chronological day 233 :)

Please read Ezekiel 20, 21, and 22:1-16. Does anyone else get weary of the rebellion?  let’s keep going – what a habit we’ve developed by now.  Here’s what I am thinking about today:

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“On the day I chose Israel, I revealed myself to them in the country of Egypt, raising my hand in a solemn oath to the people of Jacob, in which I said, ‘I am God, your personal God.” On the same day that I raised my hand in the solemn oath, I promised them that I would take them out of the country of Egypt and bring them into a country that I had searched out just for them, a country flowing with milk and honey, a jewel of a country.’ At that time I told them, ‘Get rid of all the vile things that you’ve become addicted to. Don’t make yourselves filthy with the Egyptian no-god idols. I alone am God, your God’ But they rebelled against me, wouldn’t listen to a word I said” (Ezekiel 20:5-8 MSG)

God gave them so many chances. Lord, help me answer the first time!

chronological day 232 :)

Continuing with Ezekiel – maybe this isn’t as tough as I thought it would be – we’re making progress even through the prophets!  Please read Ezekiel 17, 18, and 19.  Does anything stand out to you today?  Here’s my highlight:

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“The upshot is this, Israel: I’ll judge each of you according to the way you live. So turn around! Turn your backs on your rebellious living so that sin won’t drag you down. Clean house. No more rebellions, please. Get a new heart! Get a new spirit! Why would you choose to die, Israel? I take no pleasure in anyone’s death. Decree of GOD, the Master. “Make a clean break! Live!” (Ezekiel 18:30-32 MSG)

The upshot IS that the people would be judged according to their own behavior.  That’s the upshot for us today as well: it means that we choose our consequences, right?  the  promise is that God will judge us fairly – let’s do our best!

There’s always a chance and another chance and a another chance with the Lord. Israel complained that God wasn’t fair, but it wasn’t a matter of fairness; they were being judged for their own actions. People today still complain about fairness…. God is a righteous judge.

chronological day 231 :)

Today, we are reading Ezekiel 14, 15, and 16.  Let’s go!  Here’s what I am thinking about today:

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Even when Jerusalem forgot her covenant with God, God did remember.

God, the Master, says, ‘I’ll do to you just as you have already done, you who have treated my oath with contempt and broken the covenant. All the same, I’ll remember the covenant I made with you when you were young and I’ll make a new covenant with you that will last forever. You’ll remember your sorry past and be properly contrite when you receive back your sisters, both the older and the younger. I’ll give them to you as daughters, but not as participants in your covenant. I’ll firmly establish my covenant with you and you’ll know that I am God. You’ll remember your past life and face the shame of it, but when I make atonement for you, make everything right after all you’ve done, it will leave you speechless.’ Decree of God, the Master” (Ezekiel 16:59-63 MSG, emphasis mine)

After these judgments  and prophecies about their blatant sin, God talks about making atonement for them and renewing their covenant. He is a patient – He will do the same for us.

chronological day 230 :)

Please read Ezekiel 10, 11, 12, and 13.  Days like this are easy, huh?  Find one place and stay there!  (Of course, the one place we found today was Ezekiel, LOL! Stay with me!)  Let’s chat – leave a comment.  What’s your highlight today?

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“I’ll give you a new heart. I’ll put a new spirit in you. I’ll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you’ll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!” (Ezekiel 11:19-20 MSG)

A phrase kept repeating in the MSG: they’ll “realize that I am God”. God help us realize this before Your judgement comes. It’s so sad that this was the only way to “wake up” some of the people.

 

chronological day 229 :)

All in Ezekiel today.  Let’s read Ezekiel chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.   Let’s visit a little bit:

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I know it isn’t an easy day – how about a little exercise for us, as a means of reminding us of what is important?  How about circling or highlighting every time God says something through Ezekiel to the effect of knowing Him or recognizing Him. He has a purpose.  Human anger can easily make us lose focus – God’s anger is never without purpose.

“But I’ll let a few escape” Ezekiel 6:8 MSG

God is leaving a remnant…. what a sad day.

chronological day 228 :)

Today, we’ll read Ezekiel 3:16-27, Ezekiel 4, Jeremiah 27, 28, and 51:59-64. Let’s get it done – and you are doing GREAT, by the way!  What an important discipline, daily time in the Word of God!  Let’s visit:

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How about Ezekiel’s bearing Jerusalem and Judah’s sins? Such a long time – 390 days plus 390 days plus 40 days….

