Read: Amos 1-5
Marked: Amos 5:25-26, Did you offer Me sacrifices and offerings In the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? You also carried Sikkuth your king And Chiun, your idols, The star of your gods, Which you made for yourselves.
The children of Israel wandered the dessert for forty years. They made sacrifices and offerings to God, yet they also held onto false beliefs and deities during this time.
In what ways do I worship God and yet hold onto ungodly practices? Doing this is like trying to mix oil and water. It can’t be done. What do I need to change? Am I willing to learn from and apply the word of God to make those changes?
Read: Joel 1-3
Marked: Joel 2:12-13, Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
No matter how far I might wander from the Lord, He calls me to repent and promises forgiveness and restoration.
A deep mourning was often shown by the rending and tearing of clothing. But here God says, “Rend your heart.”
It is possible to show repentance outwardly, a repentance that is on the surface, with no inward change of the heart.
But God calls us to turn to Him with all our heart. A sincere turning to God is a turning away from sin; not just being sorry for it.
Read: Hosea 8-14
Marked: Hosea 12:6, So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, And wait on your God continually.
There are things, feelings, or events that might take my attention off of God; even lead me away. But God will help me return to Him by waiting and observing His mercy and justice. God is truth and will never lead me astray.
Read: Hosea 1-7
Marked: Hosea 1:2, When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the LORD.”
Departing from God is akin to harlotry which is prostituting yourself. The picture this presents is sufficient.
If I don’t understand something God wants me to know, my response shouldn’t be to do my own thing, but to continue listening to God by searching the scriptures for an answer.
In this day of turmoil people resort to actions that give little thought to what the Lord would have them do. We should ask, “What can I learn from this, and how should I respond?“
Read: Ezekiel 46-48
Marked: Ezekiel 47:1, Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.
The image of water flowing from under the temple gives such a picture of vitality. The water brought life and healing to the Dead Sea, V8.
The waters became a great river and alongside its banks grew trees that never withered and their fruit never failed. They grew food every month and their leaves were used for medicine, V12.
Jesus is Living Water, from Whom anyone drinks will never be thirsty again. He is the source of this River. What a glorious time the millennium will be.
But I don’t want to wait till then to find life and healing from the disease of sin. I can drink from the Lord now.
Read: Ezekiel 43-45
Marked: Ezekiel 44:9, Thus says the Lord GOD: “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel.
This is a pretty clear statement that not just anyone can participate in worship of God. Those who are uncircumcised in heart and flesh have no covenant with God. Their place is outside the sanctuary.
Heaven is reserved for those of the covenant of God as stated by God. No one can come to God except through Jesus. Those outside the covenant remain in darkness.
Read: Ezekiel 40-42
Marked: Ezekiel 42:14, “When the priests enter them, they shall not go out of the holy chamber into the outer court; but there they shall leave their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they may approach that which is for the people.”
When the priest served he wore special (holy) clothes. He was not to minister in street clothes, stained by sin. Neither were the holy clothes to be worn as common everyday clothes in the company of men.
My sin has been paid for by the blood of Jesus and I have been given a robe of righteousness. I shouldn’t “wear” my robe in an unrighteous manner or impure way when among people either.
Read: Ezekiel 37-39
Marked: Ezekiel 39:21, I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.
God is the God of all nations. A time is coming, a final battle will be fought, and God will reveal Himself to the world and the whole world will know that He has divinely protected Israel during this final, cataclysmic battle.
Historically, we have been moving ever closer to this final battle. All that is going on today is part of a plan culminating in the revelation of God to the nations.
Read: Ezekiel 34-36
Marked: Ezekiel 34:24, And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
Prophecy is always interesting but sometimes difficult to understand. These chapters are speaking of a time yet to come and likely refer to the Millennial Kingdom.
Interestingly, David is mentioned as being present in this future kingdom. From reading and studying it, it doesn’t appear as if this is a reference to the Messiah who will sit on the throne as king but calls David a prince.
I know from my studies that all believers who have died, and those removed alive during what is called the Rapture, wil return with Christ when He sets up His kingdom.
So this is likely a reference to David who has returned with Jesus and has a significant role in the Millennial Kingdom.
Read: Ezekiel 31-33
Marked: Ezekiel 33:31-32, So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.
Here is God’s indictment against His people. Something to think about. They came to hear the words of the prophet speaking the Word of God.
But, as is so often the case, they listened and said, “Wasn’t that good? Such power. Such good teaching.” And then they go their way and don’t apply what they’ve heard.
I can receive God’s word like I do a song, admiring it’s melody, be moved by the lyrics, be impressed by the skill of the musician, but can’t move from admiration to application.
Jesus says in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?”
It is when I do what Jesus says that I become like a man who built his house on rock instead of a man who built his house with no foundation. Which man do you want to be?