Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ezekiel, Day 3 Readings

A Just God Offers Hope, But Also Some Hard Truth 

Today's first reading is a promise of hope buried in a prophecy of punishment.  It reinforces that God is just, punishing those who disobey God's laws.  However, God will judge people based on their current actions and regard for God's teaching.  If they have previously sinned, but reform, they will not be punished.  Even more, despite the actions of their ancestors, if they do what is right, God will treat them well (which is a cause for hope for the exiles, who are suffering because of the sins of their ancestors).

Read Ezekiel 18:1-32  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading provides a list of Israel's repeated rejections of God through the generations.  Evidently, a group of Jewish leaders came to Ezekiel demanding answers for God allowing them to be defeated by the Babylonians.  However, God clearly views these leaders as completely unfaithful.  In response to their questions, God offers a list of times that the Jewish people have ignored God's teachings in favor of worshiping the false gods of other nations.  Interestingly, God says this faithlessness dates all the way to slavery in Egypt and the exodus from Egypt in the wilderness.  And the faithlessness of God's people happens again and again, leading to the punishment of defeat and exile.

Read Ezekiel 20:1-44  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Ezekiel 20-28 today.