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Ezekiel chapter 16 compares the sins of Jerusalem to those of Sodom! These are bold comparisons, as you know the story of Sodom and the wipeout there. The Israelites were in relationship with God - they should have known better - hence the Sodom comparison. Verse 49 stood out to me in this chapter "Sodom's sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door." The interesting thing to note is that Sodom's social injustice sins are highlighted here - rather that their sexual sins. Sodom was not taking care of the poor. And nor was Jerusalem at this time of the 6th century B.C. What about in our world today? Are there poor and needy suffering outside our door today? Are we not taking care of them because of our pride, laziness, or gluttony? Where is our "door"? Who is our neighbor? What will you do?
Ezekiel chapter 17 is a great story of the two eagles! This is basically a story of the city of Jerusalem's vacillating foreign policy between Babylon and Egypt. The first eagle is King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and the treaty Jerusalem makes w/ Babylon is in the story. Then, the second eagle represents a pharaoh from Egypt, whom Jerusalem makes another treaty with subsequently, which goes against Babylon. The bad part of this is that the Babylon treaty was sworn to by the king of Jerusalem/Judah in the Lord's name - then broken. This is a very bad idea to swear something in the Lord's name and then not uphold it... Below is a map to give you a quick snapshot of the Babylonian empire, Judah, and Egypt at this time:
The close of this chapter is phenomenal when it takes a Messianic turn, foreshadowing Jesus in verses 22 and 23: "And the Sovereign LORD says: I will take a tender shoot from the top of a tall cedar, and I will plant it on the top of Israel's highest mountain. It will become a noble cedar, sending forth its branches and producing seed. Birds of every sort will nest in it, finding shelter beneath its branches." Do these verses sound like Jesus to you?
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of Matthew West's song "Save a Place for me:"
Have you taken the place at the table God has saved for you? Click here and sit down!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you from today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Grace, love, peace, and joy!
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