Vs. 25, “...and I told the exiles everything the Lord had shown me.” What a vision that Ezekiel would be sharing too! Earlier in the chapter, we are reminded nothing is hidden from God’s eye (vs. 2). Question: What the big deal? So they were wrong in their prophecy? Not only were they wrong, they had compeletely turned their hearts from God. They did evil in the sight of the Lord and were corrupt. Their actions were a large part of why Jerusalem would have to be destroyed and God’s glory would have to depart. Yet, even in God’s judgement, we see God’s grace and faithfulness (vs. 16-25)
Regarding application…Is God in Our Temple? I’m expounding upon yesterday’s QT reflection…just because God has blessed us in the past is no assurance that He will continue to bless us in the present or future. We don’t have a physical temple, but we do have a spiritual temple which is us! The church is God’s gift to believers in this era of Grace. Let’s do our part in inviting the Lord into our lives, back into our churches to take possession! Let God do heart surgery in you and see if there is any clogged up arteries that need to get cleansed out.
Vs. 7, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.” In our previous chapter, Jesus would remind them the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Now we see Jesus take action and send out the twelve apostles (sent out ones) into the kingdom. The Lord would first send them out to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, this was a different calling than Jesus would give to the church in Matthew 28. I’m sure there was much hesitation, but Jesus would remind them that they would be provided all things. In fact, they were not to bring anything with them! It would not be easy, but it would be a ministry of faith. Jesus would exhort them to be both wise and innocent (vs. 16).
Regarding application…Finding Our Life. Vs. 39, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Jesus is reminding his apostles as well as us that to follow him is going to mean we must die to ourselves. Remember the beatitudes in chapter 5? We are blessed when we go through persecution, we are blessed when we are poor, when we are meek, when we mourn. When we find our lives in Christ, Jesus would tell us don’t be surprised if not only the world hates us…but our own families turn against us. We cannot love our family more than we love God (vs. 37). Once you venture forth into being a young adult, YOU must choose your path. I see the pressures so many of you have to fulfill the dreams of your family and friends. They want you to be a Doctor, Engineer, etc. Brothers and sisters…the life you have belongs to God! Lose YOUR life and God will help you find the life HE has for you!
Besides being the shortest chapter in Revelation, this chapter is the preface to the final series of judgments which come on the earth during the Great Tribulation. Before we mention that in greater detail, we are shown once again the believers who died for Jesus’ name in the tribulation. They are singing the song of Moses, probably the same song Moses & the Israelites sang upon crossing the Red Sea . We saw the sea of glass in chapter 4, but this time fire accompanies it. The fire indicating God’s wrath.
The 7 Vials (Bowls)
Satan at this time is pouring out terrible wrath upon believers…the Jews especially, but God will have the last word.) covers the last three and one-half years.). The smoke signifies (vs. 8), signifies God’s judgment. A note regarding order of the seven seals, trumpets & vials: Theologian, William R. Newell contends that the first six seals will be broken during the first three and one-half years, and that the seventh seal ( While the earthly temple may have been taken over by the beast, the Heavenly temple cannot be touched (vs.5). Seven angels come out ready to bring wrath…7 being the number for completion ( A world that has rejected the Son of God, must now bear the judgment of sin.
Regarding application…Our Response. ”The cause of Christ can be painful and costly. It is about sacrifice. But the sacrifice is motivated by love, not fear. and the love is what sets us free.” Jeanette Thomason. Just look again at the saints from the beginning of this passage. Their response…as well as our response is to glorify & worship our Lord of Lords. Vs. 3, “...Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.“ It is not our place to challenge or wonder if God is just…we must believe His ways are right…His ways are just…His ways are marvelous. Our human intellect sometimes wants to think it is higher than God’s. It saddens me to see people who once knew the greatness of God, turn to the world & it’s logic and now they scorn our God & challenge His ways. May the Love & Wrath of God draw us closer, not further from Him! Turn to the Lord today & Worship His Holy Name! Know that we can Trust everything that God will do…no matter how hard it is to understand.
Vs. 11, “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” God promised “rest” for His people of Israel, but they failed to enter that rest due to disobedience. We are not just talking about the literal “Sabbath Rest”…we are talking about a spiritual rest. A rest that can be peaceful even in times of turmoil and struggle. Question: How do we enter that rest? By turning in faith to His Word (Vs. 12) and approaching the throne of Grace (Vs. 16)! Wonderful biblical passages that we see here in this chapter! We are also reminded that Jesus was the final great High Priest who knows all of our struggles because He went through it too.
Regarding application…God Know’s Our Hearts. Vs. 12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.“ I love this verse! All of us should have this verse memorized! God knows the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts! Question: Isn’t that great? We don’t have to put on a facade with God…He already knows. We can hide our thoughts from others…but we can’t hide from God. Adam & Eve would learn that lesson about trying to hide. There’s almost a peace in knowing that we don’t have to hide and pretend to be someone else. And if you are not feeling right with God…you can either run or let God heal your wounded heart. Speaking of wounded hearts, don’t forget to pray for the tornado victims! What a sad unexpected tragedy for them!