OT Fire Starters – Day 316: Ezekiel 5-7
READ: Ezekiel 5-7
THINK: Does it ever seem as if God is ignoring the evil and immorality that’s so rampant in the world? Godly people across the centuries have struggled with that sense of seeming injustice. But the Bible assures us that a day of reckoning will come. Just as God’s anger and judgment finally came on Judah, so it will come on all who have defied God and refused to heed His Word and His warnings. When that time comes, the things most people pursue-power, popularity, pleasure, wealth and worldly influence-will not be able to rescue them. But for those who turn to God in faith, trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness, and surrender to His leadership, God provides spiritual cleansing, freedom and the power of His Holy Spirit to help fulfill the ultimate purposes for their lives.
RESPOND: What did the three portions of Ezekiel’s shaved hair and beard represent (5:12)? (See 5:1-2 note.) What did the few hairs tucked inside his clothes represent? (See 5:3 note.) According to 5:11, why did God withdraw His favor from the people, and how is this a warning to churches today? (See 5:11 note.) In what way would Jerusalem serve as a warning to surrounding nations (5:15)? What can you tell from 6:1-6 about Israel’s primary offense against God, and in what ways are people today guilty of the same sin? (See 6:4 note.) According to 6:9, how did God feel about the people’s behavior? (See 6:9 first note.) According to 6:6, what would punishment cause some people to do? (See 6:9 second note.) According to 7:4, how and why would God judge people, and what would they realize after this (7:9)? What does it mean that “the day is near” (7:7), and how is this a warning to the world today? According to 7:19-20, why will wealth be of no value, and how can it actually bring harm? (See 7:19 note.) Though sin may seem innocent and pleasurable for a while, what does it ultimately bring (7:25)?
PRAY: Give God thanks for His discipline that provides the hope of repentance. Ask God to keep you sensitive to His Word and warnings so you don’t risk losing His favor and guidance.
ACT: Are you risking the loss of God’s favor in your life by allowing something to become an idol? Are you giving time, attention or priority to anything or anyone that robs you of time with God, distracts you from His purposes or dulls your sensitivity to His guidance? If so, repent, receive forgiveness and make the necessary changes.