EZEKIEL FROM TENNESSEE
It's Friday in Tennessee! This is my last day visiting my parents, and it has been a blessing for us and them. Yesterday, my father said how much he really enjoyed having us visit. Tomorrow, I will head off towards the Airport at 4:00am and fly out at 6:00am, and be in Oregon before noon! Sure beats the wagon train on the Oregon Trail! Here are some highlights from Ezekiel:
1) NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED- In Ezekiel 33:11 says: "As I live, saith the LORD God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked;" Contrast this with Psalms 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." One dies and God takes pleasure in that death; another dies and God has no pleasure in that death. The difference is that one goes to Heaven to fellowship with Him forever; the other goes to Hell to suffer the fires of Hell and be forever alienated from the LORD of Creation. Now the key is to please God in our life and in our death.
The Bible says: John 8:29 "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." Jesus always pleased the Father, and our goal in life is to please Him as our death most certainly will. The Bible then tells us how to please Him--Heb 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Our faith and obedience pleases God! Trust and Obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus than to Trust and Obey!! Good music… good theology!
2) Ezekiel 34 God speaks against the shepherds. In verse 2, it says: "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" Verse 8, says: "there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock." Now, in verse 10 it says: "I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock;" Ok, ok… why the focus on the shepherds? Well, because in the New Testament God has the Pastor as the leader (shepherd) of the local church. Some would say, Well… who watches over the shoulder of the pastor? (The deacons…no!; The elders…. Certainly no, because they are pastors, not another office in the church!; Who…. God, that's who!) God judges His shepherds and He does so because of His love for the sheep! Verse 31 says: "And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the LORD God." You see, God loves the flock so much that HE Himself, will address the shepherd/pastor that does not do right!! And God watches us 24/7!
3) WHICH TWELVE TRIBES- In Ezekiel 48, it names the twelve tribes of Israel twice, but each time… it is a different twelve! How can this be? Well, in verses 2-27, it names the tribes that inherited land which leaves out Levi, and Joseph (since Ephraim and Manasseh both children of Joseph had an inheritance of land.) In verses 31-34, it names the gates of the city, and each one of these are given a name of the children of Jacob which would include Levi and Joseph, and exclude Ephraim and Manasseh. Well, that is why they are different! Hope that helps.
Have a blessed day today…. Walk with God all day long…. Trust and Obey! Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor