Day 192 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 22 & 23 – As the sword plunges toward Israel’s heart, the Lord gives one last accounting of her sin, as if to put an end to any question about whether His decision to punish her is right. Chapter 22 paints a picture of a society that is corrupt from top to bottom. Every part of the society is affected—economics, family relationships, politics, law—and every strata of society is involved—prophets (22:25, 28), priests (22:26), princes (22:27), and finally all “the people of the land” (22:29).Chapter 23 then gives a stomach-turning and sexually explicit portrayal of Israel’s adultery against God, especially in her alliances with Egypt and Assyria.
Here we are shocked awake to the deeply profound covenant relationship into which God has entered with His people. To turn from Him, to flirt with idols, to trust and delight in anything more than God Himself, is spiritual adultery. It is more than this: it is whoredom (23:44).
Yet at the pinnacle of history God became one of us, in order to win adulterous sinners back to Himself. For this reason Jesus is portrayed throughout the New Testament as the bridegroom who gives Himself for the sake of His defiled, impure bride (Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; Revelation 21:2, 9). The contaminated are cleansed; the filthy are washed clean (1 Corinthians 6:11). Because Jesus has made us pure and holy through His work on the cross (Ephesians 5:25–26), we delight to love and trust Him with all our hearts.
How does this truth reveal the depth of your sin and, even more importantly, the depth of God’s grace?
Ezekiel 24 – The sword pierces. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, lays siege to Jerusalem. As Ezekiel’s precise dating of the event indicates, this is a major turning point in the book. The judgment about which God has been warning for the entire first half of the book has finally fallen, and Ezekiel is told about it in a prophetic vision.
Immediately following the piercing of the sword in Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem, Ezekiel’s book shifts to an almost hallucinatory image of the people of Israel dancing around a boiling pot, laughing, celebrating, and singing a cooking song. Apparently, the Israelites are thinking of themselves in this vision as choice pieces of meat who are safe in the “pot” of the city of Jerusalem. Their celebration, however, quickly turns to terror as the pot is shown to be filled with filth and uncleanness. Logs are piled high, the pot is overturned, and all its contents are burned in the fire. Again, self-deluded honor turns to horrifying destruction. Blind confidence that judgment would never fall turns to terror as God executes His wrath against sin.
This text reminds us that the gospel of grace is no gospel at all without a sobering realization of divine wrath: God’s holy and righteous fury and indignation against sin. It is only as we grasp how evil sin truly is that we begin to grasp the wonder of what God in His great love has done to undo it and restore sinners to Himself through the work of Jesus (Romans 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:12–16). Those who believe themselves to be righteous by their own will and deeds do not see themselves as being in need of the grace they require (Luke 5:32).
As a Believer, you have recognized your sin and turned to Jesus to save you from its power and penalty. How will you reflect this truth to others today?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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