Today is Saturday. I will be getting ready soon to go to our men's meeting and give a devotional challenge to the men. It is a great time together, and God always seems to meet with us and speak to our hearts. We have a time of prayer together in groups of threes and then we enjoy a wonderful breakfast each morning. We contribute about $3.00 each to help with the supplies of the breakfast and it is the best breakfast you could get for twice that amount. Tomorrow is Sunday, and I'm looking forward to a wonderful day in the LORD with our special speaker from Wallbuilders Sunday morning, and our Christmas Program on Sunday evening. What a day it will be!
I'm reading in Ezekiel, and here are some thoughts I had as I read:
1) THE PROBLEM WITH REBELLION- Ezekiel 12:2 "Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house." You cannot instruct a rebellious person, because they do not see with their eyes, and they do not hear with their ears, and therein lies the problem. They will not listen and learn, they will not observe and be helped, they will not be open to any instruction for their minds are closed, their hearts are empty, and their souls are hardened. This is the problem we face when we face a rebellious society and people of rebellion. They will not be helped!
2) INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY- Ezekiel 18:1-4 T"he word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." This is teaching that you cannot blame your father for your actions! Sure, he molded your life, but you are still responsible because you can change your life with God's help if you really wanted to. You don't have to be angry because your father was angry, and you do not have to be impulsive because your father was impulsive, and you don't have to be unloving because your father was unloving, you can be a man of God! This is the teaching of these verses. Individual responsibility. God deals with us according to our actions, our faith, our obedience or disobedience; but not because of who or what our father did or didn't do.
3) REPETITIOUS PHRASES- As I read the Bible, I am always on the lookout for repetitious phrases. In Ezekiel, you find many of them, but let me point out three I see over and over.
a)SON OF MAN- 93 times in 48 chapters, the phrase "son of man" is used to speak of Ezekiel. This is what God calls Ezekiel. Notice that Ezekiel is called "son of man", but Jesus is called "the son of man". Ezekiel is one of many; Jesus is one of a kind. This is an endearing term used by God for Ezekiel and for His own Son, Jesus!
b)IN THAT DAY-This is found only in seven verses, but it jumped out at me because it is found only in the chapters I read today. Chapters 11-30. The idea of this phrase is that God is saying that there will be a day that the children of Israel will know that God was right and that He alone is God! There will be that day for all mankind as well. Remember that the Bible tells us that there will be a day when "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess". Yes, God wants to prove Himself to people and there will be that day when PROOF will be had! Until that time.... we live by faith!!
c) THEY SHALL KNOW-26 times this phrase is given. It is almost tied into the above phrase and means basically the same thing. It means that there will be a day when "they shall know that I am the LORD". As I said, God wants to prove Himself. He gives us proofs all around us if only we would open our eyes and see, and open our ears and hear, and open our minds and think. The heavens declare the glory of God... can you not see that! The oceans pound out His name, can you not hear that. Those roaring waves tell us that there is a God who created the majesty of the oceans, the seas, the mighty rivers, and the wondrous streams. God takes the salt waters that would kill us, sends it through the filters of His clouds by evaporation, and then sends the fresh waters down upon us by rain. Just one of His many, many miracles! There is evidence all around us if we were not blinded by our own rebellion to God. "They shall know", yes they will!!
Well, so much for today! Blessings upon you my friend. Pastor Mike Mutchler