Saturday, September 3, 2016

Week 35 Bible Reading Review

Week 35  Lamentations 1:1 to Ezekiel 20:1

Lam 3:31-33  These verses attempt to show God’s true nature, primarily loving and compassionate, not enjoying bringing suffering or affliction on mankind.  A good thing to remember in the midst of difficult times.

Lamentations is written with emotion, sometimes going between extremes of "woe is me" to "God is destroying us" to "we have sinned – repent and return to the Lord".  The destruction of Jerusalem was surely horrific.

Ezekiel’s first vision of God’s living creature chariot sounds amazing.  God gave Ezekiel His marching orders. He had a huge witness and incentive to obey!

Eze 3:14  What was the reason for Ezekiel’s bitterness and anger?  Being told they wouldn’t listen to him?  Being hardened? Being called?  For what he ate?  The text doesn’t give a reason, but this might be why he remained silent and did not speak to the people at first.

Ezekiel remained silent / stunned for seven days.  God put him back on task with a warning of blood guilt if he didn’t speak His words.  To ensure this, God shut Ezekiel up except to speak His words.

Eze 4  I used to think Ezekiel remained on his side the entire time (more than 1 year).  But I am now thinking that it was just during the time he slept.  God supernaturally kept him from rolling over in his sleep.  He still might have had to sleep out in the open during this time.

Eze 5:11-13; 6:8-10  These passages talk about the severe judgment God brings on Israel and why.  God expresses His anger and wrath (v13) which stemmed from  His jealousy. The second portion I highlighted paints a picture of that jealousy (v9) as a jealousy of a betrayed lover, expressing hurt because of a promiscuous spouse.  These things we should take to heart and consider how we treat our God.  Is He first in our lives and above all else?  Or does spending time with Him take a back seat to how we are feeling or our list of things to get done?  Has our hobby, or perhaps our job become our god in terms of priority and devotion?  Maybe if we consider that these actions are causing our God to become jealous then we would want to reprioritize our life.  If we continue to provoke Him to jealousy with our heart and actions, then we should not expect a different fate for ourselves than that of these Israelites.  Maybe we don’t see our Creator as our lover.  Well then, consider Him our sustainer.  Without Him we would not exist.  Let us be cognizant of where our heart is and what we might be idolizing.  Time is a valid love language that we need to use wisely.  Seek Him with your whole heart.

Eze 7:19  Israel’s stumbling blocks that brought about their downfall:  satisfying their appetite and filling their stomach.  How many of us pursue these more than God today?

Eze 7:27  How would we fair if dealt with according to our own conduct and judged by our own standards?

Eze 9  Ezekiel’s vision of slaughter at Jerusalem closely parallels the future account in Revelation.

Eze 10  God’s glory has left the temple and city then proceeded to the mount of olives. (11:23)  Does this mean that the temple mount is no longer holy ground?

Eze 12  The people say “the days pass by and every vision fails”.  I can understand this as many prophecies today of America’s downfall (ie Dumitru Duduman, Henry Gruver) were given many years ago and people probably think the same thing as well.  Has the urgency to repent and seek God faded?

Eze 14:4  There is an important principle in this verse.  God answers us according to our idols.  So if we don’t remove our own idols, we will hear incorrectly from God.

Eze 14:9  God says He is the one who deceives the prophet (lying spirit).  But the more important lesson in 14 is to not have idols in our heart.  This brought destruction to the people.

Ezekiel gave God’s prophecies of doom as a witness to the survivors to know that YHVH is God.

Eze 14:21+  This passage is interesting and my take is that when Ezekiel sees the improved character of the remnant that survived the devastation, he will see the reason for God’s actions.  Trial and refinement by fire.  This principle gets repeated and will be repeated again in the great tribulation.

Eze 16:4  New born babies were rubbed with salt?  I wonder what benefits this has.

Eze 18:2  The interpretation of this proverb:  “The fathers eat sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge” indicates to me that the people thought God was punishing them for their father's sins.  This interpretation makes sense to me when read in context and also considering Exodus 34:7 where God previously said  He would “visit the iniquity” of the parents to the third and fourth generation.  I read this verse in Exodus in several different translations and it seems that it can be taken different ways.  Either God is punishing the children for their parent's sins or they are suffering the consequences of that sin.  Perhaps this is why this proverb came about and God wanted to make it clear that the one who sins dies for their sins.  Reading on in this chapter God also makes it clear that the way one ends in life matters more than how they started.

Eze 18:32  The end of the mater in this chapter:  God takes no pleasure in anyone’s death, but desires repentance for life!

Next Reading:  Week 36  Ezekiel 20:1 to Ezekiel 38:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week. 

Do you think the world you see is real, and the Kingdom of God is ethereal? How many people do you know who live in a world of false mental constructs? Perceptions can be incorrect, and people can structure their whole lives around dream world fantasies. You can see this clearly in others. Could you be one of them? Would you know if you were? I opened the eyes of the blind in my time on earth, and had much more to say about the condition of those who were spiritually blind and deaf. The gospel message is an invitation to open your eyes and live in the real world even before you address the question of which world will endure and which will pass away.

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