Todays reading are Ezekiel6 and 1Tim5:1 – 6:2. They are quite different.
I often wonder how Ezekiel was regarded by his now exiled nation in Babylon.I don’t think he got invited to many parties. His prophesies over 22 years cover the subjects of most other prophets (Israels idolatry, rebellion to the Lord, relying on other nations, moral corruption). Ezekiel focuses on Israel being the holy people of God who have made themselves unclean, defiling the temple, city and land.
Chapters 4,5 are a prophecy against Jerusalem while Ch6 is against the whole land represented by the “mountains”.These regions were the principal sites of pagan worship of the Baals. The “high places” and “spreading trees” are the very often used terms in the O.T. to describe the places of idol worship (usually Canaanite in origin). The Lord not only pronounces judgement on them being destroyed but also their adherents being slain!
Vs8 -10 speaks of some escaping this judgement and being scattered. As captives they have a heart check before the Lord and come to grieve over their sin. I find this to be incredibly familiar to me.
“They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their destestable practices”
As we take part in the Lords supper this weekend may we too “loathe ourselves” as we contemplate the ways we have “grieved the Lord by our adulterous hearts”. But let us also celebrate with great joy and thanksgiving the forgiveness in the Lord Jesus.
All of this happens so “That they may know I am the Lord”
In the Timothy reading , Paul gives advice on how the church is to regard widows, elders and orphans. Vs1,2 encourage us to treat all in the church as you would a natural family member.
Paul is then concerned that the church should look after the widows “who are really in need”. If they can be then they should be looked after by their natural families then this is what should happen. The young widows are encouraged to marry and not be lazy busy bodies. I assume this is to spread the churches resources in a way that is fair and has the widest benefit. Vs8 is a strong and sober warning:
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”
In my view, the gospel of Jesus in the church had also better be a “social gospel” as well.
Vs17 I think would be well known to all church staff!…..and rightly so – they should eat from the gospel they administer.
If you are like me there are believers you warm to and some you don’t. You love them in the Lord…..but you somehow just don’t connect that strongly….personality traits, backgrounds etc….
Vs21 is a command against this tendency we have to favour those who are like ourselves.
In the end the Lord knows the hearts of people, their motivation, their sin, the good and the bad they do. He will be just (impartial) in his judgements and reward.
Now…. I must heed Vs23 🙂