Saturday, March 2, 2019

March 2 - Ezekiel 21

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 21. 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?)
  • This chapter has been referred to as the "sword song" or "prophecy of the sword" because no other chapter in the Bible does it so explicitly describe the sword of God and his coming judgment as this one. Overall, Ezekiel 21 can be divided into three sections of understanding- the ruin of Judah from God's sword, the approach of the King of Babylon described, and the destruction of the Ammonites.
  • In the first section, God uses the image of a sword to describe the destruction that He is bringing on the Israelites. He urges Ezekiel to feel the pain of this upcoming event because it is going to be a bitter defeat for Israel.
  • In the second section starting verse 18, God lays out a prophecy that the King of Babylon is going to stop at a fork in the road and decide, using divinations and advice from his false prophets, to either attack Judah or Rabbah of the Ammonites. It is revealed that the King of Babylon will end up choosing to attack Judah and that God will be behind the decision.
  • The final section is directed towards the Ammonites. God guarantees that the Ammonites will be judged, destroyed, and forgotten. This prophecy was fulfilled around five years after Israel fell.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God's judgment is vividly described in this chapter and may seem harsh but the Israelites had no real desire in turning back towards him and asking for forgiveness. For generations, Israel became more and more wicked and fell farther and farther away from God and what He wanted for them. The Israelites were warned about this for years from several different prophets but they still didn't take any action in turning towards repentance. God did not take joy in destroying Israel; it actually broke his heart. But judgment needed to happen because Israel was too hard-hearted and stubborn to listen.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

Is there something you need to get off your chest and tell God? Something you need to ask forgiveness for? God desires to be in a relationship with you and died to pay the price of sin. And we are all sinners so that means that God died for you. There is life in God. Talk to him about it.