Scripture reading for September 19th: Ezekiel 48, Daniel 1-3
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE.””
Daniel 2:44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands–a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.”
Ezekiel was a Jewish priest in captivity in Babylon, along with Daniel. God used both men as prophets to declare His eternal purposes to His people as well as to the Gentile rulers who were over them. Ezekiel’s last prophetic word gave a name to Jerusalem, the city of God: “THE LORD IS THERE!” Daniel was called upon to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statute with a head of gold, chest of silver, belly of bronze, and legs and toes of iron and clay. Daniel’s revelation was a “Stone”, not cut out by human hands, striking the statue and destroying it. This “Stone” became a great mountain that filled the whole earth–an everlasting kingdom!
Rejoicing in our Eternal King of Kings: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose Rider is called “Faithful and True.” With justice He judges and makes war.” . . . “Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”” (Revelation 19:1, 15)
Scripture reading for September 18th: Ezekiel 43-47
Key scriptures: Ezekiel 47:1, 12 “The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.” . . . . “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Ezekiel saw a vision of water flowing from the temple of God in heaven. It flowed south of the altar and flowed deeper and deeper the farther it went. He saw that everywhere the “River” went, it brought life and fruitfulness–even to the Dead Sea! His attention was brought to fruit trees growing on the banks of this “River”. Their fruit came new each month and their leaves were for healing! John the Revelator saw this as well!
Rejoicing in the “River of Life”: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of Life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)
Scripture reading for September 15th: Ezekiel 39-42
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 40:2-4 “In visions of God He took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the house of Israel everything you see.”
Ezekiel was taken by God to Israel and given a vision of what looked like a city on the side of a great mountain. He then saw a man that was bronze in color standing in a gateway of this city with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. Ezekiel was told to write down everything he saw and heard and tell it to the house of Israel. John, the Revelator, had a similar vision while in the Spirit on Patmos!
Thankful for John’s vision: “The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,ooo stadia in length, and as wide and high as it was long.” (Revelation 21:15-16)
Scripture reading for September 14th: Ezekiel 34-38
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 37:26-28 “‘I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put My sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when My sanctuary is among them forever.'”
God spoke to His people concerning a new covenant of peace that would last forever. God promised to make the covenant and dwell with His people in His sanctuary that would be in their midst, never to be taken away again! All nations would know that it is the Lord that makes His people, Israel, holy! Under this new covenant, Gentiles would also experience God dwelling with them as their God and they would be His people!
God’s dwelling with us: “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the Living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” 2nd Corinthians 6:16
Scripture reading for September 13th: Ezekiel 30-33
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 33:10-11 “”Son of Man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”‘ Say to them,’As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'”
God’s people were groaning from the consequences of their sins. The curse of broken law brings consequences as surely as gravity brings a falling object to the ground. Where was the remedy so God’s people could live? God declared His love for them by calling them to repent and believe in His grace! It was as simple as calling on Him for mercy and acknowledging their sins and turning from them! There is no other escape for sinners found in the Word of God.
Jesus called all to repentance: “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you pent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3-5)
Scripture reading for September 12th: Ezekiel 25-29
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 28:14-17 “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”
Ezekiel was given a prophesy for the King of Tyre. This prophesy seems to speak about a fallen created angel who became proud and was thrown out of heaven and down to earth. Ezekiel’s prophesy mirrors part of John’s vision in the 12th chapter of Revelation!
The God of Justice: “And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)
Scripture for September 11th: Ezekiel 21-24
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 22:29-31 “The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery: they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.” ” I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Me in the gap on behalf of the land so would not have to destroy it, but I found none.”
Ezekiel understood God’s heart of mercy for His people and His justice that called for repentance. The people knew God’s love for the poor and needy and the alien, but they mistreated them instead. God looked for just one man, to call His people back to repentance and obedience but found none in this critical time. Today God is looking for His people to be filled with faith and interceding for the lost and back-slidden! Will He find faith when He comes?
Intercessors needed: “And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:6-8)
Scripture reading for September 8th: Ezekiel 16-20
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 20:10-12 “Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert. I gave them My decrees and made known to them My laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. Also I gave them My Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.”
God told His people that He led them out of Egypt and revealed His holy laws and decrees to them so that through them they might really have life. One of these laws concerned the Sabbath–the seventh day of each week. The Sabbath was a sign to the Israelites that God had made them holy and set them apart to worship Him and belong to His family. Jesus Christ is our Lord of the Sabbath and through Him alone we enter into eternal rest and joy! He makes us holy and calls saints to rest in Him!
Ready to Rest! “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:12-13)
Scripture reading for September 7th: Ezekiel 12-15
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 12:21-25 “The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go by and every vision comes to nothing’? Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to put an end to this proverb and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say to them, “The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of Israel. But I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay.”
Ezekiel was told to tell God’s people that they had a proverb that was mocking God’s ability to fulfill His Word. He was not going to delay any longer out of mercy and patience. Soon, there would be a quick fulfillment with no more delay! That is prophetic for us in these last days as we are again warned by Peter, the Apostle!
Thankful for speedy fulfillment: “I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Ever since our fathers died everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” “. . . ./but the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (2nd Peter 3:2-4, 10)
Scripture reading for September 6th: Ezekiel 7-11
Key Scriptures: Ezekiel 11:17-19 “”Therefore say; ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. “”
Ezekiel had been given lots of warnings to deliver to the people of Israel, but God also gave promises of future faithfulness and restoration. God never wants His people to lose hope. Even though judgment would scatter them to the nations, God would again call them back to their nation and give them back their land. He would also give them an undivided heart and new spirit! This happened on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection and will be completely fulfilled in the millennium!
Paul’s Encouragement: “”I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited; Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it has been written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob.”” (Romans 11:25-26)