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Stay on mission

Stay on Mission.

It is easy to get sidetracked in this world, isn’t it? But God wants us to stay on mission and to be His watchman.

Of all the things we dread in this world, the fear of God is greater. We will answer to Him how we lived. We need to warn people and help them understand the heart of God in their suffering so that they, too, can escape judgment and live worthy lives.

We are back in the book of Ezekiel today.

Bible Reading Plan Day #185:Ezekiel 31-36

God is telling Ezekiel to share with Egypt a message about a metaphor of Assyria as a tree. Assyria was no more despite it being one of the most beautiful nations. This was to serve as a warning to the other nations, specifically to Egypt in this chapter.

God is the one Who made both Assyria and Egypt beautiful, strong, and prosperous!

:9 “I made it beautiful with its many limbs.”

Stay on Mission—Be Aware of Pride.

The judgment on Assyria came because of the pride and wickedness of Assyria. This same pride and wickedness were found in Egypt, as it says in Ezekiel 31:9-10 (NET):

“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because Egypt became proud and arrogant, and because it set itself so high above the others, with its top reaching to the clouds, I will hand it over to a mighty nation that will destroy it as its wickedness deserves. I have already discarded it.”

In Ezekiel 32 there are several significant phrases I noticed being repeated.

Ezekiel 32:24, “Now they will bear their shame with those who descend to the Pit.”

In Ezekiel 32:25, “They bear their shame along with those who descend to the Pit; they are placed among the dead.”

Ezekiel 32:30, “Despite their might they have gone down in shameful terror with the dead. They lie uncircumcised with those killed by the sword, and bear their shame with those who descend to the Pit.”

Stay on Mission – A Warning of Shame

  • This refrain is a mantra – a warning that shame and death are coming: they will bear their shame with those who descend to the Pit.”
  • No one likes shame. Shame is induced by an audience and the fear of man.
  • We cannot get rid of shame by denying it or covering it up. It remains unless we deal with it biblically.

And the people who this warning is to?

This is a refrain, as well, it is to nations who once spread terror in the land of the living.

  • Assyria in verse 23: “All of them struck down by the sword, those who spread terror in the land of the living.”
  • Elam in verse 24 and also in 25, “They went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, those who spread terror in the land of the living. Now they will bear their shame with those who descend to the Pit.”
  • Meshech and Tubal who were merchants mentioned in Ezekiel 27:13 who traded persons (slavery) and brass, “All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword, for they spread their terror in the land of the living.”
  • The warriors in verse 27 also brought terror in the land of the living.

Man’s Power Will End

Man thinks he is powerful, but his end will be destruction unless he changes his ways. I think the Bible repeats these phrases to get our attention. We need to wake up and realize that how we are living now has eternal consequences. Power in this world is temporary. Better to use any power we have surrendered to the LORD.

Because in Ezekiel 32:32, those who spread terror will know what real terror is from God Himself:

“Indeed, I terrified him in the land of the living, yet he will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with those killed by the sword, Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

Fear God, Not Man.

Friends, we live in a day and age where people are trying to exert terror over other people. But remember the admonition of Matthew 10:28,

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Friends, as it says in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Other translations say dreadful, fearful, terrible. There is nothing worse.

Don’t dread man. Dread judgment from God if you are abusing His grace.

Reading from Hebrews 10 in a little more context:

26 “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.””

Stay on Mission—Don’t Abuse the Grace of God.

Y’all, just because we are under grace does not mean we can abuse that grace. Just because we have been forgiven does not mean we don’t still need to repent and examine ourselves. The judgment in the book of Ezekiel might seem like it does not apply to us, but God’s judgment is still coming. We will stand before Him and be judged. Here are a few Scriptures speaking to this judgment:

Stay on Mission—We Will All Be Judged.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (NLT), “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

Job 34:11, “For according to a man’s deeds, He repays him; according to a man’s ways, He brings consequences.”

Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.”

Romans 2:5, “But because of your hard and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

Acts 17:31, “Because He has fixed a day on which He will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed, and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.”

No one likes to hear that judgment word today, right? Man likes to be his own God. But God has a problem with that. In humility, when we understand He is still holy, it will affect the way we live.

Christ bore the judgment of those who are in Him. Such good news! But we are accountable for what we did with what He gave. Which brings us to Ezekiel 33.

The calling of Ezekiel is a calling for us all. Will we stay on mission and be a watchman for sinners, to show them the grace of God that has come to all men?

Stay on Mission—Be a Watchman.

Ezekiel 33:7-10, “As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman[h] for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must warn them on my behalf. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you must certainly die,’[i] and you do not warn the wicked about his behavior, the wicked man will die for his iniquity, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 9 But if you warn the wicked man to change his behavior, and he refuses to change, he will die for his iniquity, but you have saved your own life.”

Stay on Mission—Guard Against Distractions

Life’s drama can be a distraction, but we need to wake up and realize we don’t live for this world. Don’t let all the shiny objects in this world lull you away from God. Don’t let life’s worries or man’s terrors keep you from God.

Seek after God and stay on mission, friends. The Scripture of the day follows the verses I just read.

Scripture of the Day: Ezekiel 33:10-11 

“10 Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?”

Don’t we see this today? People question God and wonder why suffering is allowed in.

We need to impart the message of Ezekiel. God does not want them to suffer. He wants them to repent and draw near. Hardship does not mean God does not love them. We need to encourage ourselves and others not to live for comfort or for this world, but to live to know and make known the One Who created us.

In Ezekiel 34, there is a warning to shepherds and a promise for God to be our Shepherd and to care for us. Then in Ezekiel 35, there is the judgment of Edom. Finally, in Ezekiel 36 we see the beautiful defense of God for His people and the restoration of Israel.

God is our righteousness. He will complete the work.

Ezekiel 36:24-28

“24 “‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. 25 I will sprinkle you with pure water, and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative, and you will obey my statutes[u] and carefully observe my regulations. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.”

Have you accepted His salvation?

Application

  • We wouldn’t have shame if we did not have an audience.
  • Fear God more than man.
  • We cannot get rid of shame by denying it or covering it up. It remains unless we deal with it biblically.
  • The deeds on earth will be judged. Man sins and is filled with pride thinking they will live forever, but, friends, let COVID-19 and the deaths surrounding this virus be a wake-up call to us all. Our time here is short.
  • Stay on mission. God is coming soon. These warnings from Scripture are real.
  • We need to warn people and help them understand the heart of God.
  • The warning is not about a bunch of rules, but about the deceitfulness of sin and the consequences of living a sinful life.
  • Variations of the refrain, “then you will know that I am the LORD” appear in these chapters of Ezekiel. May we be faithful to share the salvation of God so people will know that He is the LORD NOW.

7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Day #185:Ezekiel 31-36

Scripture of the Day: Ezekiel 33:10-11

Listen: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Ezek.31

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Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/

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