Good Morning Siblings!
Today’s readings are Ezekiel 16-17
We open with indictments against Israel as YHWH makes known Israel’s abominations. The story reads to me, kind of like being born again, only in reverse, having been saved by Grace and then choosing to fall away into another life entirely.
Ezekiel 16:8-14 show us the lavish love of our Father, yet again, as He reminds Israel of His goodness towards them. It was He that made them beautiful, He that gave them their splendor.
Ezekiel 16:15 is a wakeup call to all of us. Israel trusted in their own renown, rather than the one who had bestowed it upon them. How often do we diligently seek the Father when we need Him, only to go back to neglecting Him once He has answered our prayers? Our propensity to do just that is why it is absolutely vital that we form habits of being in the word each and every day of our lives. As the song says:
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
We absolutely must be honest with ourselves. Neither I nor you are exempt from the ability to fall away, to forget, and to slowly drift from that narrow path. Therefore, we must put safeguards in our lives to keep us on the straight and narrow. Daily Bible reading, daily prayer, daily praise, friends whose hearts are wholeheartedly seeking Him, a Godly community should the Father so generously provide it: all of these things can draw us closer still to our beloved Creator and in turn, we can use them to help our brothers and sisters draw closer as well.
Ezekiel 16:30 How sick is your heart, declares YHWH, because you did all these thins, the deeds of a brazen prostitute.
Heartsick is the perfect way to describe us when we are seeking Him in earnest and realize we have grieved Him in our actions. I heard a great quote from a friend in one of his sermons this past weekend.
Throughout the Bible, you will see that YHWH calls His people to show compassion, kindness, and generosity towards the lesser among them. What does lesser mean? Someone who does not have the same advantages as you, a child without both parents (or any parents), someone without a home, the foreigner among us is mentioned specifically countless times, etc. These are just a few examples but I’m sure more came to mind as you read this. When the Father puts it on our heart to honor Him through helping another, it is our responsibility to do so.
Often I’ve heard people say that they don’t give to a homeless person because they think they’ll just go spend it on drugs or alcohol, but that is just an excuse not to obey the Father if that is what the Spirit has pressed you to do. The fact of the matter is, if YHWH tells me to give a man $10, I then have a responsibility to give that man $10. What he does with it is none of my business. My job was to obey the Father. He takes it from there. Oh, Ezekiel 16:49 is what brought this up.
“For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, 60 yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of the covenant with you. 62 I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:59-63
WOW. What a promise from a grace filled and loving Father. Did you see that HE is going to atone for our sins? This clear and direct allusion to our Messiah literally gave me goosebumps as I typed about it.
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.” Ezekiel 17:24
Yes, He will.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!