Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ezekiel 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 20. 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 begins with a summary of the history of the relationship between God and the people of Israel (see verse 2-29). God chose the Israelites to be his people while they were still enslaved in Egypt. God promised he would bring them to a land of milk and honey and told the people they must not worship the Egyptian gods. Although the people disobeyed God, he kept his promise and took them out of Egypt.
  • As they traveled in the wilderness to reach the land of Israel, God told the people his holy laws that they were to follow. However, the people continued to rebel against God and refused to follow his commandments. God was angry with the Israelites but he also took pity on them. The people who left Egypt would not enter the land God was giving them but their children would.
  • God told the children not to follow in their parents footsteps but the children also rebelled against God and disobeyed his orders. God’s judgement against this generation was that they would be scattered throughout the lands and they were allowed to follow laws that destroyed them so that they would know God was the one true God.
  • In the second part of the chapter (see verse 30-44), God instructs Ezekiel  to tell the current Israelites that made the same choices their ancestors did as they continued to worship false gods and expressed a desire to be like the people in the neighboring nations. God declared that the people of Israel would be gathered from all the places that had been scattered and God would judge each of them. The people had free will to continue making the same choices but they would loathe themselves and those who rebelled would be purged.
  • The chapter concludes with a prophecy that God start a fire in the southern forest and it will devour the entire nation. When the people heard this prophecy illustrating God’s anger, they did not understand and thought it was just a story.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We see God’s patience in today’s chapter. Generation after generation after generation of people heard God’s words and time and again they still turned their backs on them. But God never gave up. Yes there were consequences and punishments for the people’s choices, but God continued to give them another chance. Just as he does with us today.
  • We also see that God continues to gives us free will. God desires to have a relationship with us and he does not force us into it. He wants us to make the choice to love and obey him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What kind of choices have you made in the last week? What does your computer search history look like? Did you show kindness to other drivers on your commute? Did you spend money you didn’t have? Did you spend more time on Netflix than in your Bible? Today, take a moment and talk to God. Tell him about an area where you are struggling to make consistently good choices. Ask him to help you be aware when you have a choice and be more intentional today.