Visions of the altar fire; judgment upon lying leaders; captivity near.
Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house . . . And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city (Ezek. 10:18; 11:23).
The Israelites had turned to various forms of idol worship and God would no longer dwell in their midst. Just like Israel, we may also turn our confidence and dependence to other things or people besides God. This process does not happen overnight. It is a common thing to seek counsel from someone we respect and look for guidance in other places besides God and His Word. But when we study the Word of God, we find that leaning on other things separates us from God. It should be the world from which we separate. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (II Cor. 6:17).
In a vision, Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord (Ezek. 10:18) depart from over the Holy of Holies and move slowly toward the exit of the Temple. Finally, His presence departed from the city and went to the Mount of Olives, lingering there for a while, as if waiting to see if Israel would repent and return to Him. But no one seemed to recognize that the Lord had withdrawn His presence from their midst.
It is amazing how far away from God our lives can be and yet we still deceive ourselves into thinking everything is fine. If we turn our backs on God, or place our trust on other things, we can't expect God to always be there whenever we are ready to meet Him. He is not a slave to mankind in that we can do anything we want, and expect Him to have His blessings on it. We cannot expect to live our lives serving our own carnal desires and still think we are serving God. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24). We must make God the sole Master of our lives and serve Him only.
Israel lost their most precious possession — the presence of the Lord. They could no longer say: In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16:11).
May it not be said of you or me: This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me (Matt. 15:8).
Thought for Today:
Unless we are submissive to God's Word, worship is empty and useless.
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).
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.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Donna Bell • Staff: Chris Robison • Government Official: Rep. John W. Olver (MA) • Country: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) (19 million) an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India • Major languages: Sinhala and Tamil • Christianity suppressed • 69% Buddhist; 15% Hindu; 8% Christian (mostly Catholic); 7% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God daily for mercy (Ps. 86:3).
Optional Reading: Revelation 8
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:2-3