Friday, March 4, 2016

ISRAEL, THEN AND NOW

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 21-22

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Just outside ancient Ephesus in Turkey is this wall on which people have placed thousands of written prayers. It is said that Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived here in the home that John made for her. From the Cross, Jesus asked John to care for His widowed mother. Tradition says that John, unlike the people described in our key verse, took care of her needs. John stood “in the gap.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Ezekiel 22:29-30

The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

 

What did the people of Jerusalem do wrong? According to these two chapters, nearly everything! The leaders and many of the people consistently broke God’s laws for moral and social conduct, for religious practices and economic systems. Ezekiel, the prophet, had already been taken by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon in the second wave of captives. Life in Jerusalem continued. As Ezekiel writes in 21:21, the King of Babylon was at the crossroads of decision as to what he should do regarding the latest rebellion of King Zedekiah in Jerusalem. Zedekiah was in the process of making an alliance with Babylon’s arch enemy, Egypt. In contrast to the clear words of God’s prophets, Nebuchadnezzar was making his decisions based on divination practices such as described in the words, “He looks at the liver.” They would dissect a liver from an animal and look there for guidance. It sounds ridiculous to us, but what about the astrological charts in today’s newspaper? Ezekiel would’ve been willing to stand “in the gap” for Israel, but he was unable to return to Jerusalem. All he could do was obey God, and “sigh…with a breaking heart” (21:6), and speak his prophetic word from a distance.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for grace to do my best to “stand in the gap” for others. Grant me the empathy to “sigh…with a breaking heart” for people whose lives are broken because of economic circumstances (the poor and needy) and because of deliberate sin against You. Lead me, guide me, direct my ways in the ways of righteousness, I pray. Help me to speak up against those things that destroy people and to realize that actions speak louder than words. In the Name of Jesus, who wept over the needs of the people and took action to establish righteousness, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Yesterday, I promised to continue the “Make You Think” emphasis. Why would God call for a prophet’s word from human lips? Was it really necessary? Could He not have gone ahead and done what ever He wanted to do without someone speaking out His Word in advance? For His own reasons He involved free-will people in His decisions. I think that those words “free will” are the key to understanding the reason for prophecy. When a word of prophecy is spoken, God, who made man in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-30) and gave humanity “dominion” over the earth, waits for the permission of a spoken prophecy before taking “dominion” over human affairs. I have found it hard to get my mind around this.

There was one time only in my life that I believe I experienced the kind of Biblical prophecy experienced by Ezekiel. It was in Jerusalem. I was a member of the press corps covering President Carter’s last-ditch stand to conclude the treaty between Egypt and Israel known as the “Camp David Accords.” I won’t take the space to tell the story here, but it is in my latest book, This Far By Faith. It was a live statement on government radio stations, broadcasting with immediate translations into Hebrew and Arabic languages, covering the entire Middle East, including Iraq (Babylon) and Egypt (click here for a copy of my book). This is a very subjective judgment, but I believe that “word” rendered the ruler of the darkness of this world powerless to mess up God’s will for Israel and Egypt at that time.

Yours for the purpose of understanding a little bit more of the reason why God called prophets to speak out in advance of events,

David

P.S. Tomorrow, God willing, I want to write about the difference between New Testament prophecy and that of Ezekiel’s time. We must be very careful in this area. False doctrines have been taught and religious cults established by what has been called “prophecy.”

21 thoughts on “Friday, March 4, 2016

  1. the comments below were posted yesterday but I felt that they deserved to be read again today……

    “I never understood the need to ask the question What would Jesus do, since if you know the Lord the answer is obvious, Jesus would always choose to Love His Father with all his heart, mind and strength and love others as Himself. If one needs a reminder to do the same perhaps the better question would be, How would I treat Jesus if…. he was the one cutting me off in traffic, if he was the homeless man on the street, if he was the crying baby on the plane, if he was my child who just spill milk on the good carpet—etc– we all say we love Jesus, so the best way to prove it and do what Jesus would do is to treat everyone like they were Jesus”

    • Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of these we have done it unto Him. I bought Jesus a “Big Mack”! The person was very appreciative and shook my hand. There are lots of opportunities around these days.

      • God bless you Doreen! You are right! there are people living right here in Canada who need help, I#ve said it before, there are one quarter homeless people in Canada, these are people who are working, having children, some are working 3 jobs but do#t have enough money for the rent! God bless you Doreen and keep buying thos BIG MACS!

    • Yes, we are reminded that Jesus would love and welcome the Syrian refugees, Sah. Jesus is love and compassion.

      • we have 1/4 million homeless in Canada and some 126 First Nations Reservations that do not have water or proper sewage treatment plants!
        very concerned that there may be a war in Canada! the country is broke, the Syrian people arrive for free and receive up to 5 years of free rent, medical, dental coverage and education. Many of them are highly educated and are placed in very good places of employment!
        I have no way of changing the rules! I can only write letters and emphasize to help those already living in Canada, I have indicated to local officials that the loving thing to do is to help those who are already living here first, than reach out to others!

        • One of many videos to view and become aware.
          Yes, Jesus was and is Love and all that is Good and of God……..
          thhttp://go.clarionproject.org/numbers-full-film/

    • Amen, Donna M, to your comment from yesterday. We are reminded not to become angry and force our views on other people when they don’t agree with us in conversation. We are reminded to respect other people with love and kindness. We are reminded to pray lovingly for one another. We are reminded, most of all, that God loves us equally. He sees us as His children. He does not look down and say, “you are right, you are better than your sister or brother and therefore I love you more.” He loves us because He is love.

  2. David. TX for warning on sometimes “fleshly” prophecy….just last night I found a journal entry, wwhereby you phoned me live from a hotel with an invitation to your meeting.
    (God sends kisses from Heaven out of the blue.)
    Isaiah 61
    drh

  3. I can’t wait to read your comparison between old and new testament prophecy. It’s something i long to understand better! And I am so grateful that Jesus is that one who stands as that wall between us and God’s anger…our culture needs that so much.

    The west rightly points judgement on evil slaughter in other places, yet here in Canada we have tortured, murdered and torn apart our own living babies not yet born, because we have worshiped a woman’s “right” to independence as though it were divinely above the right of a child to live. Yes to freedom and independence and the right to choose, but not when it harms other human beings no matter how small or unseen!

  4. I have a special prayer request, this morning. Could saints please pray for Rev. Reynolds James. He is 95 years young, with pneumonia, and seeks prayer for God to heal and strengthen him. Please pray for the antibiotics he is on to kill the infection in his lungs. Pastor Reynolds is my favourite Pastor in the entire world. He and his family are well known by the Mainse family and have been a blessing in my life and the lives of so many saints in the area. Please God, lay your mighty hand upon and heal him. We know that by Your stripes we are healed. Thank you saints for your prayers.

    Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:12

    I Believe You Are My Healer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-frSfQiVOo

    • In agreement with your prayer for Pastor Reynolds James, Beverlee. For Our Lord’s healing Power to flow through him.

  5. Amen, we join you in prayer Beverlee for this dear Pastor that you would heal him. We thank you Lord that he has been such a blessing in Beverlee’s life and many more. May the antibiotics really work as well and You will raise him up to good health again, in Your Name, our healer. Amen!

    • Agreeing with you in prayer Ger, for dear Reverend Reynolds. Thanks you Lord for this dear servant, help him to feel your presence and your healing balm. In the name of our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Amen.

  6. That verse of standing in the gap has always spoken to me over the years but I’m afraid I don’t do it enough. Blessings always!

  7. The picture above showing the wall in Turkey, covered in prayer requests
    to God, is very moving.
    May our Heavenly Father the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us all
    in this world, I pray in His Holy Name, Amen!

  8. Thank you Pastor David for explaining God has Prophets prophecying. Awesome thought!!!

    Thanks Reynold for the interesting photo…looks like a messy clothes line.

    David awaiting your thoughts on the difference between New Testament Prophecy and Ezekiel’s time.

    Ezekiel though hard to read…reveals God’s faithfulness and love for them.

    We have and AWESOME GOD!!!

    I love You Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, Oh my soul rejoice; take joy my King in what you hear may a be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear!!!

  9. Please pray for the Alberta Government.

    They have set forth Bill 10 regarding our schools and what our children, parents, and teachers will be subjected to. A Bill which is “insane” Please pray for God’s reversal of that Bill: and for our children not to be exposed to such confusion!!! Thank You.

  10. Hi David,
    I love reading you blog. Love the photos and the comments.
    In this blog you say to click on the link to order your book This Far By Faith.

    I ordered you book This Far By Faith a way back in Aug 7/15. In Jan. 27/16 I got an e-mail from Christian Book Distributors saying, Unfortunately, we’re unable to fill your order for the items listed below. The publisher/manufacturer has recently notified us that this item is no longer available.

    I’m just wondering if maybe it is back in print. Please advise.

    Thanks
    Diane

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