I am using One Year Bible Online for my daily Bible study. For today, One Year Bible Online links here. I have found that by writing this daily blog of what I see when I read these scriptures, I get more out of them. I hope that by posting these ruminations others may get some benefit as well. In order to make that possible I read the passages and write my thoughts a day in advance. If you have any thoughts or comments regarding these verses or what I have written about them, please post them.
Ezekiel was with the Judean exiles in Babylon when he received a vision from God. There are times when there is much to be made of the symbolism of Ezekiel’s vision. However, today what I saw was that when God speaks to us, He makes Himself clear. If we are not sure what God is saying to us, it is usually because we do not want to hear what He has to say.
I saw something in this passage that I have never seen before. Something that is vitally important to us as Christians today and is a word for me (and perhaps for me to share with another). God tells Ezekiel to first listen to His words and apply them in his own heart. It is only after the words which God is giving to Ezekiel have sunk into his own heart and wrought their changes there that Ezekiel is to speak them to his fellow exiles. The same applies to us. When God gives us a prophetic word or vision, first we need to let it sink deep into our own heart. Before we speak to others about the visions, prophecies, or messages that God gives us we need to think about how they apply to us, because, in one way or another, they do apply to us.
Today’s passage is a reminder to listen when God speaks to us. We must be careful not to harden out hearts when His Spirit convicts us of sin. It is all too easy to try to justify our sins and refuse to acknowledge that they are sin. Every time we do that we make it harder to hear and respond to God’s voice.
We must spend time with our fellow believers who can warn us when we start to justify our wrongdoing as the right thing to do…and we must call out our fellow believers when they start to justify their sin as God’s will. There is a give and take in this. We must be willing to listen when others point out that we have sinned and turn back to following God’s ways, but we must, also, be willing to point out to our brothers and sisters in the Lord when they are sinning and call them back to following God’s ways. Both of these must be done with love and humility.
Today’s psalm continues the theme of praising the Lord. It lists the ways in which God has displayed His power and His glory. It reminds me how much spending time in natural surroundings brings me close to God.
Today’s proverbs continue the theme of how evil people disguise their wickedness by deceitful words and actions. We are warned not to be deceived by their charm. We are also told that despite their deceitfulness and prevarication, their evil will be revealed to all.