Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2016-17&version=NLT
CHAPTER 16 — This was a pretty heavy duty reading today. God gives Ezekiel a great word picture to describe the birth, growth, rebellion, and destruction of Judah. God took Israel when she was nothing, an abandoned people, a lost baby. God cared for her, clothed her in HIS best, loved her, and raised her in good ways. HE gave her ALL she needed and so much more. God was dedicated, devoted, and serious about HIS promises. Israel, sadly took all the prosperity God spoiled her with and prostituted herself with all the other nations (remember wayyyyyy back in our reading when God specifically told Israel to have NOTHING to do with the other pagan nations and some of them he specifically told Israel to totally destroy so Israel would not pick up their bad habits. Unfortunately….Israel didn’t listen (hummmmmm hummmmm…… clearing my throat there…. cough cough…nothing any of us can relate to…right???) Israel made a life style of worshipping other gods, bowing to idols, following false prophets, sacrificing their children to false gods…..basically doing what THEY felt like doing rather than what God desired for them.
Couldn’t you tell how deeply it hurt God when HIS children fell/fall so far away from HIM? And yet….through all the consequences Ezekiel describes that will happen to God’s children…..the last verse leaves us with great hope…. HOPE!!
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will deal with you as you deserve, because you have despised my oath by breaking the covenant. YET I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.”
God PROMISES to remember the covenant HE made and establish an EVERLASTING covenant with us!! HIS EVERLASTING covenant IS JESUS!! Is that not totally awesome???!!! Although we break our promises because we are human….we have a Mighty God, a God of goodness and grace and mercy who WILL NEVER BREAK HIS PROMISES!!!
CHAPTER 17— Ezekiel an allegory to tell a parable about 2 Eagles. Both eagles were great in power. The first one planting a seed from himself, but the seed rebelled and went to the other great eagle. By verse 11 the Lord tells the people what all this means. Nebuchadnezzar would plant Zedekiah as king in Judah. Nebuchadnezzar thought it would be a good move. Zedekiah, however rebelled and tried to align himself with Egypt. Do you happen to recall in Jeremiah when God through Jeremiah warned Zedekiah not to partner with Egypt? Jeremiah was prophesying five years BEFORE this happened. Ezekiel was giving the same message while in captivity!! Two different men, hundreds of miles apart…and God was using each of them to speak to HIS people. God will use any one, anywhere, and anything to convey his message. The Lord was telling Zedekiah to TRUST HIM….TRUST GOD. However, it was easier to trust in what Zedekiah could see rather in what God was telling him to do. Zedekiah’s ways failed. We may not understand things that are happening in our own lives. We try to reason things out and focus on “doing” things rather than trusting God…and God says..Trust me my child….I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. I KNOW the path you should take, in the proper timing. However we often find it a great challenge to wait on what The Lord has for us to unfold.
We close chapter 17 with another Scripture of HOPE:
‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
” ‘I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ “
Jesus the Messiah will come, planted on a mountain top from the Lord!
Don’t you LOVE the fact that trees…. trees that can not reason like we can know HE is LORD….”EVEN the trees of the forest will KNOW I AM LORD.” It reminds me that at the second coming….ALLLLLLL creation will praise HIM and worship HIM….EVERYTHINg HE created WILL bow before HIM in praise. THAT is sooooo awesome to me!!
Sharing HIS love,