July 7

Ezekiel 9-12, Psalm 34

Yesterday, I leased a new car. Knowing the process takes time, I had my Bible with me. At one point I asked the salesman if he ever read the Bible. He told me that he was Catholic but on occasion he opens a Bible and reads whatever verse pops out and he always finds it meaningful. The next person was the financial person who goes through the myriad of papers for me to sign. I asked him the same question and he replied no, but he has some friends who are really into it. The truth is within our congregation some don't seriously go through the entirety of God's Word. Reading Scripture is like peeling an onion. As we go through day after day and year after year God opens our minds to more and more. This is absolutely necessary if we are to mature in our walk. Even if we stay in it our entire lives we don't fully comprehend all that God has to show us. We read in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." Though many of His disciple had walked with Him for three years, we still read when Jesus encountered the disciples on the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24:27, "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."

There is so much depth to Scripture. Some will gain insight into certain topics but none of us will master all of it. Everything in Scripture matters. The numbers, the signs in the heavens, the metals used in various items, the specific locations, etc., all matter. We see in Ezekiel 10:4, that "...the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple..." We read further in 10:18-19 that "Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim....and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them." We read in Ez 11:23, "And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city." Though some of the remnant did return and the second temple was rebuilt after their captivity, with the exception of when Jesus Himself entered that structure, the glory of God was not in that temple. This mountain referred to in Ezekiel 11:23 is the Mount of Olives. Not by coincidence, we read in Acts 1:9-12, that this mountain is the exact location where Jesus ascended. We also read in Zechariah 14:4 that this mountain will be the exact location where Jesus will come back at His second coming. Why God chose this specific location for His point of entrance and exit only He fully knows, but we can't miss the significance of this realization. We read in Ezekiel 12:1-2, "Now the word of the Lord came to me saying: "Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house." How many Christians allow themselves to remain spiritually blind by remaining Biblically illiterate or by concentrating more on devotionals and commentaries rather than the actual Word and thereby miss allowing the Spirit to speak directly to them. We read in Romans 11:25, "...that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." Most Jewish people are secular and therefore are ignorant to God's Word. Those that do read, read the Talmud (the Rabbinical commentaries) instead of the Tanakh (the Old Testament) therefore rendering them blind to the movement and truth of the Holy Spirit.

Much of our confusion nowadays is due to our Biblical illiteracy. Without the anchor which is God's Word we are left with only a matter of opinions and whichever side argues their side more effectively wins. We read in Ezekiel 11:2-4, "And He said to me: "Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city,...Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man"!" Think of our times, one speaks of the problem of overpopulation and unwanted pregnancy, the other side speaks against abortion and the sanctity of every life. One speaks of the fairness of allowing everyone who loves one another to marry whether gay or straight, the other side states that God has clearly stated that marriage can only consist of one man and one woman as stated in Scripture. One side states that we are chance accidents slowly evolving and improving, the other side states that each life was lovingly and carefully created on purpose by a Holy Creator. One side sounds fair and open-minded and appeals to the masses. The other side may seem close-minded but is completely consistent with the truth of God's Word. Unless, we, His people, are willing to spend time daily entrenched in His amazing Word, we too will be carried along by every new wave of thought. Even if we aren't swayed, if not in His Word we will be unable to articulate God's principles and therefore miss key opportunities to plant a seed to someone who needs to hear it. I pray as we go year after year through the Bible that we open our minds to the Holy Spirit, and in so doing grow closer to Him in the process.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster