will hold little interest for those who walk through the place we loved and called home.
While reading in the book of Luke Friday morning I was reminded that the treasures we lay up in heaven are the important treasures. They will last throughout eternity. The things that we love and hold close to our hearts are just borrowed. They’re not ours at all.
Let us not forget.
by: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.
“Heaven is a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace. I want to see my Savior’s face, Heaven is a wonderful place. I want to go there.” These are the words to a beautiful song.
The Bible describes heaven as:
- A wonderful, beautiful, real place where God dwells, a place of God’s presence (Psalm80:14; Matthew 5:16, 45, 48).
- A place where Christ was before He came to earth (John 3:13, 6:38).
- A place to which Christ returned at His ascension (Acts 1:11).
- The dwelling place of angels (Matthew 28:2; Luke 22:43).
- The eternal dwelling place of the soul of God’s faithful children.
- A place of rest where God’s servants shall serve Him (Revelation 21, 22).
It is from heaven that Jesus will come when He returns at His second coming in the clouds (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:16; Revelation 1:7).
Just as the Bible teaches that heaven is the eternal dwelling place of the soul of God’s faithful children, the Bible describes the only alternative as the awful place of hell, the place of eternal punishment for the wicked (Matthew 25:46; 2 Corinthians 5:1).
As Christians we can take great comfort and hope in Jesus promise of preparing a place for us (John 14:1-3). A beloved song stages, “Heaven holds all to me.”
Although the Bible tries to describe how wonderful and beautiful heaven is, we surely cannot fully and completely understand how great it will be.
In Revelation 21 and 22, we are told that God will be there with no tears, death, pain, sorrow, etc., for the things of this world will have passed away.
Are you prepared to go to heaven? Is your name written in heaven because you have obeyed Jesus in the forgiveness of sins, and you are living for Him (Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23)? If not, please make that preparation before it is too late. If I can help you in any way, I will be happy to do so.
“And when he sent you from Kadesh-Barnea and told you, ‘Go up and possess the land I have given you,’ you rebelled against the Lord your God and would neither believe nor obey him.”
Moses cited several examples of Israel’s rebelliousness. This was but one of many. What God gives must often be fought for. His gifts require faith and obedience.
What is the nature of the rebellious spirit? Are there areas where I demonstrate such a spirit? How willing am I to fight for what God wants to give me?
#votd #Deuteronomy #rebelliousness
“The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.” Judah was accusing God of being unfair. Their fathers had sinned and they felt that they were being punished for those sins. Not so! They were being held accountable for their own lives. A person may be affected for good or evil by the life of another, but he will not be saved or lost due to that person’s deeds. The Lord instructed Ezekiel to explain His policy of each individual being responsible for his own life.
If a person lives a righteous life according to all of the commands of God, he shall live. However, if that person has a son who is completely devoid of any righteousness, that son shall die because of his own actions. If an unrighteous man has a son who shuns the evil deeds of his father and lives righteously, he shall live and his father shall die.
Our merciful God has a way of escape from the consequences of unrighteousness. If one who has lived an evil life will repent and turn to righteousness, he shall live. Likewise, if a righteous person turns to evil, he shall die. Once a person is saved, he can still return to sin and be lost.
Those principles were spoken in a physical sense regarding the impending destruction to come upon Judah at the hands of Babylon. The same principles apply in a spiritual sense regarding the eternal salvation of one’s soul. Unrighteousness leads to eternal spiritual death; righteousness to eternal spiritual life. God does not take pleasure in the death of His people. However, “The soul who sins shall die.”
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. (1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV)
И воззвал Иавис к Богу Израилеву и сказал: о, если бы Ты благословил меня Твоим благословением, распространил пределы мои, и рука Твоя была со мною, охраняя меня от зла, чтобы я не горевал!.. И Бог ниспослал ему, чего он просил. (1-я Паралипоменон 4:10 Russian)
Our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you for watching over us through the past night. Be with us today as we go from place to place and keep our feet from danger as we pray and trust in Christ Jesus our Lord. Expand the borders of the glorious Church in each local body and the worldwide Body of Christ, so that more people will be saved from the deadly consequences of sin. Help those laboring to publish the gospel message to always do so in truth and love. Amen.
David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
Cedar Key Church
The Lord, through the prophet, Jeremiah had urged Jehoiakim several years earlier to surrender to the Babylonians to prevent the destruction that would come otherwise. He brought another message in the form of a parabolic riddle to Ezekiel. Two eagles were presented. The first eagle was Babylon who would take a young twig, eighteen-year-old Jehoiachin along with the younger and stronger men captive. Zedekiah and the weaker men would be left as seed and be planted. They would grow as a low vine instead of a tall tree. They would make up a weaker nation under the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar.
Zedekiah in rebellion would break his oath to Babylon and begin to bend his branches toward the second eagle, Egypt. Ezekiel’s message to Judah from God was that the vine, Zedekiah would not thrive under Egypt’s assistance. It would wither from the effects of the east wind, Babylon. Judah’s King Zedekiah would die in the land of Babylon.
However, God assured the prophet that in time, He would take another branch from a tall cedar and set it out. It would grow and prosper on a high mountain and bring forth fruit and shade for all—another prophecy of the saving power of the future kingdom, the church.