Today is Wednesday September 08, 2010 and we are reading through the Bible in a year. Today's message comes from the reading of the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 25-28. 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
Today's Message: The Power of God's Voice
As I was driving home this morning I looked up at the sky and saw something amazing, it was as if part of the sky was erased, a perfect line went across the clouds, everything else was gray below the line, but above it was blue sky and clouds. Did you ever take a picture and part of the edge had been whited out? Well, this is what the sky looked like. It is incredible the power of God's voice, all He has to do is speak a command and instantly it happens. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” - Genesis 1:3. His voice is just as powerful when we call on Jesus to save us, the second we confess to God that we are sinners God is listening and by the time we say Amen, God says, “You now eternal life” Praise God! God loves His people and He truly does want the best for them, that is why He places circumstances before us and chastises us from time to time.
Since most of the Southern Kingdom of Israel was taken captive by Babylon it must have seemed like God was done with them, but He really wasn't, He was saving them from the destruction and preparing them for their return to the promised land. Now, because of the destruction that took place all the surrounding nations were gloating and mocking them over what was going on, the world loves to see a great God nation fall. Because of their behavior, God was now angry at them. Through Ezekiel, God said, “Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them; And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity; Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couching place for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel; Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.” - Ezekiel 25:2-7. It is evil and wicked to make fun of and rejoice over others judgment, especially of God's people. God will show His people and the heathen nations that He is still the God of Israel, though He suffers them for a time to be captives in Babylon. It is better to know Him, and to be poor, than to be rich and ignorant of him. Praise God!
The prophetic judgments against Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia were comparatively short, but a detailed prophecy concerning the destruction of Tyre was given to Ezekiel by God, “Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up...And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.” - Ezekiel 26:2,3,12-14. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre for 13 years and fully destroyed the city, which was on the mainland. More than two centuries later, Alexander the Great also besieged the capital city of Tyre, which had been rebuilt on an island nearly half a mile from the mainland. Since Alexander had no fleet, his force used stones, timber, and dirt from the ruins of the first ancient walled city to build a causeway 200 feet wide to reach the island. After the Chaldean invasion under Nebuchadnezzar, Tyre never regained independence and was never again a prominent nation. Once again, God spoke and things happened.
God did not want to see Israel destroyed and all His people scattered everywhere, but as a nation, they refused to eliminate the heathens, gods, and idols that were an abomination to everything He stood for, so, He had no other choice, but to let them face the consequences of their actions. Here comes God's promise, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.” - Ezekiel 28:25,26. When God does chastise us, it does not last forever, and even though we may not understand the blessing at the time, we truly are blessed through it. Praise God!
At times it seems as though we are being chastised for no reason and that God is not listening and speaking with His voice, but the truth is He is always listening and speaking to us. Jesus constantly said this phrase in some form, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” - Mark 7:16. All we have to do to hear God is to listen for Him with our ears. It seems as though we can have selective hearing when it comes to God speaking to us though. I have a problem eating food that contains white flour in it. More often then none I catch myself saying, “One meal will not hurt” God warns me, “Do not eat it,” but I do anyway and even the tiniest bit consumed hurts me because He told me not to eat it in the first place. Praise God, that He is forgiving and does not punish me too much longer when I seek His forgiveness. He is not just that way with me, He is that way with everyone, especially if they are faithful to Him. God knows that we will sin from time to time, but He knows our hearts and as long as we keep our hearts right with Him, He will not only help us fix the sin, but bless us even more for being truthful and faithful to Him, even if we have sinned. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” - Colossians 2:12-14. Praise God!
Enjoy the rest of your day/night and week.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,