Bible Pathway - Sept. 3, 2011


Read Ezekiel 10


Ezekiel describes his vision of God the Creator, who is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Heb. 13:8; see Ezek. chaps. 1 & 10; Rev. chaps. 1 & 4). God provides a new Spirit within us to correct us (Ezek. 11:19-20). False prophets are warned that follow their own spirit (not the Holy Spirit) (13:3).

In a vision God gave Ezekiel, the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the House (Temple) (Ezek. 10:18). The presence of God departed from within the Holy of Holies and moved slowly toward the exit of the Temple. Because the Israelites had included various forms of detestable idol worship, God could not remain and share His glory with false gods: I the Lord . . . am a jealous God (Ex. 20:5).

Brokenhearted, His presence hesitatingly departed from the city and went to the Mount of Olives, lingering there for a while as though waiting to see if Israel would repent and return to Him.

As the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city (Ezek. 11:23), Israel lost their most precious possession — the presence of the Lord. They were headed for disaster. They could no longer say: In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16:11).

God again gave Ezekiel a prophecy that reached far into the future. It is thrilling to know that Ezekiel was also speaking to Christians. After Christ died on the cross, arose from the grave, and ascended to heaven, God the Holy Spirit came to dwell in all Christians: I will put a new Spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in My Statutes (various observances), and keep Mine Ordinances (My Commandments), and do them: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God (Ezek. 11:19-20; also 36:26-27).

Christians are made kings and priests unto God (Rev. 1:6) and are obligated by our high calling as ambassadors for Christ (II Cor. 5:20) to manifest the righteousness of God. As we bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (10:5), our conversation and conduct will bring honor to our Lord. At all times we need to keep our thoughts in submission to Christ so that we will be prepared for His coming.

Let us pray for each other, that in ever-growing measure this may be the one purpose of our hearts and the joy of our lives.

We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure (I John 3:2-3).

Thought for Today:

Let us draw near with a true heart . . . sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb. 10:22).

Christ Revealed:

As the One who gives a new Spirit (Ezek. 11:19). This is the promise fulfilled when we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts (Gal. 4:4-7).

Word Studies:

12:3 stuff for removing belongings to take into exile; 12:23 effect of every vision fulfillment, every prophecy will come to pass; 13:9 upon against; 13:18 women that sew pillows to all armholes false prophetesses who sew magic charms upon the wrists of garments; 13:21 kerchiefs veils; 13:23 divine divinations practice witchcraft visions.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. John Olver (MA) • Country: Turkey (64 million) in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe • Major languages: Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic • Official resistance to Christian witnessing • 79% Sunni Muslim; 20% Alawi Shi'ite Muslim; .2% Christian; .04% Jewish (25,000); .09% Armenian Orthodox; .02% Syrian Orthodox; .02% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for forgiveness for particular sins (Ps. 51:1-9).

Optional Reading:

Revelation 8

Memory Verse for the Week:

2 Timothy 3:4-5
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