In that day…

Day 335

Prayer for the day

Let them know that you, whose Name is YAHWEH, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Scripture for the day

Ezekiel 40-41, 2 Peter 3

Many of us live in fear of the future. The present, we think, is hard enough without the unknown nature of things yet to come. Even the scriptures tell us not to worry about what’s coming…today¬†is tricky enough. Yet both of the passages today speak to things that are yet to come, things that the people of God ought to pay¬†attention to if they want to live as faithful witnesses and see the things of God come to pass.

In Ezekiel, the prophet is shown an incredible vision. The temple of God stands before him, its measurements exactly laid out for him, its grandeur on full display for him. This is a vision of things that are yet to come, things that are meant to give hope to the people of God. The temple of God is lost to Israel at this time, and Ezekiel foresees something grander taking its place. The day of the Lord will come and make the dwelling of God with humans once again!

Peter also has something to say about the coming day of the Lord. While he uses frightening imagery, the end result is the same as that of Ezekiel. The dwelling of God is coming to earth! There is apocalyptic language of purification and destruction, but in the end, the New Heaven and the New Earth, the places of righteousness, will be established, places where fear and famine are done away with.

God is not done with creation, yet, and He waits to return, willing that more and more should experience the salvation He offers. It is our great joy to introduce others to this salvation, to live it out so that all may come to know the new creation!

Bones

Day 334

Prayer for the day

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me. O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me. O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

Scripture for the day

Ezekiel 37-39, 2 Peter 2

Death. It’s something we don’t like to think about, something we fear. Physical death, we know, comes to us all, yet we often live our lives in denial of the fact, hoping against hope that somehow we will beat the odds and make it out alive.

Though we often encounter physical death, spiritual death is equally common, yet we think about it even less! Ezekiel gets a close-up view of spiritual death mimicked in physical death when God leads him to the valley of dry bones. In this valley, he sees the spiritual state of the people of God, dead in their transgression, without hope and without recourse.

They are like the people of 2 Peter, people who are dead in their sin, people who are sinning boldly, who are experiencing spiritual barrenness and death because of their refusal to repent and acknowledge the God who made them. These people are without hope, without love, and without any sense of their own demise. They live according to their own purposes, believing that what they do they do under their own power, unafraid of the power of God to punish and discipline.

Yet in this spiritual death there also comes a miracle: God is not done with the people yet. He commands Ezekiel to prophesy, and as he does, the bones come to life. The people are filled with the breath of God and live again, spiritual resurrected in order that they may display the glory of God to the world.

God is longing to breathe new life into all of those who are spiritually dead. May you breathe His breath today.

Calling and Election

Day 332

Prayer for the day

Sing with joy to God our strength and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob. Raise a song and sound the timbrel,the merry harp, and the lyre. Blow the ram’s-horn at the new moon, and at the full moon, the day of our feast. For this is a statute for Israel, a law of the God of Jacob.

Scripture for the day

Ezekiel 35-36, 2 Peter 1

We’re often tempted to believe that God will accept us someday because we’ve pleased him, because we’ve worked really hard and impressed God somehow. We are, of course, often mistaken.

The book of Ezekiel makes it clear that the restoration of the people of Israel, the chosen people of God, has little to do with the people of Israel, and everything to do with the character of their God, the one who called them and elected them to peoplehood. This God created them as a people, and in doing so, gave them the identity they were lacking.

The punishment of Israel has originated in their sin but truly in the holiness of God who desires that all should love and worship him, that the people of God should act like they are the people of God! The remedy must also be God’s.

God has also called the people of God in 2 Peter. They have been called according to God’s purpose, that they would exemplify His character, and that done by God’s electing them to that position.

The call and the election of God do not speak to worthiness or skill, but to God’s choice and to God’s desire, to the empowerment that God grants God’s people when they seek to follow Him.

May you come to know the call and the election of God, and through that call and election, be freed to accomplish all He has empowered you to do.