Do you realize that in a few days we will have read through the entire Old Testament? Well, we’re almost there. We’re on Day 62 of the 90 Day reading plan. For those of you counting, you’ll notice that I’m behind a day. Well, I taught this again weekend, and didn’t read my entire allotment each day. I’m at Ezekiel 40 when I should be at Ezekiel 47. I may catch up today, but we’ll play it safe and keep the day at 62. Since the 90 program only has 88 days of readings, we’re still on schedule to finish reading the Bible in 90 Days. We lost one day the first weekend I taught and we lost one day this weekend; meaning we can’t miss any other days if we’re to remain on schedule.
Now on to this week’s reading of Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel. As I’ve read the Old Testament, I’ve tried to keep my focus on the Old Testament and not draw conclusions or make comparisons to the New Testament. I found it difficult to hold to that position as I read Isaish, Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekiel. While the prophetic references to Christ in Isaiah were unmistakeble, Jeremiah and Ezekiel made me see Christ as well. With Jeremiah, it was his life. You know, the guy had a rough road to travel. All he did was speak the words the Lord and given him and people went crazy. They plotted against him, beat him up, and threw him in jail. All because he spoke the truth the Lord had given him to speak. As I read what they (here I”m talking Judah’s religious leaders, the priests) did to him, I saw a preview of how the religious leaders would treat Christ. It’s a reminder that the truth is not always welcome, even within the religious community. Sometimes, they really do “shoot the messenger.”
Now Ezekiel was sorta deep. As a man of visions and allegory, he had his own challenges. Anyway, things got really deep when the Lord told him his wife was going to die and he wasn’t to mourn her because he was to be an example to Judah how they were going to act when Jerusalem was destroyed. Huh? Yet Ezekiel didn’t question or balk; he was obedient.
These Old Testament passages really do spell out the cost of serving of God, even though it’s hard to imagine the price being so steep today, at least not in the US. Today’s prophets seem to get television shows and celebrity, while yesterday’s prophets were often ridiculed and persecuted. But I wonder if we heed the words of the prophets today any more than the people did back then. What do you think of this passage? Do you think it applies to us/people today?
“Son of man, your people are whispering behind your back. They talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors, saying, `Come on, let’s have some fun! Let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!’ So they come pretending to be sincere and sit before you listening. But they have no intention of doing what I tell them. They express love with their mouths, but their hearts seek only after money. You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t do it! But when all these terrible things happen to them–as they certainly will–then they will know a prophet has been among them.” –Ezekiel 30:30-33 (NLT)
Well, that’s it for me this week. Don’t forget to share with us what you’re learning.