November 15

Ezekiel 31:1–32:32

Ezekiel continues his prophetic word against Egypt, he addresses the nation and its leader in chapters 29-32, as a matter of fact, Egypt is mentioned by name 48 times in the book of Ezekiel. 

Warren Wiersbe, “This message was for Pharaoh, who thought his nation was indestructible. Assyria once had the same idea, but look what God did to her. God would rebuke Pharaoh’s pride, cut down his nation, and cast it into hell (Ezekiel 31:15, 17).”

We frequently see nations, and even people described in the Bible as trees. Egypt had grown tall with water from above and beneath. Egypt was a leader of nations. Egypt grew proud, her heart was “lifted up,” (Ezekiel 31:10) and therefore God would have to humble her and her king (pharaoh).

Eden is mentioned 3 times in this chapter. It’s tragic to see the extent of the fall, from paradise to the pit, all because of pride!

In Ezekiel 32 the emphasis seems to be on the PIT where Egypt and all other unsaved nations and people will end up when they die. The word “pit” is found 13 times in the book of Ezekiel, and 8 times in the Ezekiel 31-32 where he addresses Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

According to historical records this prophecy was given on March 3, 585 B.C., that would be two months after the news of Jerusalem’s fall reached the Jewish captives in Babylon (Ezekiel 33:21). All hope of Egypt helping Jerusalem was dead. This chapter is a lamentation, a passionate expression of grief and sorrow at the tragedy of Egypt’s fall to the absolute bottom…the pit, even referred to as “hell” (Ezekiel 32:21).

Ezekiel lets Egypt know, as well as all of us, that Egypt will not be alone in their agony. There is Assyria (Ezekiel 32:22), there is Elam (Ezekiel 32:24), there is Meschech and Tubal (Ezekiel 32:26), there is Edom (Ezekiel 32::29), there are the princes of the north, with the Sidonians (Ezekiel 32:30), and there are all the people from all of time who have rejected the covenant of their Creator, found ultimately in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

As we study the Scriptures we find that all those who die apart from God’s grace tragically enter hell, which is just a holding tank for an eternal future in the Lake of Fire (Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:11-15). If you’re reading this and thinking, “God would never do that!” Or, “I don’t want to serve a God who would do that!” I pray that you would humble yourself to realize, you’re not God, He sets the standards. His holiness is something we can’t understand at this time, but we will one day. No one has to perish in hell or the Lake of Fire, all they need to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Salvation – heaven is a gift freely available to anyone who wants it.

Allow me to close with a couple of passages to consider on this and mention the fact that the next chapter (Ezekiel 33) is all about our duty as pastors, and the people of God to issue the warning.

Matthew 7:13 (NKJV) “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Hebrews 12:14-29

What great goals we have in Hebrews 12:14 and for good reason!

Hebrews 12:14 (NKJV) “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

If we’re not pursuing peace with all people, how can we claim to be holy? And if we’re not holy how can we say we’re saved? Although we can’t guarantee a right relationship with everyone (Romans 12:18) it is to be our heart, for it’s often a reflection of our relationship with God.

We must take heed to the warnings. The author writes the letter with the intent of preventing them (and us) from ending up like Esau, who for a morsel of food, sold his birthright. 

The New Covenant is not the one established in earth on Mt. Sinai, it’s the one established in heaven on Mt. Zion. The figure is not Moses the lawgiver, but Jesus the Mediator of a better covenant rooted in love and faith, why would anyone go back? 

God in these last days has spoken to us through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:1-3) so we must listen wholeheartedly; we must remain in the faith, abide in the Vine.

Hebrews 12:25 (NKJV) “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven.”

The Bible Knowledge Commentary has these words of explanation on Hebrews 12:26-27, “The reference to Haggai 2:6 was understood by the author as speaking of the ultimate remaking of the heavens and earth which will follow the millennial kingdom (cf. Heb. 1:10–12). What remains after this cataclysmic event will be eternal.”

I also believe this is an exhortation to me, to us, not to be shaken – on the contrary we are to be one of those unshakable things that remain!

The writer mingles some beautiful promises along with some heavy warnings, “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks…for our God is a consuming fire.” 

Let’s have a heart to stay close and cling to our Savior all the days of our lives.

Psalms 113:1–114:8

Psalm 113 is a reminder that we are to CONSTANTLY praise the LORD. We His servants are to praise Him now and forever; from sun rise to sunset and all the time in between. We have good reason to praise the LORD, for this great God of the universe humbles Himself and enters our world to help the poor and the needy, even raising them up. He blesses the barren in such a beautiful way – with a family. Just a few reasons to praise the LORD.

Psalm 114 is a brief testimony of Israel’s redemption from Egypt, a picture of salvation. May we never forget the way God brought us out of Egypt, and the way He loves us. Isn’t it awesome to think that God’s people are His sanctuary! (Psalm 114:2) God split the Red Sea, the Jordan as well. God moved mountains as if they were pebbles skipping along like rams and lambs. God gave water in the wilderness, even a fountain of waters.  God has not only saved us, but He’s moved mountains to do so, even giving us the Living Water of His Holy Spirit. May we never stop praising and singing with heartfelt appreciation of our salvation.

Proverbs 27:18-20

Proverbs 27:18 (NKJV) “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; so he who waits on his master will be honored.”

Or as the New Living Translation puts it:

Proverbs 27:18 (NLT) “As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.”

Fig trees required more attention than other plants or trees, but if you do a good job, you’ll end up with Fig Newtons, a good crop.

To wait on your master, is another way of saying, be good to your boss, protect your employer’s interests – such a person will be rewarded.

“In other words working well at one’s job brings favorable results.” – Bible Knowledge Commentary

“The Hebrew word translated “waits” describes a careful watching over or looking after, a meticulous service, anticipating the needs and safeguarding the charge. Such a servant need not worry about his efforts going unrecognized and unrewarded (see also Prov 22:29; 2 Tim 2:6, 15).”

Proverbs 27:19 (NKJV) “As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.”

Israel asked for a king like all the other nations, tall, strong, and handsome, he had to have the look of a king on the outside, head and shoulders above the rest. But when God chose a king for Israel, he looked at the heart.

1 Samuel 16:6–7 (NKJV) “So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, ‘Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him!’ 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”

What’s on my “inside?” My hidden heart is who I really am and that’s the key to life. O Lord, create in us a clean heart (Psalm 51:10). Any man can clean up his act, but only God can clean up our hearts.

Proverbs 27:20 (NKJV) “Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

“The grave is personified as having an appetite. Seemingly it always wants another live person dead. Likewise, the eyes of man are never satisfied. People constantly want to see new things (Ecclesiastes 1:8) and to own new things.” – Bible Knowledge Commentary

And isn’t it so sad and true? We can testify first-hand, our fleshly eyes are never satisfied!

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