Saturday, January 12, 2019

January 12 - Ezekiel 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today’s passage is the vision that God gave Ezekiel to show the people of Israel and Judah what the coming attack on Jerusalem would be like. Ezekiel was instructed to draw a replica of the city of Jerusalem and build an actual wall around with enemies camped outside with ramps and weapons. He was then instructed to spend over a year lying on his side, looking directly at this model of the city. Each day that he lay on his side was to represent one year of the sins of the people. He did not have to lie on his side all day because he was also given other tasks to do during this time.
  • The bread that Ezekiel was to live on during this time was to be made with ingredients that were seldom used except in times of scarcity and cooked over a fire made with human feces. This was an illustration of the famine that would also fall on the people and how they would eat food that was unclean (according to the laws God gave them) during their exile. Ezekiel was a priest and was careful to keep faithful to God’s laws concerning food and pleaded with God that he may not have to eat the unclean bread. God agreed and allowed Ezekiel to keep the bread from being cooked in a way that would defile it.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • People learn and retain information in many different ways: some are auditory learners, some are visual learners, and some learn best through movement. God wanted all of his people to hear and understand that the judgement that was coming to the people of Israel was a direct result of their sin. Many prophets delivered God’s words in speeches and proclamations to the people, but God also used vivid visual portrayals like the one in today’s chapter to help even more of his people gain knowledge.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How do you listen to God in your life? Do you hear God most clearly when reading the Bible daily? Or in the sounds of nature? Or sitting quietly in prayer? God desires to be in relationship with you, to listen when you speak to him and for you to hear when he speaks to your heart. He knows how you were designed and the unique qualities of your individuality. Today, take a moment and ask God to speak to you in a way that brings you closer to him.