Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 12-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalm 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3
In the first 11 chapters Ezekiel prophesied destruction coming upon Judah. Babylon had already invaded and had deported much of the population. Those that remained thought they would be spared any more judgement. Over the next several chapters God, through Ezekiel, addresses these false beliefs.
Its interesting to note that the people had the ability to understand what God had told them but they were stubborn and refused to accept what was true (Ezekiel 12:2). There can be no misunderstanding the Bible. God is clear. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Everyone of us has the ability to understand this. But, sadly, many people will stubbornly reject it even though they know it is true.
Ezekiel 12:15-16 is more proof that God does not look at things the same way we do and has a strategy that no human would ever think of. God could easily have allowed Babylon to destroy all of Jerusalem – the people there were sitting ducks. But instead He allowed some to escape death and be deported to Babylon. Human thinking would conclude that being exiled to a hostile foreign country is a terrible thing. But not God.
God’s plan was for these survivors to realize that the prophets had been right, repent, and tell their captors about these fulfilled prophecies. Then both groups (the captors and the captives) would come to know God. If God had allowed every Jew to be killed the people of Babylon would have no way of “meeting” the true God. Brilliant.
Just like people today, the people of Jerusalem thought that as time passed and God’s prophecies did not come true, it proved that the prophecies were false (Ezekiel 12:22). This thinking is very flawed. Just because something has not happened does not mean it cannot or will not happen. The passage of time is not proof of anything.
Back in Ezekiel’s day there were many false “prophets” (Ezekiel 13:2). We have people like this today too – people who claim they “know” what God is like and what He will do. But these people have spent no time studying the Bible. They just make up claims that sound good. Sadly, people listen to these false prophets for that very reason – their message sounds good. Celebrities like Oprah, who has lead millions of people astray with her god-is-within-each-of-us philosophy, fall into this category.
Then there are those like Richard Dawkins who stubbornly declare that God does not exist. But this is nothing but arrogance. Not only is there tremendous proof that God exists but for someone to “know” that God exists means that person would have to know everything. Hence, only God can be an atheist. But sadly, Dawkins leads people astray too because his message sounds good to many people.
Many Jews had rejected Jesus as their “high priest” because He did not descend from the tribe of Levi who had been chosen by God to be the priests in the Temple. Jesus descended from Judah. The author of Hebrews addresses this intellectual objection in chapter 7.
Temple priests presided over ceremonies which cleansed people of their sins, but only symbolically and temporarily. They could do nothing to permanently make people righteous before God. So a new priestly solution was needed. Someone who could permanently erase all the sins of mankind was needed. That was Jesus.
These Jews had a valid question. They knew their Bible, or at least part of it. But they were so entrenched in what they knew that they couldn’t see or accept that God had changed things. Many people still have valid questions about the accuracy of the Bible and the person of Jesus, and many other spiritual topics. There is nothing wrong with this. We’ve all had these types of questions.
I know people who reject the Bible because they can’t get past topics it raises that contradict “facts” they have in their minds like where did God come from, or how can someone come back to life after being dead, etc.
The only way we can resolve these questions is to keep our minds open to something we haven’t considered before.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.