The Big Picture…

Read: Ezekiel 40-42
Marked: Ezekiel 40:4, And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you [were] brought here so that I might show [them] to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see.”

Ezekiel was shown in a vision a temple in Jerusalem. But the physical temple had been destroyed so this must be a vision of the future temple.

Ezekiel was specifically told to carefully observe all that he was shown. “Look with your eyes and hear with your eyes, and fix your mind on everything I show you.”

What Ezekiel was shown and when these things will become a reality is unclear. There are things in God’s Word that are equally unclear, yet, God wants us to pay attention to them.

It is tempting, when reading the Bible, to skim over things which are difficult to understand or has little reference to current events and places. But as hard as it might be God wants us to use our eyes and ears and mind to see the bigger picture.

It might not be for this time, but God will make clear those things which are shadows at present. “God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets” (Daniel 2:47)


Quenching Your Dry Bones…

Read: Ezekiel 37-39
Marked: Ezekiel 37:4, Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!

There’s a dryness we can experience that is hard to quench. Life has a way of drying you out and we try to quench our dryness in different ways. But the more we try, the drier we get. What should we do?

The answer to that question Is found in this verse: “Hear the Word of the Lord.” Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Trying to quench your dryness by giving yourself over to the same things is crazy.

The Bible is called the Word of Life in Philippians 2:16. Jesus is referred to as the Word of Life in 1 John 1:1. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says if we can become a new creation if we are in Christ.

When we thirst we drink water, but we will thirst again. However, Jesus gives us living water. If we drink from the water He gives us we will never thirst again. It will become in us a fountain of water springing up to everlasting life (John 4:14).

Feeding Sheep…

Read: Ezekiel 34-36
Marked: Ezekiel 34:2, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?”

How does a shepherd feed himself? One way is to make himself the authority instead of teaching the flock to feed themselves; these shepherds cause the flock to look to them and not the Lord.

As spiritual sheep we receive spiritual food from the Word of God. That is our sustaining source. A true shepherd of God gives the sense of the Word of God and points to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

A true shepherd of God instills in the sheep faith in Christ; not in himself.

No Fair!!!…

Read: Ezekiel 31-33
Marked: Ezekiel 33:20, “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

Chapter 31 gives insight into righteousness and wickedness. There are none truly righteous, but we are all truly wicked.

Yet, people feel God is unfair in His judgment of us. This comes, perhaps, from a misunderstanding of how God defines righteousness. He defines it as moral perfection. Without a doubt, we are all capable of doing good things, but moral perfection?

My righteousness isn’t more righteous than that of another and neither is their wickedness less than mine. Therefore, God’s righteous judgment is just and fair because He judges us individually and not how we measure up to each other, good or bad.

And this is why the gospel of grace is the Good News because it places us all on a level scale. It is not my works, good or bad, that determines His mercy. It is God’s regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit in me that makes me righteous in the eyes of God.

The Spirit of Deception…

Read: Ezekiel 28-30
Marked: Ezekiel 28:12, “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You [were] the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”

In verse 2 we see the Prince of Tyre being addressed. This is the leader of the city of Tyre, but also represents the leadership, or government, of Tyre.

Yet, in verse 12 we see addressed the king of Tyre followed by wording that reveals this king is more than an earthly ruler. This is the power behind the throne, the spirit influencing the human prince of verse 2. We might not understand that what we see in the physical can be directly influenced by the spiritual.

In Ephesians 6:12 we are warned that our fight isn’t just against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The power behind the king of Tyre is none other than Satan, a powerful enemy exerting influence on the political structures of this world. And not only on the powerful and elite, but on us as well.

But we are not powerless against his influences. We must take up the full armor which God has provided to withstand this spirit of deception as recommended in Ephesians 6:13-20.

The Last Detail…

Read: Ezekiel 25-27
Marked: Ezekiel 26:3-5, “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I [am] against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be [a place for] spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ says the Lord GOD; ‘it shall become plunder for the nations.’”

This prophecy against Tyre is one of the most remarkable in Scripture because of its exactness in the naming of places, details, and events. Tyre was a commercial and economic giant in the ancient world. Chapter 27 details the trade carried out through its ports. But God was against Tyre because she rejoiced in the destruction of Jerusalem.

Even though Tyre had secure defences, and an island fortress, many nations came against her V8). In 332 BC, Alexander the Great virtually destroyed the city and its island fortress actually scraping the debris from its destruction into the sea and leaving only a bare rock useful for nothing but spreading nets for drying (V4-5).

God’s Word is faithful to the last detail and His promises true. When God is against you, there is nothing, and no one, who can help. We shouldn’t let pride in ourselves keep us from considering God and His ways.

Pay Attention…

Read: Ezekiel 23-24
Marked: Ezekiel 23:11, “Now although her sister Oholibah saw [this,] she became more corrupt in her lust than she, and in her harlotry more corrupt than her sister’s harlotry.”

God brought judgment against the northern kingdom of Israel. Some time passed and then the southern kingdom of Judah was judged.

Judah had seen what Israel experienced. She saw the devastation and destruction that had come on Israel, brought by God, but didn’t change her ways. In fact, Judah’s sins became worse. Judah had looked down on Israel and considered herself better, more righteous, perhaps more religious.

Do we pay attention to the troubles experienced by others? Do we consider our own ways, or do we look down on them and think it will never happen to us because we know better? Or worse, that we won’t get caught?

We should never presume upon God’s grace. He is also just. He is not blind to our corruption. He is long-suffering, yes, but He will hold us accountable for our sins.

Until He Comes…

Read: Ezekiel 21-22
Marked: Ezekiel 21:27, “Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no [longer,] Until He comes whose right it is, And I will give it [to Him.]” ’

With the judgment of Judah the kingly line of David ended. There will never be another descendant of David sitting on the throne of David until the Messiah, Jesus Christ takes it up.

This is the hope of our faith and we proclaim the coming Lord whenever we take communion. In 1 Corinthians 11:26 we read, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”