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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2 - Ezekiel 20-21: Israel Wanted to Control God, not Obey Him

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 20-21

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God's Chosen People have always survived because of God Amazing Grace.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God, through Ezekiel, spoke to Israel's leaders. "I wanted Israel to be wholly Mine. But they kept their Egyptian no-gods. I held back my anger to save My Reputation.
"I gave them My Law including the Sabbath to rekindle our relationship. They ignored My Sabbaths. I held back my anger to save My Reputation.
"I gave land to their children—who also abandoned Me—who became filthy like their gods.
"I will never be controlled.
"I will burn both dead and green trees.
"A sharp sword is ready against Jerusalem. I will lead your enemy to you, Zedekiah."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Israel never became wholly God's.

The most disappointing part of Israel's existence is that they had ample opportunity to get rid of their gods but chose not to. They never became holy. Later they became as filthy as the gods God wanted to destroy.

God gave us the Law to help us set things right and point us to Him.

Israel never understood why God gave them the Law. God wanted them to use this Law to set things right within their borders and to be a lighthouse to the nations to help them see God as well. The Sabbath was meant not only for a day of rest but for a day to connect with God. God gives His Law because He loves us and wants to set things right.

Israel wanted a god they could control instead of a God they would obey.

God gets to the heart of the matter—Israel was not interested in God because He demanded obedience. The other gods were subservient to Israel's every wishes. Israel could do whatever they wanted and invent a god to honor it. This is why God's Law was ignored and despised: Israel wanted to control their lives, not obey God.
In reality, we all want a god we can morph into our image instead of the other way around. Much of theology is trying to get around the simple meaning of the text. We want to limit the Scripture to suit our lifestyles, our wants, and our desires. However, we will eventually understand God's Way is the best way. We must not control God. We must obey God.

Do you want a god that can serve you or do you want to serve God?


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