Today’s Passage – Ezekiel 5 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 25
Read the “0901 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read a previous post from today’s reading – What Do You Do in the Dark?
“And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.” (Ezekiel 6:9)
The prophet Ezekiel was also a priest (Ezekiel 1:3), and was part of the group that was taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC, which was the second of three deportations from Judah into Babylon. The first deportation took place in 605 BC where Daniel, Hannaniah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego) were taken. The final deportation took place in 586 BC when the Temple and the entire City of Jerusalem was destroyed. Chapters one through twenty-four of Ezekiel were written prior to the final destruction of Jerusalem, but Ezekiel was already in captivity and was settled at a place called Tel-abib near the Brook Chebar (Ezekiel 3:15). Chebar was likely an irrigation canal that came out of the Euphrates River (and flowed back into the Euphrates) and provided water for an area near the City of Babylon. Throughout our reading today, Ezekiel is prophesying about the coming destruction of Jerusalem. Though, Ezekiel and Daniel were already taken captive, the final act of Nubuchadnezzar against Jerusalem was still in Ezekiel’s future.
My thought for today comes from Ezekiel 6:9. God states through Ezekiel that He was broken because of the idolatry of His people. What does that mean? Well, I do not think it means that God was limited in any way, otherwise He would have been less than God. What it means is that God was hurt, His heart was broken because of the sin of His people. The idolatry and immorality that was rampant and unrepented of in Judah, even after many warnings for decade after decade. The people just did not care what their sin was doing to God. But, what about us? Do we care about how are sin affects God.
I recently did a study on what caused Jesus to weep. There are at least three places in the gospels that reference Jesus being moved to tears:
- The Sheep Without a Shepherd
“36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)
- The Suffering of the Saints
“33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:33-36)
- The Sin Upon His Shoulders
“And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” – (Mark 14:32-36)
“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” – (Luke 22:44)
I do not believe Jesus was not crying because of the physical pain that He would endure on the Cross, but He was moved to tears because of the sins of the world that were about to be put upon Him. He knew what was coming. His Father would have to turn His eyes away from Him because of that sin because He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:3). Jesus would cry out from the Cross: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).
My sin did that. Yours as well. God is still broken by our sin. Let’s keep that in mind and let’s also consider how much He loves us and what He was willing to do to atone for that sin. The love that Christ has for us ought to constrain us to want to stop sinning.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.