Today is Tuesday September 07, 2010 and we are reading through the Bible in a year. Today's message comes from the reading of the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 22-24. If you would like to read the chapters along with us here online you can Click Here to read them or copy & paste this link onto your browser: http://www.imfollowingjesus.com/bible-september-7
Today's Message: Being Faithful To God
As we read the Word of God, the Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts and enables us to live in the will of God, accept the chastening of God, and to give up the things in our lives that defile our minds, bodies, and souls. Satan is constantly seducing us with things that corrupt us and wreck our relationship with God. In order to keep from being seduced we must allow Christ to be the only Lord of our lives, then in the midst of all the destruction that is taking place we can be safe, secure, and protected knowing that Christ is always there to strengthen us and do His perfect will. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” - Romans 12:1,2.
For years Ezekiel had prophesied about the final destruction of Jerusalem. The time of judgment was now set and the destruction of the Holy City would be brought about, not by fate, as the world would see it, but as the result of their unfaithfulness to God. “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations. Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.” - Ezekiel 22:1-5. What God is saying here is that they (Israel) have been unfaithful, by worshiping the false gods that the heathens worshiped. The blood shed, man made idols, and the abominable acts they have committed were all an abomination to God. In addition their destruction they will be publicly known and mocked by all the heathen nations. Today, we too are being mocked by heathen nations as we continually defile our own, shed innocent blood shed, and worship man made idols. (e.g. Virgin Mary, Buddha). God is the God of the living, not the dead, therefore, we are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, not a dead one. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” - Romans 12:1
God often explains things in parables, a parable is a short story that teaches a moral lesson. You will often hear of God using parables of adultery as describing unfaithfulness to Him. You see, the second we accept Christ as our Savior we enter into a relationship with Him, a spiritual marriage so to speak. Just like a husband and wife say vows that join them together as one, when we pray and ask Jesus to save us we say a vow to Him that joins us together as one. If you were ever in a relationship and found out that your mate was unfaithful to you it devastates you, you feel angry, ashamed, and betrayed. Well, this is how God feels whenever we do things that break our vow with Him. Now, once you are saved you are always saved, but that does not mean that you will not suffer the consequences for being unfaithful to God. No one escapes the consequences of being unfaithful. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” - Hebrews 12:11.
Ezekiel's message was illustrated by a parable of two unfaithful sisters, Aholah and Aholibah, who were prostitutes. They were representing the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel. “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours,...Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands. For thus saith the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled.” - Ezekiel 23:2-5,44-46. These two women represented the nations that seduced heathen nations and are now defiled by them. Aholah, which means, her own tabernacle, represents Samaria and Israel, these were man made places of worship devised of their own thinking. Aholibah, which means, my tabernacle is in her, represents Jerusalem and Judah, and these were place of worship which God himself had chosen to put his name there. America is supposed to be a nation under God, yet we are playing the harlot and falling right into Satan's trap each time we align ourselves with heathen nations.
Soon, the people realized that those who prophesied of prosperity and their soon return to Jerusalem had deceived them. The Israelites acceptance of false gods and indifference to their own sins had brought upon them the slaughter of their sons and daughters, just as it had been foretold by Jeremiah in Jerusalem and by Ezekiel in Babylon. They had been cast into "the furnace," so to speak, in order to purge them of idol worship and bring them into recognition of and submission to the Word of God. “ Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.” - Ezekiel 24:9-13 . Silver must go through the refiner's fire several times before all impurities are removed. God's people are described as silver taken from the ground. It is only precious and valuable after worthless elements of the ground are removed.
Today, Christ is lovingly purifying His people and removing all the worthless elements from us as we remain faithful to Him. “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” - Hebrews 12:6,7. Now, God is not saying that we have to worship Him 24/7, although from time to time that would be a good thing, but He does want us to remain faithful and worship only Him. Every time a game, hobby, or even a career is chosen over God we are worshiping it over Him. We do not have to stop doing these things, but we need to let God know that He comes first. “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” - Psalm 37:4. God blesses faithfulness. Praise God!
Enjoy the rest of your day/night and have and awesome week.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,