Scripture: Ezekiel 20-21. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Ezekiel begins Chapter 20 by giving a scene of Israel’s history of rebellion against God. He also gives the message that God’s people alone are responsible for the trials and tribulations they have experienced. God had very clearly warned the Israelites about the consequences of disobedience, but they disobeyed anyways, experiencing devastating consequences. Ezekiel 21 begins to introduce the messages about the judgments that were going to fall upon Jerusalem. Follow along in Ezekiel 20-21!
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
From the very beginning, God had warned Israel about the consequences of their disobedience to Him. If we choose to live our lives apart from God, we, too, may experience destructive consequences. God punishes us because He loves us and is trying to draw us back and closer to Him. The people had been worshiping idols and giving gifts to God at the same time. Oftentimes, we, as sinners, give God gifts in church or in the act of volunteering, but we still hold on to the pleasures of life, not wanting to miss out on the possible benefits of money, power, or pleasure. God wants to be in complete control of our lives and wants our wholehearted devotion. Ezekiel had grown discouraged, and God gave Him another message to share with the people. We, also, must not give up, and we must continue to do the tasks that God has called us to do. He has promised to reward His faithful servants. When we serve others, we might just find the refreshing renewal that we need. 🙂 God works in mysterious, amazing ways.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Thank You for the Book of Ezekiel and the lessons that come from each chapter. Father, we know that we are sinners, and we ask for Your forgiveness. Please help us to always follow Your ways for us, obeying and praising You through all circumstances in our lives. Please help us to love and obey You wholeheartedly. Please help us to love our enemies and to forgive those who have hurt us, as well. Please be with those who have rejected You, and help them to return to You, Father, before judgement. Help us to treat others with kindness, and help us to show the same traits to others as You do, following Your example. Help us to trust in Your care and provision in each of our lives. Even though we do not always get what we want in life, we know that You know what is best for us. Please help us to draw near to You, and please protect us from giving in to the pressures of this fallen world. We want to live Godly lives. When we face struggles in this life, Father, please help us to call upon You. Help us also to be more compassionate toward others who are struggling in this evil world, as well. Help us to be Your hands and feet in this world, and guide us in the right paths for our lives. Help us to trust in Your timing for our lives, and help us not to grow impatient. We thank You for Your son Jesus who died to free us from the slavery of our sins. Thank You for the unique gifts and talents that You give to each one of us; help us to work in unity with others to accomplish Your plan. Thank You for the promise of one day living in eternity with You. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.