AUGUST 23 READINGS...Ezekiel 24:15-25:17 & Jeremiah 34:1-22 & Jeremiah 21:1-14 & Ezekiel 29:1-31:18
In today’s readings we receive two messages from the prophets of God…Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Ezekiel will speak to several nations, while Jeremiah’s message is primarily to Zedekiah, King of Judah.
The Lord begins the message to Ezekiel by telling him that He was going to be taking that which is most precious to him. The Lord tells Ezekiel that he cannot show any sign of sorrow, no public weeping…no tears. He may groan silently, but there can be no wailing at her grave. God was having Ezekiel experience the loss and emotions that Judah was about to experience. Here we see clearly that Ezekiel’s life was completely turned over to God, and that he trusted God implicitly. Ezekiel’s wife dies, and he does exactly as God commands. The people ask the prophet what this means. Ezekiel tells them that just as the Lord took his wife and forbid him from weeping…the Lord would take the Temple and have all those left in Jerusalem killed by the sword and the people could not weep. Ezekiel is also given messages from the Lord for Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, and Egypt. His message was strongest against Pharaoh and Egypt…they would be like Assyria. Though once strong they would be destroyed by Babylon. Though with Egypt, they are given the promise that the Lord would restore them.
Jeremiah is in Jerusalem and the Lord gives him messages to King Zedekiah. He tells the king that though he would try to escape from Nebuchadnezzar, he would be captured and taken to Babylon where he would die in peace. He also was told that he would be remembered by the people after his death. Judah was guilty of so much before the Lord, including the enslaving of fellow Hebrews…and keep them in slavery longer than God’s law allowed. They had ignored God for centuries, and now when Jerusalem is about to fall they beg Jeremiah to plead with God for deliverance. God said that judgment was now, and it was sure…there would be no relief for this disobedient people. The only hope was for them to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar…for those who chose to stay in Jerusalem would die by the sword. Jeremiah talks about the corruption of the kings of Judah…and reminds them that they are the ones responsible for the judgment that is now coming on the nation. Leadership is important for a nati0n, for a church, and in our homes…there is responsibility that comes with leadership. All good leaders hear from the Lord and lead the people to follow the Lord.
Please share your thoughts from today’s readings. Take note of the similarities of the time you are reading about and the time which we live. I remind you that God is still a holy God who will bring His righteous judgment on this rebellious earth.
TOMORROW’S READINGS…Jeremiah 32:1-33:26 & Ezekiel 26:1-14