Thursday, August 30, 2012
Welcome to Day 242 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Ezekiel 8; Ezekiel 9; Ezekiel 10; Ezekiel 11; Revelation 4 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Ezekiel 8-11, visions concerning abomination in the city and temple. The glory of the Lord departs…
Ezekiel 8:16, “He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.”
Ezekiel 9:4, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it… Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. 6 Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark.”
Ezekiel 10:4, “Then the glory of the Lord rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the Lord.”
18 “Then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim… 19b They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.”
“Each one went straight ahead.” (The implication is they left through the east gate of the Lord’s house.)
Ezekiel 11:18, “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Revelation 4:8, “Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever.”
These passages from Ezekiel hit me like a ton of bricks this morning.
How sad that those in the inner court of the temple had their back turned the temple and were worship the sun, not the Son…
Then, the glory departed.
BUT… God never leaves us without hope and his faithful promise (chapter 11). “They will return to it [v 17 the land of Israel] and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Israel made their choice and received unto themselves the results of destruction and captivity.
All they had to do was trust the Lord and worship only him.
(Of course that sounds easy… doesn’t it…)
It all came down to the choices they made.
It’s so easy to have a divided heart. To know what is right… then the choice kicks in, to do it or not? To worship the God of Israel, or the god of my own choice, my own making…
God Presence (His Glory) is key… is my heart his home? Am I turned toward him, or is my back turned toward him. Do I choose his ways or my way?
(I took note of the creatures and cherubim in Ezekiel and Revelation, their similarities…)
John was given the opportunity to walk through a door, right into the throne room of God in Heaven, where worship was in progress. Elders and creatures worshiping… wow, what a scene!
I’ve always believed worship is our highest priority in life. Beyond singing songs, our very lives are to be offered as living sacrifices. As I have said before, we are both priest and sacrifice. We offer ourselves to him as living sacrifices! Then, when we take our final breath, we go to be in His Presence, and join in the worship with the elders, creatures and the saints who have gone before us…
The key, don’t turn away as they did in Ezekiel’s vision.
Lord forgive me for the times when I have had my back to you…