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Showing posts from October 13, 2012

Shepherding Is a Tough Business

October 17: Shepherding Is a Tough Business
Ezekiel 34:1–35:15

Leadership requires accountability, yet many leaders of the past considered themselves above rebuke. Even when their deeds failed to catch up to them in their own lifetimes, history judged them clearly. History often remembers and records people as they really are. And if history doesn't recall the truth, God does.
Ezekiel was firm in his rebuke of the leaders of his time—Yahweh commanded him to be: “And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and you must say to them, to the shepherds, “Thus says the Lord Yahweh: ‘Woe to the shepherds of Israel who were feeding themselves! Must not the shepherds feed the flock? The fat you eat, and you clothe yourself with the wool; the well-nourished animals you slaughter, but you do not feed the flock’ ”’ ” (Ezekiel 34:1–3).
During Ezekiel’s lifetime, the leaders of God’s people were not being leaders at all. They were l…

The Last Person You Would Expect

October 13: The Last Person You Would Expect
Ezekiel 26:1–27:36; Revelation 13:1–10

Yahweh is capable of doing anything and everything He pleases. If He were not a good God, this would be deeply frightening, but considering His wonderful character, this is comforting.
In Ezekiel 26:1–6, Yahweh describes the sins of Tyre and His plans against the powerful Phoenician city-state. The people of Tyre are arrogant. They do as they please, usually to the detriment of other people. Yahweh refuses to put up with this any longer. When He finally destroys Tyre, He does it through unexpected means: Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Neo-Babylonian empire from 605–562 BC. Despite Nebuchadnezzar’s cruel and ruthless nature, Yahweh uses him to enact punishment on Tyre (Ezekiel 26:7).
Stories like this make me wonder how written prophecy would look today. How often would we see God use people without their realizing it? How many evil-hearted people have been used for a larger and better purpose?
We’re never …