Reading for Today: Ezekiel 7:1–8:18

Reading for Today:

Ezekiel 7:1–8:18
Psalm 120:1-7
Proverbs 28:15
Hebrews 4:1-16

Ezekiel 8:3 in visions of God. Ezekiel 8–11 deals with details conveyed only to Ezekiel in visions. Ezekiel’s trip to Jerusalem was in spirit only, while his body physically remained in his house. In visions he went to Jerusalem and in visions he returned to Babylon (11:24). After God finished the visions, Ezekiel told his home audience what he had seen. The visions are not a description of deeds done in the past in Israel, but a survey of Israel’s current condition, as they existed at that very time. the seat…image of jealousy. God represents to Ezekiel the image of an idol (Deut. 4:16) in the entrance to the inner court of the temple. It is called “the image of jealousy” because it provoked the Lord to jealousy (5:13; 16:38; 36:6; 38:19; Ex. 20:5).

Ezekiel 8:14 weeping for Tammuz. Yet a greater abomination than the secret cult was Israel’s engaging in the Babylonian worship of Tammuz or Dumuzi (Duzu), beloved of Ishtar, the god of spring vegetation. Vegetation burned in the summer, died in the winter, and came to life in the spring. The women mourned over the god’s demise in July and longed for his revival. The fourth month of the Hebrew calendar still bears the name Tammuz. With the worship of this idol were connected the basest immoralities.

Psalm 120:4 Sharp arrows…coals. Lies and false accusations are likened to 1) the pain/injury inflicted in battle by arrows and 2) the pain of being burned with charcoal made from the wood of a broom tree (a desert bush that grows 10 to 15 feet high).

Hebrews 4:12 two-edged sword. While the Word of God is comforting and nourishing to those who believe, it is a tool of judgment and execution for those who have not committed themselves to Jesus Christ. Some of the Hebrews were merely going through the motions of belonging to Christ. Intellectually, they were at least partly persuaded, but inside they were not committed to Him. God’s Word would expose their shallow beliefs and even their false intentions (1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Pet. 4:5). division of soul and spirit. These terms do not describe two separate entities (any more than “thoughts and intents” do) but are used as one might say “heart and soul” to express fullness (Luke 10:27; Acts 4:32; 1 Thess. 5:23). Elsewhere these two terms are used interchangeably to describe man’s immaterial self, his eternal inner person.

DAY 8: What does Hebrews 4:14–16 teach about prayer?
Just as the high priest under the Old Covenant passed through 3 areas (the outer court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies) to make the atoning sacrifice, Jesus passed through 3 heavens (the atmospheric heaven, the stellar heaven, and God’s abode; 2 Cor. 12:2–4) after making the perfect, final sacrifice (v. 14).Once a year on the Day of Atonement the high priest of Israel would enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people (Lev. 16). That tabernacle was but a limited copy of the heavenly reality (8:1–5).When Jesus entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies, having accomplished redemption, the earthly facsimile was replaced by the reality of heaven itself. Freed from that which is earthly, the Christian faith is characterized by the heavenly (3:1; Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:4).

And Jesus as our High Priest was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (v. 15). Jesus became fully capable of understanding and sympathizing with His human brethren.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace” (v. 16). Most ancient rulers were unapproachable by anyone but their highest advisers (Esth. 4:11). In contrast, the Holy Spirit calls for all to come confidently before God’s throne to receive mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. The ark of the covenant was viewed as the place on earth where God sat enthroned between the cherubim (2 Kin. 19:15; Jer. 3:16, 17). Oriental thrones included a footstool—yet another metaphor for the ark (Ps. 132:7). It was at the throne of God that Christ made atonement for sins, and it is there that grace is dispensed to believers for all the issues of life (2 Cor. 4:15; 9:8; 12:9; Eph. 1:7; 2:7).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,


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