Sunday, January 20, 2019

January 20 - Ezekiel 8 & 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 8 & 9. 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 two chapters are directed specifically toward Jerusalem and its leaders to show them that their sins are the reason for God’s coming judgment.
  • In Ezekiel’s vision he was carried from Babylon to Jerusalem where he saw an idol in God’s Temple. The people were worshipping many other gods and they were doing so inside God’s Temple. They thought they could do it because it was in the dark and God would not know; some even literally turned their back to God’s altar to worship other gods.
  • Before God began punishing the people for their sins, the men who were going to carry out the punishment were instructed to place a mark on those who had deep sorrow over the nation’s sins. These people were to be spared during the destruction. When the judgment began, the first to receive punishment were the leaders in the Temple.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We see God’s justice and mercy in these chapters. The people of Israel were not punished out of spite or hatred, but rather they were disciplined for failing to follow God’s commands. God delivered justice to set his people back on the right path. God also showed mercy to the people who humbly grieved for the wrongs that were committed. God desires to be in relationship with all of his creation and he is quick to offer forgiveness to those who ask for it.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What are the excuses you tell yourself to keep making the choices you do? It’s easy to talk ourselves into believing that no one will be hurt because no one will know. Whether it’s one more purchase on the credit card, one more hand at the poker table, one more flirty text to your colleague, one more candy bar. Today, take a moment to talk to God and tell him that you know there are no secrets that can be kept from him. Ask him to help you make good choices today.