Saturday, April 27, 2019

Ezekiel 36

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ezekiel 36. 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 uses Ezekiel to communicate how saddened he is by the fall of Israel. The Israelites were God's chosen people, and he wanted the best for them, but they kept turning away from him and indulging their own selfish interests. Many metaphors and descriptions are used to describe this "uncleanliness" of Israel. Instead of remaining purely focused on God, they have become contaminated by idols.
  • After painting vivid pictures of Israel's sinfulness, God reminds his people that he still loves them and wants the best for them. He promises that they will be restored, and that their nation will rise out of the ashes and return to prominence, fruitfulness, and power. Verse 22 explains that they will be reinvigorated not because they deserve it, but because it will bring God more glory.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • It's easy for our own desires to get in the way of what God wants for us. This makes it more difficult for us to experience the full life he has for us.
  • Even if our life has become consumed by these selfish interests, God still wants the best for us. He longs for us to return our focus to him so he can equip us to live bigger, better lives. God's love is bigger than our bad decisions.
  • Like the Israelites, we don't deserve God's goodness. We can't "earn" God's forgiveness, but we can accept it.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Have you been trying to earn God's forgiveness? Or do you feel like you've done "too many bad things" for God to love you? God's love is not based on our actions but on his goodness.
  • Talk to God about how you're feeling, and commit to start living in the forgiveness he offers you. Ask for his guidance in the areas of life where you are most tempted to indulge your selfish interests.