Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012 … God’s Wrath Immanent

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 240 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Ezekiel 5-8 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 5: 1-4; 7-8; 11-13 : [NLT] … 1 [God to Ezekiel] “Son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a razor to shave your head and beard. Use a scale to weigh the hair into three equal parts. 2 Place a third of it at the center of your map of Jerusalem. After acting out the siege, burn it there. Scatter another third across your map and slash at it with a sword. Scatter the last third to the wind, for I will scatter my people with the sword. 3 Keep just a bit of the hair and tie it up in your robe. 4 Then take a few of these hairs out and throw them into the fire, burning them up. A fire will then spread from this remnant and destroy all of Israel. … 
7 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you have refused to obey my laws and regulations and have behaved even worse than your neighbors, 8 I myself, the Sovereign LORD, am now your enemy. I will punish you publicly while all the nations watch. … 
11 “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I will cut you off completely. I will show you no pity at all because you have defiled my Temple with idols and vile practices. 12 A third of your people will die in the city from famine and disease. A third of them will be slaughtered by the enemy outside the city walls. And I will scatter a third to the winds and chase them with my sword. 13 Then at last my anger will be spent, and I will be satisfied. And when my fury against them has subsided, all Israel will know that I, the LORD, have spoken to them in my jealous anger
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 6: 8-10 : [NLT] … 8 “But I will let a few of my people escape destruction, and they will be scattered among the nations of the world. 9 Then when they are exiled among the nations, they will remember me. They will recognize how grieved I am by their unfaithful hearts and lustful eyes that long for other gods. Then at last they will hate themselves for all their wickedness. 10 They will know that I alone am the LORD and that I was serious when I predicted that all this would happen to them. …
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 7: 10-11: 19-20 : [NLT] … 10 “The day of judgment is here; your destruction awaits! The people’s wickedness and pride have reached a climax. 11 Their violence will fall back on them as punishment for their wickedness. None of these proud and wicked people will survive. All their wealth will be swept away. … 
19 “They will throw away their money, tossing it out like worthless trash. It won’t buy their deliverance in that day of the LORD’s anger. It will neither satisfy nor feed them, for their love of money made them stumble into sin. 20 They were proud of their gold jewelry and used it to make vile and detestable idols. That is why I will make all their wealth disgusting to them. …” 
Highlight Passage: Ezekiel 8: 5-6: 17-18 : [NLT] … 5Then the LORD said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and there to the north, beside the entrance to the gate of the altar, stood the idol that had made the LORD so angry. … 6 “Son of man,” he said, “do you see what they are doing? Do you see the great sins the people of Israel are doing to drive me from my Temple? But come, and you will see even greater sins than these!” … 
17 [After God showed Ezekiel many forms of sin and idolatry in Jerusalem] … “Have you seen this, son of man?” he asked. “Is it nothing to the people of Judah that they commit these terrible sins, leading the whole nation into violence, thumbing their noses at me, and rousing my fury against them? 18 Therefore, I will deal with them in fury. I will neither pity nor spare them. And though they scream for mercy, I will not listen.”
Cross Reference Passage: Romans 1: 18-32 : [NLT] … To study this passage, go to this link -  ============
 Cross Reference Passage: 2nd Peter 3: 9 : [NLT] … To study this passage, go to this link

My Journal for Today: Look around. Is the world today that much different from the world and the times in which Ezekiel lived? How much longer can we expect God to be merciful and hold back His wrath, desiring that as many of His children as possible see the truth, repent, and become part of the remnant of believers He will save from His coming wrath (see the two passages in Rom. 1: 18-32 and 2nd Peter 3: 9 to which I’ve linked readers above)?

The message from God to Ezekiel was [my own summary], “The time of wrath is upon My chosen, but disobedient, ones.” Yes, as you read Ezekiel, Chapter 5-8, as I hope you do, you’ll see that the time had come; and that was to be Ezekiel’s message to the captive Jews in Babylon, for God’s people to see the extent of His anger for their disobedience. And I can’t help but wonder if we are not experiencing – to a certain extent – an exhibit of God’s selective abandonment, with the Lord having lifted His hand of protection and allowed more of the forces of evil (i.e., Satan’s minions) to be loosed on this world. Hence, we see the horrors of abortion, the unloosing of corporate greed, and the plague of pornography and sexual sin becoming rampant in our world. I keep referring to Romans 1: 18-32 as a New Testament prophesy from Paul about God’s church and the world during the age of God’s grace, in which we find ourselves today just as in the first century AD.

Yes, as these chapters in Ezekiel confirm, God will always be with and protect the remnant of believers who hold on to their faith in God’s redemptive plan and His promises - or the reality - of Messiah. However, when the rain (of God’s wrath) falls, as it did in the days of the OT Prophets, like Ezekiel, it will fall on the good AND the evil. Most certainly, even if one of the faithful remnant of believers dies, that one will be protected by eternal salvation; … BUT … when God looses Satan’s forces to do what they do – creating havoc and destruction – even the remnant will feel the pain; and we are feeling that pain in many of the horrors I just mentioned above.

So, we need to realize that God’s call for repentance – as it was visited on His children by Ezekiel and other of the prophets – is still going forth today, … from the truth of God’s word in the New Testament, from some (not enough!) of the pulpits of America, from the word of missionaries, who go forth from the Great Commission, and from puny voices like mine this morning, calling for all of us to declare – AND LIVE OUT – God’s will and His ways from His word.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to spread Your word and fight the good fight every day and in every way I can. Amen

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