“Famine conditions. People will look at one another, see nothing but skin and bones, and shake their heads. This is what sin does” (Ezekiel 4:16 MSG)

This is what SIN does – not what GOD does.  Please be conscious of God’s character and righteousness.  He isn’t being “mean” – He is responding to man’s sin and rebellion.

It’s funny that that we mostly remember 29:11 from Jeremiah – wow, there was so much more. Lord, I want to take in all of Your truth and take ALL of Your words into my heart (not just the ones that make me “feel good”). Since everything God says is for our benefit, everything He says ought to bring us a measure of peace.

 

chronological day 227 :)

Getting started in Ezekiel today!  Let’s read Jeremiah 37:11-21, Jeremiah 38, then Ezekiel chapters 1, 2, Ezekiel 3:1-15. Ezekiel isn’t the easiest to take, at least for me – what do you think? 

 

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“Listen please. Listen to God’s voice. I’m telling you this for your own good” (Jeremiah 38:20 MSG)

Even when the words are hard to hear, God never speaks except to bring about the eventual good of those who will obey.

“Each creature went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit went, they went. They didn’t turn as they went” (Ezekiel 1:12 MSG)

I notice: they didn’t turn and they followed the spirit. Good example for us today. Ezekiel begins in such a powerful way, intense. The MSG translation says that Ezekiel was bitter and angry, but he still followed the Lord (note to self: don’t let our personal feelings get in the way of obedience). I also notice Ezekiel is being sent to Israel – God is still not done with His people!

chronological day 226 :)

Big day again for Jeremiah and for Judah… and for us!  We are reading the following passages today: Jeremiah 51:15-58, 2 Chronicles 36:10, 2 Kings 24:10-17, 1 Chronicles 3;10-16, 2 Chronicles 36:11-14, Jeremiah 52:1-3, 2 Kings 24:18-20, and Jeremiah 37:1-10. Did anything stand out to you today?

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Jeremiah was prophet under several kings of Judah (Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah) – it’s interesting to connect him to his place in history.  Josiah was good, the rest were evil. These were the last five kings before Nebuchadnezzar took Judah into captivity.  (Sorry!  I’ve tried so hard to avoid the history lessons, but I couldn’t stop myself!). What a terrifying time this must have been.

Jeremiah 37:4 says he is “still moving about freely” and hadn’t been arrested yet. Surely he knew what was coming. I hope I would be that brave, but I’m not so sure!

God give us boldness to speak Your truth even in difficult circumstances!

 

chronological day 225 :)

Today, we are with the weeping prophet again – hang in there!  We are reading Jeremiah 31:15-40, Jeremiah 49:34-39, Jeremiah 50, and Jeremiah 51:1-14.  Do you have a highlight?  Leave a comment and let’s chat!

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“GOD has set everything right for us. Come! Let’s tell the good news back home in Zion. Let’s tell what our GOD did to set things right” (Jeremiah 51:10 MSG)

In the midst of all this judgement and destruction, they have “good news” about how God wants to set them right. The message translation in 31:18ish uses the phrase “trained to obedience”.

“Now put me, trained and obedient, to use.
    You are my God.
After those years of running loose, I repented.
    After you trained me to obedience” (Jeremiah 31:18 MSG)

Even correction and training is for our benefit!  After repentance, they would be fit for use – isn’t it true of us today?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times, but in the Old Testament it’s worth repeating again and again: God is always kind, and what He does is always for our good.

chronological day 224 :)

We’re all in Jeremiah today – that’s easy!  Let’s read Jeremiah 23:33-40, Jeremiah chapters 24, 29, 30, and Jeremiah 31:1-14.  Let’s visit!

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What an encouraging day and wonderful reminder that God is all about restoration! 29:11 is a great favorite of course, but in its context it’s so powerful.  Let’s back up a little bit and make sure we don’t miss the history here:

“This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon” (29:4 MSG)

First: God not only knows where the exiles are – he’s the reason they are there.  Nothing happened that was outside of His control, not even this period of captivity.  God assures them that He knew where they were and would come to them. Every piece of instruction represented a process:

“Build houses and make yourselves at homePut in gardens and eat what grows in that countryMarry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare” (29:5-7 MSG, emphasis mine)

Build a house and LIVE there.  Plant a garden and EAT the harvest that grows from it…. They were to be content and faithful and trust until He came because He knows the plan He had for them, plans for good and not evil (I won’t try to throw in the Message translation for Jeremiah 29:11 today – the NKJV is everyone’s favorite, I know!). Those were comforting words, especially considering their circumstances.

He knows my circumstances too, and I know He has a good plan if I’m obedient!