As Roger packed his office possessions into a small cardboard box, Tom patted him reassuringly on the shoulder. “I’m sorry this happened to you,” he said, looking around the office and thinking about how he planned to rearrange the furniture. With Roger dismissed from the company, Tom was sure to get Roger’s corner office and, more importantly, his salary.
“Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper’” (Ezekiel 26:2).
God loves for His people to rejoice, but not because of tragedy experienced by others. Tyre’s sin was being happy about the destruction of Judah and hoping to profit from it. We must never seek to profit from the loss of others. God punishes those who rejoice and look to take advantage of others’ tragedies. He wants us to always mourn with those who mourn and comfort the hurting.
Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those around you who are suffering.
Quicklook: Ezekiel 26:1–6
Moses could have chosen the things of Egypt. He could have lived a life of luxury in Pharaoh’s palace. Perhaps he might have even thought it God’s will for him. But Moses realized he had a special purpose.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward (Hebrews 11:26).
God didn’t just want to pull Moses out of his life as a slave. God wanted to pull all His people out of the oppression of Egypt. Moses chose a path of suffering and identification with his own people. He rejected power and wealth and human prosperity so that he could lead all God’s people into the Land of Promise.
Moses’ eyes were set on something further ahead than what he could receive from Pharaoh. His reward wasn’t in gold but in the experience of God’s presence. Moses recognized the value of disgrace in order to receive his true reward.
Thought for Today: Value God’s presence, not earthly treasures.
Quicklook: Hebrews 11:23–29
What does it mean to search for God? How do people know if they have found Him?
We often ask these questions, but how many people consider what God is looking for or what has God found?” God searched for obedient people. In Ezekiel, God revealed His disappointment:
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30).
Think of those final four words: “I found no one.” “No one” who would build up the wall and stand before God. That is what He wanted. That is what He needed to see so He would not destroy the land. But God found no one.
Maybe today’s question should be: Will God find what He is looking for in me?
Prayer Suggestion: Look at a globe or a map of your area. Pray for God to bring revival both locally and globally.
Quicklook: Ezekiel 22:29–31
In Old Testament times, God had a specific plan for dealing with the sin of His people. To show them the awfulness of their sin, God required the blood of a sacrificial lamb as the price of atonement. This blood of animals covered the sin, but it did not erase it. The sacrifices were only a shadow of what Jesus would do.
He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).
Jesus did not need the blood of goats and calves to atone for His sin. He was the sinless Lamb of God. He entered the Most Holy Place by the power of His own blood. Because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, believers are no longer bound by the old covenant that required the shedding of blood to cover sin. Under the new covenant, Jesus shed His blood, not just to cover sin, but to eliminate it. Only Jesus could complete the work of eternal redemption for us.
Thought for Today: Jesus paid for our eternal redemption with His precious blood.
Quicklook: Hebrews 9:11–14
The Book of Ezekiel abounds with prophecies of God’s judgment against Israel. The prophet describes the adulterous behavior of God’s people in graphic detail so there would be no doubt that God is just in His dealings with them. While Israel would endure the consequences of their unfaithfulness, God graciously reminds them of His faithful love.
“‘Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you’” (Ezekiel 16:60).
God made an everlasting covenant with Israel. When they strayed from His righteous ways, God continued to keep His covenant with them. The unfaithfulness of human beings does not alter God’s faithfulness. As believers, we may at times wander from God’s path. But it is comforting to know that He does not abandon us. Instead, He lovingly reminds us of His faithfulness and draws us back to Him. This gives us liberty to freely come to our faithful God for forgiveness.
Prayer Suggestion: Lord, help me to faithfully follow You.
Quicklook: Ezekiel 16:59–60
Brian was a third grader who hated math. Why should he do twenty subtraction problems when he could prove that he knew how to do them by completing only ten? He copied the problems from his math book onto his paper. Then he worked the first few problems, one or two in the middle, and a few at the end, leaving about half of the problems unworked. Of course, his grade didn’t reflect that he had done ten problems with no errors. Instead, it reflected that he had “missed” the ten he didn’t do. His incomplete work was a source of contention with his teacher and his parents.
He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25).
Jesus never leaves His work incomplete. When we come to God through Him, He saves us completely and intercedes with the Father for us. He doesn’t leave some of our past unforgiven to hold over us. On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” He had completed the work of salvation, but we must accept Him and let Him complete that work in us.
Challenge for Today: Let Jesus continue to work in your life until He has completed His work in you.
Quicklook: Hebrews 7:22–27