Today’s Scripture: Ezekiel 23:1
Central Thought: You will not be caught up in sin unless you first turn your back on God.
Today’s chapter in Ezekiel, is about God’s anger toward his chosen people when they turned from Him, worshipped idols, and denied fellowship with the true God. The imagery is harsh, but we are reminded that the God of the Old Testament had made plans for a better way. There are many lessons in this chapter that can help us avoid the sorrows of drunkenness and adulterous living.
God’s stories are sometimes hard to read, but commentaries—like good counsel—help us understand God’s message. Matthew Henry comments on verse 35 this way: ‘Forgetfulness of God, and a contempt of him, of his eye upon us and authority over us, are at the bottom of all our treacherous adulterous departures from him. Therefore men wander after idols, because they forget God, and their obligations to him; nor could they look with so much desire and delight upon the baits of sin if they did not first cast God behind their back.”
God’s judgment on the ten tribes of Israel and the two tribes of Judah was meant to refine them for His purposes. Ultimately Jesus, the Lion of Judah, was born; and the refining judgment gave beauty to ashes. God is in the business of redeeming if we let Him do His work in us. The key, of course, is letting Him.
I was brought up going to church, singing in the choir, attending youth group, and being water baptized. When I was in college, I wanted to live on my own terms. With forethought, I deliberately turned my back on God because I didn’t want to feel condemnation any more for what I chose to do. After all the sorrowful lessons of life that I felt compelled to experience first hand, I hit the inevitable ‘bottom” that made me look up and ask God back into my life. God’s judgment is meant to refine us.
Devotional Prayer: Dear God, Please don’t let us turn our backs on You. We need Your help to stay close to You. Thanks for giving us Your Word that we can hide in our hearts as we submit to Your authority and refinement.
Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 23:1; Hebrews 10:18-39; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 27:13