Ezekiel 14:12-16:41; Hebrews 7:18-28;
Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6
It's a hard knock life...
~Annie, The Musical
~Annie, The Musical
As our reading begins, Jerusalem is an abandoned and bloody child who is the offspring of an Amorite father and a Hittite mother. This is an accurate description because Jerusalem was a Hittite city prior to Israel capturing it. God's description is of a city that no one cared about or for. Certainly not a place of power or world interest at the time, Jerusalem was unwanted.
We see in this parable that God decided to favor Jerusalem and adopt this place as His beautiful jewel. As Jerusalem grew, God married Himself to her and pledged His loyalty to this city. He blessed the city with riches and fine clothing. He made her prosperous and desirable. There was no lack of food or fame. Jerusalem became a queen among the earth's cities. This was especially evident during the reigns of King David and King Solomon.
As the story goes, Jerusalem began to trust in her own fame and beauty. She believed the press about herself. She forgot her origins and how God had blessed her. She became prideful and haughty. Jerusalem used her beauty to prostitute herself to every man who came along. As a matter of fact, she used the resources that God had so generously blessed her with to make shrines for idols. The gold and silver was used to create statues of men to be worshipped. God considers this adultery. The people of Jerusalem used the abundant food given by God to present flour and oil sacrifices to these idols. The beautiful children that God gave to the city of Jerusalem were even sacrificed in fires to these idols. Was it not enough to be a prostitute? Did they also have to become murderers?
As Ezekiel pours forth this emotional message from God, Jerusalem is warned that her destruction is certain. God recounts Jerusalem's endless stream of prostitution. The lovers include the Egypt, Philistia, Assyria and finally, the great merchant- Babylon. Worse yet, Jerusalem did not get paid by her lovers like other prostitutes. She paid her lovers. Therefore, God is going to strip Jerusalem naked in front of these allies/lovers. She will be humiliated and destroyed. Her disloyalty to God, her Creator, will cost her heavily. God, Himself, will stop her from her wicked ways by destroying her.
You and I are also orphans who God saved. He has made our lives beautiful and rich with blessings. Are we loyal to our husband/God? Have we wandered away from the Lover of our Souls? Read this story and learn from it. May we be faithful to the God who rescued us as spiritual orphans.
We learn today that God considered the old requirements about the Levitical priesthood weak and useless. It was a system where the earthly priest died and was replaced by another man. God has set forth a High Priest in Jesus who does not die. He is perpetually able to intercede for us. He is holy and blameless and unstained by sin.
Unlike other priests, Jesus does not need to offer sacrifices everyday for our sins. He offered one sacrifice on the cross and that took care of everything, every sin. Only God's Son can be the perfect High Priest.
Do you recognize Jesus as your perfect sacrifice and your perfect High Priest?
"Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones." This is a good prayer!
Jealousy is very destructive. Open rebukes are not as bad as hiding your love for others. Many men will tell you that they wish their fathers had shown how much they had loved them. Here is the last lesson, wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy. So true!
What did you learn today?