Friday, March 31
What a powerful passage. If you would like a visual of the valley of dry bones, I recommend checking out this minute and a half Youtube clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dafYxu8cQQ).
While we can pull out hundreds of things to say about this passage, I am going to stick to two simple ideas. Ezekiel 37 acts as a double prophecy. In other words, we can expect two different things to happen:
- God will restore Israel and make a nation again from the scattered people. He will bring his chosen people back to the promised land.
- God will establish His kingdom on Earth. We know that Jesus is coming back to Earth again to reign until God Himself reigns above all men.
We see in Ezra and Nehemiah that prophecy number one is fulfilled as the temple is rebuilt. In the New Testament we also get a glimpse at prophecy number two. When Jesus died on the cross we know that the curtain was torn and we have hope in the future Kingdom! After all, Jesus did preach most about the kingdom of God during his time on earth.
As my dad says, he has two major goals in life: 1. To be sure he maintains a strong relationship with God, and 2. To get as many people into the Kingdom as possible. I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to live forever on the streets of gold glorifying God and Jesus all day long! How are you furthering the Kingdom cause through your everyday actions?
Revelation 21:1-4: Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look!” God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Tuesday, March 28
Like Tyre and the other nations mentioned in Ezekiel 25, God will place Egypt into the hands of Babylon.
Here are a few of the main points/interpretations and moments of personal application that I picked out in our passages today as noted by the visual above:
- Egypt = monster
- Egypt will be like a sea monster with hooks in their jaw, and fish leaching onto its scales (29:3-5).
- God will bring a sword (Babylon) against Egypt and they will become a scattered and desolate land (29:11)
- After 40 years, God will reunite Egypt and they will be a lowly kingdom (29:15)
- Egypt = Assyria = Garden of Eden
- Assyria was once a thriving, beautiful nation. Even the “garden of God” (Eden) could not rival it” (31:8)!
- Assyria was taken captive by the Babylon’s and Egypt has the same fate.
- Life Application: I am a big-picture person. Therefore, it feels like I have basically read the same thing for the past five chapters. The cycle looks something like this: there is a nation that disobeys God and subsequently God sends Babylon to conquer them, leading them to desolate decline. So, what can we learn from this cycle? We learn that this matter is important to God because he repeats it over and over again. God is trying to relay an important message to His children because He continually makes the same point through the prophet Ezekiel. I pray that the Holy Spirit is working in your heart and mind as you read this text, and that you might open your heart to the change God desires. What is God trying to show you through this repetition?
For me, I come back to the theme that God yearns for our attention. He longs to hear from us and be in communion with us. In Ezekiel, we see that God longs for the nations to follow Him and is willing to go to extreme measures to call His children back home. I Corinthians 6:19 comes to mind, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have received from God? You are not your own”. We are not our own, but belong to God. How can you break-up with your old self and give a new part of your plans, emotions, desires, and abilities to God? God longs to hear from YOU!