Ezekiel 24:1-26:21 + Hebrews 11:1-16 + Psalm 110:1-7 + Proverbs 27:14
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Old Testament - An important note from our readings in Ezekiel chapter 24 today is that Ezekiel's wife dies on the exact same day the Temple is Jerusalem was burned! August 14, 586 B.C. As I read these verses about Ezekiel's wife and the Temple I am reminded of a verse in the book of Job - 13:15- "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him." Though Ezekiel's wife dies and though the Temple burned, the Lord still instructs Judah in verse 23: "You will not mourn or weep". The Job situation is of course different in that Job was righteous and Judah was not at this time. And there is not clear hope for Judah at this time - though there ultimately is redemption for Jerusalem. However, again, look at Job's faith in the midst of all he was going through: "yet I will hope in him." When times are bad - or times are good - do you hope in Him? No matter what, will you hope in Him?
In Ezekiel chapter 25 today we begin reading God's oracles against the nations surrounding Israel. We'll read 7 oracles over the next few days through chapter 32. It's noteworthy that frequently in the Old Testament God's words of judgment against Israel through the prophets is often accompanied by oracles of judgments against the nations. Below is a map that shows the oracles against the nations we read about in chapters 25 & 26 today and through chapter 32 in the coming days. This map is helpful to see where Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon and of course Egypt are all located in comparison to Jerusalem:
New Testament - Today we read Hebrews Chapter 11, which is a great reflection of the faith of our spiritual ancestors in the Old Testament! Some call this chapter the "Hall of Faith" - as in the Hall of Fame. :) I would encourage you to read this chapter entirely today – and again tomorrow in its entirety. Chapter 11 opens with this critically important verse for us to memorize and take to heart: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Are you sure of what you hope for? Are you certain of what you do not see? As you read through this chapter, do you see the value in the faith of our spiritual ancestors? In what area of your life might God be calling you to step forward in faith?
Enoch in verse 5 is an intriguing example of faith coming from Genesis chapter 5's genealogy from Adam to Noah (see Genesis 5:24 at this link): "It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—"he disappeared, because God took him." For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God." Below is a painting of Enoch being taken up to heaven by the Italian painter Sebastiano Ricci (1659-1734):
Verses 13 through 16 I think are four of the most amazing verses we've read in Hebrews and I think each of us should really meditate on what these verses might mean in our lives today: "All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." What do you think of these verses? If these heroes of our faith died still believing what God promised them - even though they did not receive what was promised here on earth - do you think that perhaps you and I should always be faithful in our lives to God no matter what we may think we're not "receiving" here on earth? If we're not receiving perfect health. If we're not receiving a perfect job. If we're not receiving a perfect family. If we're not receiving a perfect mental state. If not, if not, if not.... will we still believe what God promised us? Will we still believe that God is not ashamed to be called our God? Will we still believe that God has prepared a heavenly city for us? Let us believe!
Psalms - Psalm 110 is a powerful Psalm today! It is considered Messianic and some say the most prophetic of all the Psalms. Verses 1 & 4 are the 2 verses that are believed to be most prophetic of Jesus and both verses are referenced in the New Testament, most often verse 1.
Verse 1 -
"The LORD said to my Lord,
"Sit in honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.""
Verse 4 stands today, with very similar teachings to what we've just been reading about this in Hebrews this past week or so!
"The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
"You are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek.""
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 110 titled "David's Lord" is at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs 27:14 today makes me laugh: "If you shout a pleasant greeting to your neighbor too early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse!" This reminds me of my visit to the coffee shop in the morning before I've had a chance to drink my coffee... those people behind the counter are already wired on their espresso shots and are just way too pleasant first thing in the morning! :) Any other coffee addicts out there...? Coffee may be an idol for me that I need to not worship anymore... really...
Worship Video: Today's readings in Psalm 110 reminded me of Third Day's fantastic song "King of Glory"! Below is a live version of this song. Watch this to the 2:15 remaining mark to hear Mac Powell leading an awesome reflection/prayer on the power of Jesus' name. Who is this King of Glory!
Do you know the King of Glory? Click here for Glory!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you are living by faith. Pray that you are sure of what you hope for. Pray that you are certain of what you do not see. Pray that you are living by faith in Christ alone!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you from today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Grace, love, peace, and joy!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
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