Old Testament: Ezekiel 24:1-26:21
Ezekiel 24:1-26:21 A Pot Bust
Chapter 24 Verses 1-14 portray the image of a boiling pot that symbolized the destruction of Jerusalem that commenced on Jan. 15, 588 B.C. (v. 1, cf. 2 Kings 25:1-3 as well as Jeremiah 39:1-3 and 52:4-6). The Jews who had stayed in Jerusalem had things backwards. They thought they were choice meat and the Jews in exile were the scraps (cf. Ezek. 11:1-13). They thought God would never allow anything to happen to Jerusalem (cf. Jer. 7: 4) but they failed to give full weight to Yahweh’s warnings in Deut. 28.
The second half of the chapter is the story of God’s object lesson involving Ezekiel and his wife. Yahweh forecast that she would die suddenly but Ezekiel was not allowed to show grief. He loved her deeply (v. 16). It was a picture of Yahweh’s love for Judah which He was about to lose in the siege by Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonians set fire to the Temple on August 14, 586 B.C. The city fell on January 8,585 B.C. (Ezek. 33:21-22).
Chapter 25 This chapter contains the oracles of judgment on Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia.
Chapter 26 Chapter 26 is an oracle on the port city of Tyre. As you might recall David and Solomon did a lot of business with the King of Tyre, Hiram (cf. 2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 5). Ezekiel uses a picture of a storm that ruins the commerce on the seacoast.
New Testament: Hebrews 11:1-16
Hebrews 11:1-16 Heavenly Minded But Earthly Good
Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the “Hall Of Faith.” The writer uses the heroes of the Old Testament to stimulate the Hebrews to endure trials and persecution and persevere.
He begins by giving what is not so much definition as a description of faith (v. 1). Faith is having assurance that we will receive what we ask for. This verse seems similar to 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us [in] whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” The author of Hebrews tells us that we can’t please God without faith (v. 6a). It is the only way to please God and we must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who come to Him in faith (v. 6b).
Here are the examples of faith that the writer gives the Hebrews:
1) We understand that the world was created by God by faith (v. 3)
2) Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain through faith (v. 4)
3) Enoch was taken into Heaven without experiencing death by faith (v. 5)
4) Noah prepared the ark by faith (v. 7)
5) Abraham exercised faith in moved from his home by faith (vv. 8-10)
6) Sarah conceived years past her time of fertility by faith (v. 11-12)
All of the above died without receiving the promise of the new land (vv. 13-16) but nevertheless still trusted God for Heaven.
Psalm 110:1-7 The Jesus Psalm A Royal Psalm By David
Proverbs 27:14 Jump!
My wife and I ate at a really nice restaurant downtown on our birthdays. She was born the day before me. Well, a few years different. Anyway, I had my back to the kitchen and every time the waitress came out she hailed me with a very loud salutation. I sprung up in the air every time she did that. It reminded me of this verse.
I was wanting to bless her back.
But I had to remember I was a Christian.
But sometimes it’s good to make someone jump!
Choose Life: Scripture: Hebrews 11:1 NASB “Getting What You Want”
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Can you always get what you want in prayer? 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” I take this to mean that if we ask God for anything according to His will that sometimes we know we already have a positive answer. Hebrews 11: 1 says that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for” and “the conviction of things not seen.”
Another great verse on prayer, Mark 11:24 (NIV) says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Could there be a subjective side to prayer? These verses seem to indicate that there is. If we pray and get a sense that God has answered us, perhaps He has. It all has to do with being sensitive to the Holy Spirit (see blog Get The Led Out).
Of course, if we think we have gotten an answer to prayer but then it turns out that we haven’t, we can’t blame God. It meant we didn’t hear right or God didn’t say anything.
We also have to pray for things that are in God’s will. We shouldn’t want anything that isn’t in line with His will, anyway.
It is an exciting thing to pray. It is even more exciting to get what we ask for.
Jesus told us to ask for whatever we want. In John 14:14 He said, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
Ask Jesus for something today “in His name,” that is, something He would approve of. And then believe Him for it in faith.
And when you do, you will find that are choosing life (Deut. 30:19, John 10:10b)!
I said that it is even more exciting to get what we want than to pray. But that is because of our humanness. We like getting what we want to get. But what if God says, “no”? Can you learn to like the “no’s” as much as the “yeses”? See if you can just enjoy talking to God today just because you’re talking to God not just because you want to get things from Him. Can you enjoy the Giver more than the gift?
Give it a try!
The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Pot Bust