THE WORD OF THE WEEK
TITLE: “The HOPE of GLORY”
“Son of Man (Ezekiel), go to the house of Israel and speak with MY words to them...But the
house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to ME (their God).”
This week’s lesson focuses on the Book of Ezekiel. The prophet Ezekiel at the age
of 30 years, God, sent him to minister to the exile of people who were living in
Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel arrived in 597 BC as part of the second of four
deportation of other Jewish Israelites after Jerusalem’s fall. Their temple destroyed
in 586 BC. Ezekiel told them how displeased God was with His people for their years of sins in
Jerusalem and in exile, their disrespect for Yahweh’s holiness and Judgment had come. Ezekiel,
sent by God, was to emphasize the sovereignty of the Lord God and The Hope only God
provides. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him. God consistently calls people to
proclaim His Truths. Even today, we must remain faithful to God every day, through time, even
through bad times.
The exilic Jewish people were in that time discouraged and lonely. Many of their
relatives and friends still lived in Jerusalem. Exile meant the end of Jewish
independence and a life under pagan rule. Even their way of worship changed
without their temple. They were in a different culture, around different religions
and gods. How would you feel if presented with similar circumstances? They were
now living in a different civilization with different cultures, religions and gods.
Babylonians believed in many gods. Their various god/goddesses involved persons
of nature (e.g. gods of rain and floods, war, astrology, moons and even sexual
desires). Each town had their own temple but worshippers were not in the temple,
only clergy could enter. Citizens would worship on corners or in their homes
where a god would reside. Worshippers provided clothing, food and water before
the god as daily food and not as a sacrifice. They believed no event seemed too
trivial to set before the god to pray for as long as it could predict the future.
Our Sovereign God has presented a different way for His people. Even today, during these trying
times, OUR GOD remains faithful. God has planned a way, God’s mystery.
Jesus is our way and lives in us, “The Hope of Glory” (Col 1:27). In Jesus, we are all
complete, who is over all principalities and power. As hard as it was for the exilic
Israelites, it is hard for us today. The Lord longs to bring all nations to the
knowledge of His mystery, greatness and glory! Keep Alert! Eat Healthy!
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