February 16: God’s unique relationship with Israel

God’s choice of Israel to be His witness to the world tied His reputation to this small nation. Everything God did in, though, by and for Israel was ultimately for His glory. 

This week the prophet Ezekiel reminds us of Israel’s history from the time God brought them out of Egypt until He brings them into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saved and redeemed.

 

Ezekiel 20:1-17

It came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Have you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” says the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you.”’ Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Then make known to them the abominations of their fathers.

 “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God.’  On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands.  Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’ But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’  But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

 “Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.  And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’  Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.  Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out.  So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands, because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.  Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

PRAY FOR GOD TO BE GLORIFIED THROUGH THE LAND AND THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.

Jerusalem Neighborhoods
Montefiore windmill in Yemin Moshe the first neighborhood built outside of the old city walls in the 19th century.

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