Today’s Reading: Ezek 21:1–22:31, Rev 10:1–11, Job 35:1–8
Today’s Theme: Bitter and Sweet
Today’s theme looks at the bitter and sweet nature of God’s word and our call to sanctification in particular.
Judgement by war
Because I will cut off from you both righteous and wicked, therefore my sword shall be drawn from its sheath against all flesh from south to north.(Ezekiel 21:4, ESV)
This is the reality of judgement that comes in war or military conquest.
Love the rod
sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! (Or shall we rejoice? You have despised the rod, my son, with everything of wood.)(Ezekiel 21:10, ESV)
Lord, we need to love the rod of guidance and correction, we don’t want a rebellious attitude to lead us to the sword instead.
Things could change at any point
thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted.(Ezekiel 21:26, ESV)
We must not buy into the false security of things staying the way they are, or the apparent linearity of everyday life. At any point personal, national or global crisis could strike, for which we must be braced and ready, by walking in daily humility before God and man.
The breakdown of society
Father and mother are treated with contempt in you; the sojourner suffers extortion in your midst; the fatherless and the widow are wronged in you. You have despised my holy things and profaned my Sabbaths.(Ezekiel 22:7–8, ESV)
These two verses describe complete societal breakdown, children disrespect parents, business is corrupt, there is no social justice and the rights of Christians are challenged… sounds like London.
To consume uncleanness
I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will consume your uncleanness out of you.(Ezekiel 22:15, ESV)
God’s purpose in the discipline of His people.
Sanctification and holiness
Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.(Ezekiel 22:26, ESV)
We must teach God’s people the truth of sanctification and holiness before God, which involves very clear definitions of right and wrong, expedient and useless, helpful and harmful.
This reminds us that Church is a sacred place so must remain holy and respectful in its operation.
And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.(Ezekiel 22:30, ESV)
We must be intercessors for our wicked city.
God reveals what He chooses
And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”(Revelation 10:4, ESV)
We must remember the bible is the truth God has chosen to revel to us, there are still some secrets that we do not know.
God, The Eternal, Living Creator
and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,(Revelation 10:6, ESV)
God is eternal and is alive.
God created everything, evolution is a big disrespect.
God’s word, bitter and sweet
So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”(Revelation 10:9, ESV)
This can be our experience with the word of God, God’s word brings great joy and pleasure but the application of it can bring bitterness to the flesh and toil to the spirit.
God’s word is fuel
And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”(Revelation 10:11, ESV)
God’s word is not just for us, it is to fuel us to teach and reach others. What has happened to John is a parallel with what happened to Ezekiel.
Sinning is pointless
If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?(Job 35:6, ESV)
Sinning is the maddest position we can take before God, It is like when I would tell off Joshua (my son) and he would go to bite or scratch me (when he was younger), it is not going to achieve anything good for him.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Revelation 10