(The following are reflections from the writer’s personal journey through The Bible Recap by Tara-Leigh Cobble – a Bible reading plan to read the Bible chronologically in one year. To learn more about The Bible Recap, visit thebiblerecap.com. Find more posts from this series at lifeword.org/thebiblerecap.)
Day 246: Read Ezekiel Chapters 23-24
Day 247: Read Ezekiel Chapters 25-27
Yesterday, we had two sinful sisters and the death of Ezekiel’s wife all as metaphors for what God is going to do to His people. YIKES. These were very vivid and descriptive.
I am not going to lie—I thought it was unfair to take Ezekiel’s wife. I know it comes with a purpose. I get that. But, man oh man, she might have been Ezekiel’s only comfort and friend while he was making all these prophecies! And now, she’s gone and he can only mourn in private.
On top of that, he’s now mute. (On a side note, I feel like he needs to be a man I hug extra when I get to heaven.)
And today, we have heavy predictions against pagan nations who have hurt God’s people, whether in word or deed. And let’s just say, God is coming after them and the way they have hurt His kids! I love His protective nature.
And the one He’s really focusing in on is Tyre. Basically, they are an island that will be at the bottom of the sea when He’s done.
And He’s not done talking to them today—tomorrow, there’s more harsh words for its king.
Not many good feels for today’s reading, friends! I am just glad I am on Team God, and I can get His mercy and grace at every step of the way. I am also thankful that God warns and warns before He follows through with discipline when I can’t/won’t see my sins. And, I am thankful that when He disciplines, it comes with love and restoration.
Day 248: Read Ezekiel Chapters 28-30
Today, Ezekiel was prophesying against other nations…and God was coming after them!
Tyre’s king’s pride was similar to another’s pride: Lucifer’s. Lucifer was thrown out of heaven due to his pride, and Tyre’s king will be dealt a violent death because of his pride. Over the years of Bible studies and sermons, these verses have been used much to show us what happened with Lucifer in heaven.
Another country and king on God’s radar: Egypt. He flat-out says, “I am against you! I am going to bring a sword against you and cut off both people and animals from you.” After 40 years of desolation, God does promise to bring them back and restore them! They will be a small nation—not ruling over others again. They will never be a nation Israel turns to trust again. God is going to use King Nebby to accomplish His plans.
My God Shot was like Tara-Leigh’s: God hates pride! The amount of detail and strong words against Tyre’s king was shocking! It’s still as strong today in our world as it was then. My former preacher used to say that more people won’t make it to heaven out of pride. It’s the big sin. The root of many sins. (If not all?)
Day 249: Read Ezekiel Chapters 31-33
It’s never easy being a watchman on the wall. You have to be intentional and observant. You have to keep watch over those who aren’t paying attention. And, you have to warn when you see trouble coming.
It’s that part right there that I think can be the toughest for the watchman. Prophets are watchmen. Preachers are watchmen. We can even fall into this category, as followers of Yahweh.
Watchmen see, they warn, they point to God, and they try to save their people. And even if their people don’t listen, they have done their job and won’t be held accountable if the people don’t listen to them. It’s when they don’t warn, they don’t point, they don’t sound the alarm that God holds them accountable.
Ezekiel’s life has been about being the watchman. And Jeremiah. And Isaiah. We have seen in the study that it’s a hard life. No one is inviting you to the party!
But, it’s also a life that God pours into and sustains. He strengthens them and they have the nearness of His presence.
Toward the end of our reading, Ezekiel is released from being mute after Jerusalem falls. And the people come to Ezekiel, perhaps realizing that His prophecies came true. They come and sit to listen more to him. But, their hearts are still far from Him. Though they appear passionate in their actions, there hasn’t been repentance or a heart change. They hear his words but don’t obey them. It reminds me of church—people come, sit, and look passionate on the outside…but their heart is not engaged.
My God Shot is how fair God is: He doesn’t look surface level, but the heart level. He takes the time to use examples to show this point: you may look righteous on the outside, but unless there is a change in your words and actions that reflect a repentant heart, you will be judged.
Day 250: Read Ezekiel Chapters 34-36
Today held one of my favorite verses to pray for my people!
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statues and carefully observe my ordinances…you will be my people and I will be your God.”Ezekiel 36:26-28
I think there’s something special and powerful to pray for our hearts. I remember that during a study I did on David, I prayed that God would reveal anything in my heart that was holding me back with Him. Wowza. Let’s just say that He did. That was a hard season.
And, it’s these verses that address the heart too! I pray that God would take those stony areas of sin out of my people’s hearts (and mine too!) and replace them with hearts that want to follow Him and obey Him. Hearts that respond to conviction. Hearts that are repentant. Hearts that grieve sin. Hearts that want to do better.
Day 251: Read Ezekiel Chapters 37-39
In many of these prophet readings, God does something I love: He doesn’t waste an opportunity to remind His people that He can do anything!
- He can bring dry bones to life.
- He can take down an entire army before His people (This reminds me of King Jehoshaphat and his praise band going to face their enemy in battle…and God already had annihilated them!)
- He will demonstrate His holiness to nations all around. (This makes me think of Egypt and the ten plagues, as well as the parting of the Red Sea!)
- He fights for His people!
Today felt like a dad reminding his child that punishment won’t last forever—that it will serve to change the child’s heart and he will bless that child in the end. He takes care of His people! We all need reminders when life is tough, whether it’s because of our actions or others’. God reminds His people that He loves them—they are His people (whether or not they acknowledge that), and He is their God.
Today was a reminder from God that He is sovereign and that He can do the impossible—even change His people’s stubborn, stony hearts to tender, fleshy hearts to follow Him.
Day 252: Read Ezekiel Chapters 40-42
Today was one of those days that your eyes can swim among the numbers!
After I stopped trying to get track of all the measurements, I panned out to the bigger picture: God is telling His kids, amid 25 years of exile, that He has plans to bring them back home. It’s a reminder that He’s got plans for rebuilding and restoration.
I did LOVE Tara-Leigh’s God Shot about the Eastern Gate—if you didn’t read it, check it out! My favorite part was this:
“One of the accusations people make to Christianity is that it’s exclusive. But, the gospel of Christ isn’t exclusive; it’s just specific. It says, “Here is the truth. All who believe in the truth are invited in.” The Truth, the Way in, and the Life everlasting is Jesus. He’s the only way to the Father. The walls aren’t to keep people out; they’re to show who has come in! The Way is open, and He’s where the joy is!”
Not our good works. Not our words. But, our hearts. Our hearts need to belong to Jesus to come into God’s presence. Beautiful.