Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 10 November 18:
1. Ezekiel 17:18 – “He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape.” God expects His people to keep the promises they make to both believers and unbelievers.
2. Ezekiel 18:4 – “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.” God holds everyone accountable for their own actions.
3. Ezekiel 18:20 – “The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.” Neither sin nor salvation are transferable from one generation to the next. Your relationship with God is between you and God.
4. Ezekiel 18:20-25 — “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.”
– People are often judged by others because of their family backgrounds, and many social groups hate each other because of conflicts that occurred between past generations. God does not accept this and demands that we hold people accountable for their actions only.
– Chapter 18 is all about accountability. We are all responsible for our own actions; we all stand before Judgment alone, and there are no excuses. Stop blaming heredity, environment, chemicals, or circumstances for your sins. Repent, have a changed heart. Remember too that it is not how you start but how you finish that counts. Don’t worry about your past sins, and be sure to NEVER return to them. Don’t worry about what is not in your control (uncontrollable circumstances), but only what is in your control – your response to circumstances. Be faithful with today, one day at a time.
5. Ezekiel 18:23, 32 — “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”
– God wants all sinners to repent. He has commanded you to send that message.
– God does not desire that anyone should suffer or be lost. He does not reject men, men reject Him. People suffer the consequences of sin and then blame God for it or even deny His existence – “If there were a God, He wouldn’t let these things happen.” We suffer in a world torn apart by sin, and we add to the pain by sinning ourselves. Some argue that God is not just while they themselves could not stand before His righteous judgment. In fact it is only by God’s mercy that we don’t face His total judgment. As the Bible says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) In today’s readings from Ezekiel God says, “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now.., Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just…? Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life…. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” Again the Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
— Revelation 3:20 — Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
6. Ezekiel 18:27, 28 – “Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.” Both in the Old Testament and New Testament, people had a hard time accepting the fact that God offers complete forgiveness to all people equally, regardless of how terribly they have sinned and regardless of how late in life they accept His forgiveness. It doesn’t seem fair to the person who has diligently sought to please the Lord his whole life that a person who has sinned greatly his whole life could, in the end, receive the same forgiveness. However, God wants all people to be saved. His desires should be our desires. We should rejoice when the wicked are saved.
7. Proverbs 10 – The Bibles warns of the results of violence (6, 11), the consequences of ungodly gain (16, 24), the results of hard-headedness (8, 13-14, 17), the dangers of talking too much (19), and the importance of obedience (25).
8. Proverbs 10:4, 5 – God does not intend to use His power to make up for you lack of effort.
9. Proverbs 10:22 – “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” If your riches have added sorrow, they were not acquired God’s way.
10. Proverbs 10:23 – “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.” Wise people mourn sin; they don’t make light of it.
11. Proverbs 10:25 – “When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.” One thing is certain in life: the tempest is coming, everyone will go through it, and how you go through it reveals the strength of your faith.
12. Psalm 139:1, 2 – “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.” Again, the Bible reiterates that God judges your heart and your thoughts. You should take your thoughts as seriously as God does. Many misunderstand that fact that Jesus was without sin and yet the Bible says He was tempted by Satan in the desert. What they fail to understand is that Jesus was externally tempted by Satan, not internally tempted by His own wicked thought. Satan tried to get Jesus to change His desires, but Jesus only sought the will of the Father. What do you desire today?
13. Psalm 139:7 – “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” Do you know the answer to this question?
14. Psalm 139:13, 16 – “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.. ” How do you think God feels about the unborn child.
15. Psalm 139:17 – “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” Are God’s thoughts precious to you? Compare your thoughts to God’s thoughts.
16. Psalm 139:23 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Make this your prayer today.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 10 Nov 18: Today’s verses emphasize faithfulness in thought. Search your thoughts today to see where your heart is not aligned to God’s thoughts. Pray that God will search your heart and make His thoughts precious to you and His thoughts your thoughts. (see today’s readings)