September 21, 2018

Ezekiel 24 reminds me of what Jesus concerning those who wanted to be his disciples.

Luke 14:26 (NLT) — 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

Jesus is saying if you want to follow me I must be your treasure. I must be the desire of your heart. Nothing should take precedence over me. Nothing should be more important to you than me.

In Ezekiel’s time the Lord wasn’t the treasure of the people any more. They love Jerusalem, they loved the temple and they loved themselves more than the Lord. They loved themselves so much that they weren’t even hiding the sinful things that they did. They did them out in the open for all to see. (vs:7). Kind of reminds you of the culture we live in. Nothing is hidden on the internet or in the movies. And you don’t see any shame or guilt. Remember the president who didn’t have sex with that girl? No shame. No guilt. There was no shame and no guilt among the Israelites either. I guess things haven’t changed much over the centuries.

Even though they were now in captivity they still didn’t turn to the Lord. Now the Lord’s anger boiled over and they would hear of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple which their false prophets said would never happen. But God is sovereign which they had forgotten.

In another object lesson the Lord would take Ezekiel’s wife in death. Ezekiel was not to shed tears or morn openly for his wife. She was a treasure to Ezekiel but not to be treasured above the Lord. Ezekiel would show that the Lord was his treasure by obeying all of the instruction of the Lord and he did. When the people would hear of the destruction of Jerusalem they would be to devastated to morn openly.

This is pretty heady stuff isn’t it? God takes himself seriously doesn’t he? God believes that he is all that we need in life. No matter what is taken away from us we still have God. Knowing and believing that is supposed to help us face anything this life may throw at us. Do you remember Job’s response when he lost everything?

Job 1:20–22 (NLT) — 20 Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. 21 He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” 22 In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

He didn’t fall to the ground to morn, mope and cry. He fell to the ground to worship. God was Job’s treasure. And because of that this is what God said about Job:

Job 1:8 (NLT) — 8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

God will not be satisfied with second place. Why will He not be satisfied with second place? Read the rest of the chapter >

Ezekiel 24:20–27 (NLT) — 20 So I said to them, “A message came to me from the Lord, 21 and I was told to give this message to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will defile my Temple, the source of your security and pride, the place your heart delights in. Your sons and daughters whom you left behind in Judah-will be slaughtered by the sword. 22 Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought by friends. 23 Your heads will remain covered, and your sandals will not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done. 24 Ezekiel is an example for you; you will do just as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.” 25 Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold—their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure—I will also take away their sons and daughters. 26 And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened. 27 And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

God is the Sovereign Lord and he will not be in second place. He is to be our joy, our glory, our heart’s desire and our dearest treasure. What ever takes God’s place in our hearts will eventually be taken away. So the question we must ask ourselves is: What is my dearest treasure? What is your dearest treasure. When I watch how I conduct my life I will know the answer. When you watch how you conduct your life you will know the answer.

“Holy Spirit show us what the dearest treasure in our lives is. If it is not our Lord Jesus help us to repent of this and remove it. Help us to be like Ezekiel and do all that the Sovereign Lord requires of us. We cannot do this on our own Holy Spirit, so we need your help. Help us to be content with Jesus. Thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Be Inspired Hilltop!