Saturday, April 13, 2019

Ezekiel 33

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 33. 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?)
  • In this chapter, God gives Ezekiel another message to pass along to the people of Israel. Many of them are turning away from God's commands and way of living, and instead indulging their own selfish desires or idols.
  • Ezekiel is compared to a watchman, or alarm. God is using Ezekiel to "sound the alarm" to get the attention of wayward people. It's not Ezekiel's duty to make sure they react a certain way; his only responsibility is to warn them about what will happen if they do not turn from their selfish and sinful ways.
  • In verse 21, a survivor from Jerusalem travels to Ezekiel to tell him that the city has fallen. As had been prophesied, Jerusalem was attacked by neighboring countries. Ezekiel and other prophets had warned about this, but few listened. 
  • God warns Ezekiel that the Jerusalem survivors, many of which are scattered to different locations, will pretend to take a sincere interest in what Ezekiel is saying. In reality, though, they will talk about him behind his back, continue to seek their own interests, and turn away from God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • People often ignore Godly advice and choose to follow their own selfish interests, even if those interests harm themselves or people around them.
  • We can't force someone to heed our warnings, but that shouldn't stop us from speaking the truth in love. 
  • Similarly, we should consider advice given to us by people who care about us and love God. People on the outside of our lives can often see things that we don't notice about ourselves.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Is there someone in your life who needs to hear loving truth from you? Maybe a friend who's considering a bad decision, or a family member who is trying to keep a secret. If God is nudging you to reach out to them, do that today.
  • Are you ignoring advice from wise people in your life? Ask God to reveal to you any wisdom you need to heed about decisions you're making, and act accordingly.
Here's a helpful video from a great resource called BibleProject that reviews and summarizes the first 33 chapters of Ezekiel: