November 19, 2007

Ezekiel 20-21 - For the Sake of His Name

From today's Bible reading:

Ezekiel 20:

I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live.

I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.

I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.

I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols.

I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them.

I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD:

Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things?

When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day.

And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel?

As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.

What is in your mind shall never happen—the thought, Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.

As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you.

For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings.

As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.

And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.

And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed.

And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.

And the word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, set your face toward the southland; preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD:

Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.

Then I said, Ah, Lord GOD! They are saying of me, Is he not a maker of parables?

(Isn't that just an allegory or metaphor?)

Ezekiel 21:

The word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel and say to the land of Israel,

Thus says the LORD: Behold, I am against you and will draw my sword from its sheath and will cut off from you both righteous and wicked. Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north. And all flesh shall know that I am the LORD. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.

As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes. And when they say to you,
Why do you groan?
you shall say,
Because of the news that it is coming.

Every heart will melt, and all hands will be feeble; every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water.

Behold, it is coming, and it will be fulfilled, declares the Lord GOD.
And the word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord, say:

A sword, a sword is sharpened
and also polished,
sharpened for slaughter,
polished to flash like lightning!

And you, son of man, prophesy, and say,

Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach; say,

A sword, a sword is drawn for the slaughter. It is polished to consume and to flash like lightning—while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies for you—to place you on the necks of the profane wicked, whose day has come, the time of their final punishment. Return it to its sheath.

In the place where you were created, in the land of your origin, I will judge you. And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy.

You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land.

You shall be no more remembered, for I the LORD have spoken.

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