Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Welcome to Day 248 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: Ezekiel 25; Ezekiel 26; Ezekiel 27; Ezekiel 28; Revelation 10 (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
Today’s readings from Ezekiel 25-28 contain prophecies of retribution to these nations:
Ammon (25:1–7), Moab (25:8–11), Edom (25:12–14), Philistia (25:15–17), Tyre (26:1–28:19), Sidon (28:20–24)
Ezekiel 25, four times the phrase, “then they [you] will know that I am the Lord.” appears.
Ezekiel 26, again the phrase, “then they will know that I am the Lord.” appears.
Ezekiel 27, in this prophetic word agains Tyre, the phrase, “then they will know that I am the Lord.” does not appear…
Ezekiel 28, nor does it appear in this chapter in reference to the King of Tyre. It does appear in reference to Sidon though. Interesting… Tyre and Sidon are often mentioned in the same breath, like “Minneapolis/St. Paul.” being neighboring cities.
24 “No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns.
Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.
25 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. 26 They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”
Just as there was an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals that included two visions designed to comfort the saints, so we find an interlude between the sixth and seventh trumpets with three visions that would have similar effect.
The voice from heaven tells John to take the book from the angel. As he does so, the angel tells him to eat the book, with a warning that while it will be sweet as honey in his mouth, it will make his stomach bitter. When John eats the book, he is told that he must again prophesy about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings (8-11).
The significance of eating the little book seems clear enough… it symbolizes John mastering the contents of the message (Ezekiel 2:1-3:11). As to its contents, it may pertain to the prophecies of upcoming chapters 12-22, which certainly contain prophecies of peoples, nations, kings, etc. (Excerpts edited from Mark A. Copeland’s study of Revelation.)
When John eats the book, it tastes good going down, but makes his stomach bitter… As he must prophesy about many peoples, nations, tongues and kings.
Having to say the hard thing is never easy. I don’t like it, but we all have to do it once in a while.
It can make your stomach upset, for sure.
Prophesying against people and nations and kings could be that much more difficult.
This Revelation that John is witnessing (keep in mind, this is “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” Revelation 1:1) John was instructed to “write this down.”
Thinking about the “bitter-sweet” nature of what John is experiencing… The glory of the risen Christ, yet judgment being dispersed upon the earth.
Isn’t that just how life is?
Life is almost always a mixed bag. I have four young adult kids, ages 19-25. They are in various stages of life, in differing stages of faith, figuring things out for themselves.
When I look at their lives, sometimes I can relax and smile and enjoy what I am seeing. At other times, though, being a father (in John’s case, a prophet) requires action on my part.
Honestly, sometimes I would rather just bury my head and let them work it out for themselves. But sometimes that’s just not possible.
I hope to spare them some headaches or heartache down the road…
But input can be met with mixed reaction, right?
I could be the wisest father on the planet, or come across as the most harsh, judgmental, nit-picker, ever.
Perhaps both are true at times…
Bitter-sweet for sure.
Lord, give me wisdom to lead, and kind words for those around me. Even when I have to say the hard thing…