Friday, July 22, 2016

Blood Is on Their Hands

Today's Reading:
Ezekiel 23:1-49
Matthew 13:47-14:12
Proverbs 14:25-35
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: Ezekiel 23:35-39
35 "Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Since you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution." 36 The LORD said to me: "Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront them with their detestable practices 37 for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them. 38 They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths. 39 On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated it. That is what they did in my house.

Ezekiel uses the shocking and graphic metaphors of adultery and prostitution to describe the behavior of Samaria (the northern tribes of Israel) and Judah (the southern tribes). Even when they entered the Temple to "worship" God, they were perverting it through syncretism and the full embrace of pagan worship, child sacrifice, sexual ritual, and idolatry. They acted as though God was just one of many gods and that the holy temple was just one of many religious sites.

Response and Action:
God calls his people to be faithful to him. No amount of going to church, saying religious words, singing worship songs, or making claims of belief can make up for unfaithfulness. I need to be faithful to God and be on guard against duplicity. I must guard against confusing the worship of God with self-centered and self-serving forms of religiosity. I must not allow myself to be comfortable with disconnects between my behavior and my belief—saying one thing but doing another. I cannot claim to follow God while going my own way and chasing after other things. God will not settle for being part of my life, he demands all of me.

O God, help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to honor you and to allow nothing else to rival my reverence and faithfulness to you. Save me from hypocrisy and duplicity. Give me a single-minded allegiance to you. Forgive me for my sins and failures, and save me by your grace. Lift me up, show me your ways, and give me the wisdom and the will to walk in them. Give me a mind that is quick to obey and a heart that delights in you. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 2 Corinthians 6:15-17
15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."

Pagan Christianity
by Frank Viola and George Barna

No comments: