Where you are today…who do you trust? When you have to make a decision, who do you turn to? Are their plans good? Are their plans good for you? Do you have a mentor that you can trust and whose advice is in your best interest? Do you have a friend who will stick closer than a brother and be your encourager, looking out for what is best for you? Are they willing to encourage and correct? Are they willing to speak up if what is best for you doesn’t align with what you think you want? Are they looking out for your long term good even if it means you have short term pain? Will you trust the process? Do you trust them enough to get through it? What is your destiny? Where is your final destination? Is your life aligned with where you want to end up? Is your life demonstrating what you believe? Where will you choose to spend eternity? Choose to follow and join with God! Choose to receive Jesus into your heart! Choose to be transformed in a way that will end with eternity in heaven with God! Choose wisely for the outcome and the consequences are based on your choices! God will never leave you nor forsake you! When we choose to be a part of His family, He will be with us on the mountain tops and in the lowest valleys! He will never leave us nor abandon us! He will stick closer than a brother!
Today’s reading speaks to people whose plans aren’t good, whose purpose isn’t good, and whose direction is out of sync. Don’t be lead astray!
Jerusalem Is Condemned1God’s spirit lifted me up and took me to the east gate of the Temple. There near the gate I saw twenty-five men, including Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, two leaders of the nation.2God said to me, “Mortal man, these men make evil plans and give bad advice in this city. 3They say, ‘We will soon be building houses again. The city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the meat in it, but at least it protects us from the fire.’ 4Now then, denounce them, mortal man.”5The spirit of the Lord took control of me, and the Lord told me to give the people this message: “People of Israel, I know what you are saying and what you are planning. 6You have murdered so many people here in the city that the streets are full of corpses.7“So this is what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to you. This city is a cooking pot all right, but what is the meat? The corpses of those you have killed! You will not be here—I will throw you out of the city! 8Are you afraid of swords? I will bring soldiers with swords to attack you. 9I will take you out of the city and hand you over to foreigners. I have sentenced you to death, 10and you will be killed in battle in your own country. Then everyone will know that I am the Lord. 11This city will not protect you the way a pot protects the meat in it. I will punish you wherever you may be in the land of Israel. 12You will know that I am the Lord and that while you were keeping the laws of the neighboring nations, you were breaking my laws and disobeying my commands.”13While I was prophesying, Pelatiah dropped dead. I threw myself face downward on the ground and shouted, “No, Sovereign Lord! Are you going to kill everyone left in Israel?”
God’s Promise to the Exiles14The Lord spoke to me. 15“Mortal man,” he said, “the people who live in Jerusalem are talking about you and those of your nation who are in exile. They say, ‘The exiles are too far away to worship the Lord. He has given us possession of the land.’16“Now tell your fellow exiles what I am saying. I am the one who sent them to live in far-off nations and scattered them in other countries. Yet, for the time being I will be present with them in the lands where they have gone.17“So tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying. I will gather them out of the countries where I scattered them, and will give the land of Israel back to them. 18When they return, they are to get rid of all the filthy, disgusting idols they find. 19 I will give them a new heart and a new mind. I will take away their stubborn heart of stone and will give them an obedient heart. 20Then they will keep my laws and faithfully obey all my commands. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21But I will punish the people who love to worship filthy, disgusting idols. I will punish them for what they have done.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.
God’s Glory Leaves Jerusalem22 The living creatures began to fly, and the wheels went with them. The dazzling light of the presence of the God of Israel was over them. 23Then the dazzling light left the city and moved to the mountain east of it. 24In the vision the spirit of God lifted me up and brought me back to the exiles in Babylonia. Then the vision faded, 25and I told the exiles everything that the Lord had shown me.–from Ezekiel 11
The Prophet as a Refugee1The Lord spoke to me. 2 “Mortal man,” he said, “you are living among rebellious people. They have eyes, but they see nothing; they have ears, but they hear nothing, because they are rebellious.3“Now, mortal man, pack a bundle just as a refugee would and start out before nightfall. Let everyone see you leaving and going to another place. Maybe those rebels will notice you. 4While it is still daylight, pack your bundle for exile, so that they can see you, and then let them watch you leave in the evening as if you were going into exile. 5While they are watching, break a hole through the wall of your house and take your pack out through it. 6Let them watch you putting your pack on your shoulder and going out into the dark with your eyes covered, so that you can’t see where you are going. What you do will be a warning to the Israelites.”7I did what the Lord told me to do. That day I packed a bundle as a refugee would, and that evening as it was getting dark I dug a hole in the wall with my hands and went out. While everyone watched, I put the pack on my shoulder and left.8The next morning the Lord spoke to me. 9“Mortal man,” he said, “now that those Israelite rebels are asking you what you’re doing, 10tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them. This message is for the prince ruling in Jerusalem and for all the people who live there. 11Tell them that what you have done is a sign of what will happen to them—they will be refugees and captives. 12The prince who is ruling them will shoulder his pack in the dark and escape through a hole that they dig for him in the wall. He will cover his eyes and not see where he is going. 13 But I will spread out my net and trap him in it. Then I will take him to the city of Babylon, where he will die without having seen it. 14I will scatter in every direction all the members of his court and his advisers and bodyguards, and people will search for them to kill them.15“When I scatter them among the other nations and in foreign countries, they will know that I am the Lord. 16I will let a few of them survive the war, the famine, and the diseases, so that there among the nations they will realize how disgusting their actions have been and will acknowledge that I am the Lord.”
The Sign of the Trembling Prophet17The Lord spoke to me. 18“Mortal man,” he said, “tremble when you eat, and shake with fear when you drink. 19Tell the whole nation that this is the message of the Sovereign Lord to the people of Jerusalem who are still living in their land: They will tremble when they eat and shake with fear when they drink. Their land will be stripped bare, because everyone who lives there is lawless. 20Cities that are now full of people will be destroyed, and the country will be made a wilderness. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
A Popular Proverb and an Unpopular Message21The Lord spoke to me. 22“Mortal man,” he said, “why do the people of Israel repeat this proverb: ‘Time goes by, and predictions come to nothing’? 23Now tell them what I, the Sovereign Lord, have to say about that. I will put an end to that proverb. It won’t be repeated in Israel any more. Tell them instead: The time has come, and the predictions are coming true!24“Among the people of Israel there will be no more false visions or misleading prophecies. 25I, the Lord, will speak to them, and what I say will be done. There will be no more delay. In your own lifetime, you rebels, I will do what I have warned you I would do. I have spoken,” says the Sovereign Lord.26The Lord said to me, 27“Mortal man, the Israelites think that your visions and prophecies are about the distant future. 28So tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying: There will be no more delay. What I have said will be done. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”–from Ezekiel 12